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 27: Catching Ladybugs


Good people are out there. Even in the business world. I found that out today. And am thankful for it.

I had a crazy day today. I normally am at home with the kids but today everyone went to school/daycare since I had a meeting with a child custody mediator as well as a potential signing for the house.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • This morning was good. I remember the kids listening well and getting dressed without too many problems.
  • Twin Husky, Twin Crazy, and Red were looking outside at some doves in our backyard. I should have taken that as a sign that today would be good one.
  • Red went with co-parent to daycare and she was happy to do so.
  • Big Bro scootered with the Motley Crew and I strolled with the Twins. I was actually surprised because at first I was packing the Twins in the van but he said that he wanted them to come along and for me to walk with him. Along the way, he held to the back of the pack and said he wanted to scoot along side of me. Towards the end he blasted past and beat me there at school.
  • I strolled the Twins and felt bad when Twin Husky said “No Margaritas”. When I strolled toward her house instead of taking our route home, he started to complain and whine a bit. I felt so bad. They are fine when they get there, but I know they would rather be with me. It hurts now to drop them off. I think we could do better by them.
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • The loan documents were still not ready. I was supposed to have signed these documents on Wednesday and closed by today. So technically I was close to breaking contract. The sellers were pressuring me to fund my portion of the deal but my loan broker was advising me under no circumstances do this since the docs were not ready. The sellers were considering putting the house back in “active” status and having an open house on Sunday…..
  • I spent some time responding to some legal stuff but didn’t have my heart in it…
  • I checked on work emails but there was nothing urgent that needed attention…
  • We went to child custody mediation and discussed the summer parenting schedule now that we know we have two locations and where they are. I feel good not particularly about the schedule but more about the progress. We have a plan. And it works with my move and my work schedule. This summer will be hard for the kids but I will do my best to be there for them.
  • After the meeting I learned about the reason for the hold up with the loan – nothing to do with me or my end – I’ve done everything I could do. But the underwriter needed another day to get the docs out. There was uncertainty as to what the sellers were going to do since our contract was expiring at 5 PM. I was talking with the agent and coordinator as I was driving back home at 4:30….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I went to pick up Red and co-parent went to pick up Big Bro and the Twins.
  • While I was picking up Red I received a phone call from the agent… the sellers and the agent now having all the information about the hold up in the loan decided to grant me an extension under the SAME terms of the prior contract!!! No changes in price, no rescinding of concessions, NO per diem charges for extra days of financing on their end! I couldn’t believe it. At the end of the day, they understood that the delay was NOT because of me, and that I was doing what I needed to in order to protect my family. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, these guys are business guys and they did not have to soften their hearts to a divorce of four small kids. But they did. And I am thankful for it. And I was on a speakerphone with them and thanked them and expressed my genuine gratitude for their decision and their patience. I reiterated my interest in their house and told them they made me a very happy woman today.
  • I ran around printing and signing the contract Addendum and went to some neighbors houses until I found someone with a scanner so I could email everything. The sellers were waiting.
  • Twin Crazy went potty and it was poop so she got two chocolate chips and everyone else got one chocolate chip. We all cheered for her and continued to cheer for her during dinner.
  • I told co-parent about the situation and my win. We had wine with pizza tonight.
  • Afterwards, I asked Big Bro if he wanted to go hunting for ladybugs. Me and him. And then I asked if he wanted someone else to come. He said Red. Then co-parent rallied so we all went out together. We had a great time hunting for ladybugs. I think we got about 18 not including the casualties (Twin Husky crushed some, and there were one or two that got smashed by the container lid). The kids had a great time and on the walk home a small part of me ached thinking that this might likely be one of the last times we do something happily as a family of six. I walked back as the sun was setting with my kids running ahead of me and cried a bit not out of sadness but out of thankfulness. Looking up at the sky thinking that there is someone up there looking out for me. That I am meant to be in that house with the kids. That I have worked for it all on my own and can make this happen for them.
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    So it was quite a day. I felt like I had my dukes up for most of it but these kids are worth fighting for. I feel like I am closer to reclaiming my life back and closer to building a home for my family. And yes, we are closer to causing the children a lot of pain and that kills me inside. But I am closer to providing a home for them – and yes, there is a part of me that is excited about going through the journey with them this summer even though it will be a huge challenge for all of us.

    Great weekend to all –
    – Mama K

    April 4: Jelly beans and the potty


    Wednesday – a work from home day. I love these days.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up to Red walking into my room with a huge smile just a few minutes before I was to get up at 6:30 AM. She is the early riser. I love it when she comes downstairs to greet me like this. She climbed into my bed, very talkative as usual. Today she was talking about eye dirt and how it is hard and sometimes hurts your eye.
  • She found a key chain rubber chicken in my room. Long story. It basically is a gag gift from one of my colleagues who retired. He was collecting rubber chickens through the years and when he retired he donated them to me since I have all these kids. Red found the key chain and started asking what a chicken was doing on a keychain and in my room. Good question.
  • She put some princess tattoos on a table in my room. So sweet.
  • We went upstairs to get Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Twin Crazy went potty and we were proud of her.
  • I walked out of my room with some old ice-cream bowls and she completely caught me in the act. “Hey… what is that???!??!?! Were you eating ICE-CREAM?!?!?!??!?!” I was completely snagged. She’s too fast for me. I can’t get anything by these kids.
  • Twin Crazy somehow saw the chicken and adopted it from Red. She loved the chicken. She kept talking about the chicken. She wanted to bring the chicken to daycare.
  • Everyone packed up their stuff and both Red and Big Bro had huge backpacks. Cute.
  • Big Bro and Red wanted me to drop them off… this was going to cause a problem…
  • We were all early so had enough time to all go into the van and make the two different drop offs all together. First the twins, then Red/Big Bro.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I made it home in time for a conference call with a potential speaker for our forum. We scored big. This woman and organization are amazing. They will have a lot of value to add to this meeting and hopefully for future meetings as well.
  • We had a second call with a different potential speaker and scored there as well! YEAH!
  • I had a conversation with my Director about a client project we are finishing and then later we had a call with the client. They are happy with the work and will likely complete it early next week.
  • I sent out some other logistics for the forum planning.
  • We tried to have a conference call with our other client but had some phone issues. So I missed the call. There is work we need to do with our thinking and will need to get cracking on that quickly to regain the traction we had with them.
  • I did some other personal things and made a lot of phone calls. I also had the chance to talk to my dad, who is in India, through ooVoo. Truly amazing… check it out.
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called the quits at 3:30 PM and picked up Red and Big Bro. I promised to pick them up early and go shopping for jelly-beans for Red’s Easter party this Friday. They were both excited to do that.
  • I found out that Red packed a huge stuffed animal duck in her backpack this morning. Ridiculous.
  • We went shopping for jelly-beans which was fun.
  • Then picked up the Twins – they were spinning around an ottoman. I continuously crack up at how entertained they are at the most basic of things. You honestly don’t need to buy a lot of toys when you have a 2 year old. Especially twins. They entertain each other with EVERYTHING.
  • We got home and I dished out 2 jelly beans per child. That’s when I saw that a bag was already opened. It was Big Bro. I had a conversation about “trust” and how important trust is. How it’s important to have people trust in you and that if you lose that trust, it is very, very, very difficult to get it back. So it’s really important that you do things to make people have trust in you – and not do things to damage that trust. I talked to all kids about that.
  • Later, I was cooking. Big Bro was helping. Red was helping set the table.
  • One weird thing happened… Red went to the bathroom but didn’t make it in time… she had a pee-pee accident all over herself and the floor. That’s just strange. I closed the door quickly with her and said that its OK, that accidents happen, and that I closed the door so no-one has to know about it. Big Bro did knock and I fibbed and told him that I was going to the potty and needed privacy. I cleaned Red up, and we ran upstairs to find new clothes. She was happy.
  • Later still, I heard all kids laughing. They were giving themselves pedicures with Red’s toy nail polish.
  • We took a walk to the mailbox to get the mail.
  • Red was holding Twin Crazy and having her sit on her lap. Big Bro apparently wanted to have time with Twin Crazy too. There was some sort of fight and Red wound up crying. I got both kids to tell me their sides of the story. Big Bro told me the truth, that Red fell when she was holding Twin Crazy, but that Big Bro did push Red afterwards. I probed and it was because he wanted a turn with Twin Crazy too. I said that it was great that I heard the truth from both of them, asked Big Bro to apologize to Red (he did), and then asked Twin Crazy if she could take a turn with Big Bro. This all seemed to work.
  • Big Bro was amazingly cooperative with me the rest of the night. No whining, no temper tantrums. I think our discussion about “trust” helped and also the fact that I was sitting and listening to his side of the story and also that I had a chance to pick them up early and spend some time with the older kids by themselves. He was just so good tonight.
  • The kids ate great; after dinner we had 3 more jelly-beans each (Big Bro helped Twin Crazy and Twin Husky with theirs – they picked the colors and he gave them to them), did Tickle Monster, went to the potty (like 5 times – each time Twin Crazy asking for a chocolate chip), and also played hide and seek. It was great being the tickle-monster, with all of the kids hanging on me and running in circles around me and everywhere I reached there was a child and a good tickle.
  • I had Big Bro and Red tonight. They were wonderful. Each picked out one book, and cuddled down with me to read.
  • Big Bro had some bad poops tonight and his butt hurt. I put A&D and now he is sleeping 1/2 naked with a towel between him and his sheets so he doesn’t get the medicine on his sheets. He can be very particular.
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    Now I’m typing in the hallway outside of Big Bro/Red’s door. Big Bro is already sleeping. Red is wide awake, drinking water, changing her pajamas, etc. But she is not crying. She knows that I am here, she hears me typing away. I feel good doing this. I am out of sight, she can rest her body and fall asleep, but she knows that I am nearby and not downstairs. There is just too much distance there. It causes problems that I think are un-necessary. So I will continue to do this for as long as I have to, for as long as I’m still in this house.

    I honestly cannot wait to get out of this house. I am looking forward to finally moving on. It will be so much better for me – and hopefully indirectly for the kids – after we move on to the next step in this process. I am already thinking of ways to bring “fun” into the process for them and make it easier for them – an adventure in so many ways – an adventure that I want them to share with me to the extent they are able.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 28: Lots of A&D


    It is close to 10 PM now so I’m a bit rusty on what happened today. I worked a 1/2 day and from home; I feel like it was a good day, but am getting more and more itchy to get out of this house away from co-parent. It just is not healthy for any of us. Plus everyone is sick in the house with runny noses, snot, and crumpled tissues everywhere.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up this AM and I brought her right into the bathroom to use the potty. HER DIAPER WAS DRY!!!! She was so excited and I was so proud.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were sitting together reading a book.
  • Red was AOK trying on different socks — for some reason I cannot find ANY of the 12 pairs of seamless socks that I recently bought. Somehow they mysteriously disappeared.
  • The Motley Crew were chancing it again today with the weather and were going to ride their bikes. Big Bro was excited as was I. He got ready, and I got Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ready in the stroller. I kissed Red goodbye and strolled along with the Motley Crew to Big Bro’s school. It has been awhile since I did this. It was good to be out again. Good to be strolling the twins in the AM. Good to see Big Bro on that bike with the kids. Then one of the kids came back to us and said that Big Bro fell. It was a small fall, but still, his bike and he was on the ground, a bit shaken up. All was OK. We got to school OK with no broken skin.
  • I then strolled Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to daycare. They seemed happy and started playing with balls right away. I told her how Twin Crazy’s diaper was dry this AM and both of us made a big deal out of it.
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    I walked home and was thinking about a lot of things. Thinking about how my life has changed so much over the past year, for the better. Thinking about how stuck I was last year, with a partner who proved over and over that I was not a priority and he chose not to listen. Unfortunately my children will suffer for this but I will come out stronger, happier. I know this.

    I passed my neighbor on the way back, swinging her daughter on a swing. Her daughter is the youngest of four kids – so very similar to our household. I know how important it is to grab those special times one-on-one and I made a big deal out of her “mommy time” and how lucky she is. And I also wanted to, but didn’t, say to my neighbor how lucky she was to have this time with her kids and to have a husband that supports and is aligned with the needs of the family. But I walk on, thinking about work…

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I get home, make another coffee, eat some breakfast, straighten up, load the dishwasher and run it, start some laundry, jump in the shower.
  • As I get out of the shower my phone is ringing. It is a potential prospect for one of our forums – a potential speaker and member. And here I am naked, trying to have a sales discussion with this person. Taking notes. Getting other contact names. Thinking on my (naked) feet on what I need to say to get this guy to want to come to this meeting. I should have told him I was naked.
  • I had a discussion with a Director about my goals for the future and the roles that I want to focus on going forward. I was frank and told him that project delivery with four children as a single mother will be difficult if not impossible. I want to focus on sales and conference planning/execution/data and delivery going forward. He agrees and we promise to think about the structure and metrics over the next several weeks as we get our collective thinking further defined.
  • I meet with my project team and go over quantitative analysis for 2 hours over the phone. It was rough. These kinds of working sessions remote are really tough.
  • I cleared out some email and addressed several things;
  • I reached out to other potential speakers for one of the forums
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I packed up at 3 PM and called it a day. I put everything away that was not kid-friendly such as computer, breakable cups, etc.
  • I picked up the twins first. I took my time with them. The weather was beautiful and they were riding tricycles.
  • We then picked up Big Bro and his bike. He rode his bike with us trailing with hazards on over to Red’s school.
  • While at Red’s school, Twin Crazy went to the potty on one of the small potties.
  • We then followed Big Bro back home. He loved riding the bike in the sunshine.
  • While at home I folded laundry and Big Bro helped. Twin Husky had fun throwing the folded piles in the air.
  • Red drew some pictures and then wanted to send them to Nana (along with some princess tattoos). So I helped her put them in an envelop, address the envelop, put on stamps, and then we went to the mailbox together to mail the letter. She was super excited.
  • Dinner was great; salmon.
  • Afterwards I did some exercising with Red and hung out with the kids. Both girls went to the potty together… Twin Crazy on the little potty and Red on the toilet. It was weird but very cute nonetheless. I accidentally scraped Red on her face with my fingernail and apologized. Poor thing. Another crying fit for her. I cleaned up from dinner a bit. Twin Husky started fussing so I grabbed the twins and headed upstairs.
  • Twins were both very tired – and sick. Both have really bad noses and I put A&D ointment on their faces. Both were extremely cranky. I read a book to them and we were searching for the color “yellow” on each page. Then Big Bro and also Red joined in the fun. I had all four kids around me, no longer cranky, trying to quickly find the color yellow with each page. It was awesome. Both Twin Husky and Twin Crazy wanted to touch and play with a “Hess” car before going to sleep.
  • Big Bro asked me if I was going to pick him up early again tomorrow. I said of course I could. I put A&D on his scraped arm from his bike accident this AM and then kissed his forehead.
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    I went downstairs and Big Bro asked me why I don’t go in to him and Red after I’m done with the twins? Good question Big Bro. I can’t stand it either.

    I was cleaning up and Red was having a tough time, crying and calling for me. I tried not to listen. But she kept crying. I cleaned up the table. She was crying. I loaded up the dishwasher. She was crying. I tried not to listen but couldn’t take it. Co-parent was just reading a book to Big Bro and ignoring the cries from Red. I went up to her and he came out when he saw I was coming up. I gave him a chance to handle it and finished cleaning up downstairs.

    Red came out screaming again so I went up to her. I held her. I hugged her. I said it was OK. I helped her brush her teeth. I put more A&D on her scraped face. I put her into bed. I asked her to relax. I told her she was doing great since I saw that her fingers were curled and therefore her hand was relaxed. I said for her to keep it up. I told her I was going to sit outside for a few minutes and come back to her. I did. I left again and then sat in her room for a while away from her bed, doing work on my iPhone. I said I would be outside of her room. I went outside and sat there, working on my iPhone for several minutes. I heard her heavy breathing. I went in and she was asleep. I kissed her forehead, turned off her light, and headed downstairs after verifying that the heat was turned on.

    So now I’m here, downstairs, hearing my kids through a child monitor. I have a lot on my mind. Things to do for work and things to do for the divorce. I’m also thinking of what I need to do to jump-start my life post-divorce. I am looking forward to a fresh start.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 21: Big milestones!!!


    Red is screaming for me right now as I type this. Ugggh.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy was excited to wear her new shirt from Nana. Red picked it out for her and Twin Crazy was acting silly and waving her arms wearing it.
  • Big Bro was trying to scare her along the way.
  • Kids got dressed and ready without any problems.
  • Big Bro rode his bike with the Motley Crew, I dropped of Twin Crazy/Twin Husky, and then Red.
  • I drove back home to work for the 1/2 day.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:
    [note: Red is still screaming for me….]

  • I made a pot of coffee, ate breakfast, loaded the dishwasher, and got my computer and phones out.
  • I had a conference call regarding a survey that we need to do for one of the meetings in April. I suggested ways to improve efficiencies and then lined up a resource to load the questions into Zoomerang. I need to look at the output PowerPoint pages since there seems to be a lot of manual, tedious work there that doesn’t need to be done…. I need to focus on presentation in the next week. But for now, the questionnaire will be executed through Zoomerang.
  • I secured a speaker and potential new member for one of the forums!!! YES!!! I’m psyched.
  • I had to answer numerous emails related to client work and forums. This trouble-shooting occurred throughout the day.
  • [Red is still screaming…. Mommy, mommy, mommy….. my Co-parent assumes the crying will just stop]

  • I had some appointments the rest of the day.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red, Twins, and Big Bro. While waiting for Big Bro to get his bike, Twin Husky pointed to the part of his head where it was OK for me to give him a kiss. I ask the kids if it is OK for me to kiss them.
  • Big Bro had a HUGE milestone tonight. Instead of taking the sidewalk the whole way home (with me tailing him in the van with hazard lights on], he decided for the FIRST time to take the “lagoon trail” by himself. It’s about 1/4 mile and I met him with the van on the other side. I was so proud of him. And the rest of the kids were also anxiously awaiting him to come into eyesight. So cute. He’s getting bigger, braver. I love that. Independence. Conquering fear, the unknown.
  • Kids ate really well. Twin Husky wanted to serve himself and cut his own meatballs. All kids wanted to put their own grated cheese on their dinners. Kids were getting their drinks of water. So independent. I love it. You have to be patient at this age (2 yrs old) but you need to let them do these things for themselves.
  • Afterwards, Red and the Twins were crawling around under the table and I was making jokes about them being “doggies”. Red was my Irish Setter, Twin Crazy was my Jack Russell Terrier, and Twin Husky was my Bassett Hound. They were all laughing and going in circles and shrieking and acting like doggies. So cute.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy were pretending to cook.
  • Red was on my lap using a spoon to drink water and kept spilling it on me. I joked with her… “is THIS the thanks I get for making you dinner? Thanks for making me dinner mommy, now here is some water for your lap…” She was cracking up. We had a great time.
  • Hide and seek!
  • Bedtime – I had the Twins. Twin Crazy went pee-pee in the potty; I told her to hold it in when she wakes up and in the AM I would get her and bring her to the potty right away. I was so proud of her. We read books, kissed goodnight (especially the twins to each other) and then night-night. She said she was scared of the dark and I said that it is OK to be scared and also suggested clapping her hands real loud to make the scary things go away.
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    [Red is still crying for Mommy….]

    [I just went up to her. Got her into bed. Calmed her down. Asked her to relax her neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, legs, etc. Told her it was OK. Let her know that its easier to go to sleep when your mind and your body is relaxed. I asked her to relax and I promised to check in on her in 2 minutes. She agreed. I will go up to her soon, as promised.].

    I had a good day. I am really busy at work. And things are going so crazy at home. This is not a good situation for any of us. I wish it were May and not March. There is too much for our family to endure during this time. And I’m busy at work and wanting to do the best for the kids. I feel like I’m being pulled in all directions – but need to stay focused on making my work successful and protecting my children the best way I can. And that means letting go a bit, I know.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    November 30: Stealing Red


    Half of a work day! From home! YES!!!!

    Highlights of My Morning and “Commute”:

    • Red woke me up proud that she was already dressed for the morning. However, she only changed her top. So she did great, 1/2 of the way.
    • The Twins came bounding into the room – lots of hugs and jumping. I love that part of the day when the kids are excited to see us. By the time they reach Big Bro’s age, I guess they lull in bed and you have to tear them out and ask if it’s OK to give them a morning hug and kiss. 🙂
    • Downstairs, all kids were at the kitchen counter on stools. It was so cute. They were all lined up and sharing space and eating. As Hubby made lunches, Twin Husky hurled himself on the counter to reach for sliced apples. So they really had a diverse breakfast this morning.

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    • The older kids knew that I was working from home today, and a 1/2 day. So Big Bro knew that I was going to walk the Twins to daycare and also have him scooter his way to school. He was thrilled, but Red was upset about this. But then Red also knew that I was going to “steal” her from pre-school today early, and spend some 1:1 time with her (since Big Bro had time with me 1:1 last week). She was thrilled, but Big Bro was upset about this. So there they were fighting about the time they were going to spend with me. Big Bro wants Wednesday afternoons to be “Big Bro and Red” time together with me, versus 1:1 time. I asked him if we could talk about it later since Red would also have to agree. For now, she is excited about potentially going on a choo-choo train ride, and at that point Big Bro threw himself on the floor in a tantrum.
    • The walk to school/daycare was great. We by chance met up with our neighbors who also walk/bike to the school. I call all the kids together the “Motley Crew” — I laugh about that, and of course the kids have no clue what I’m alluding to. So together we all walked/strolled/scootered/biked to school. Big Bro had a great time and felt grown up as he locked up his scooter to the chain-linked fence.
    • I then strolled the Twins to daycare and brought along a potty for Twin Crazy, just in case she feels brave enough to try the potty at daycare. The Twins love the stroller rides in the morning. I have a feeling they do not get the chance to be “really” outside during the day at daycare. We talked about the falling leaves, the leaves on the ground, the sound of barking dogs….
    • My walk back was great. It felt good to get out, walk the trail back home, see the leaves on the ground, know that the kids were all close-by. So that stroll back by myself was my “commute” home and to work for the day. I LOVE THIS NEW WORKING ARRANGEMENT….

    Highlights of my 1/2 Working Day:

    I had a great day at home working and I think that working 1/2 days at home are so much better than full days. On full days, I tended to get sluggish from the absence of people. But 4 hours at home is a breeze. It gives me just enough time to be productive and not waste time. It occurs to me that I have so many pictures posted of my kids but nothing related to my work. So here it goes — below is my working set up while at home. Comfy couch, wired computer, plenty of coffee and water. And my phones close by.

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    • I had to troubleshoot some reporting problems we have with one of the forums I am managing. There are data issues and report distribution issues that I was not aware of. I think the problem is being addressed, but it does not make our firm look good to our clients. I need to make sure this type of thing does not happen again in the future…
    • I am happy to report that I received the work in progress work for my client project from the consultant who is helping me, and it looked like a REALLY good first start. I therefore was happily and aggressively working on the deliverable – it is so much easier for me to pull something together when I have good, strong, smart people working with me and creating materials that I can simply review versus re-do. So I had a very productive morning and sent off a first draft of the deliverable to my Directors for their first review. I will need to focus on content early next week and we will meet with the client at the end of next week. I think we are in good shape so I feel great about that.
    • I then submitted my timesheet and signed off for the day. 🙂

    The Rest of the Day:

    • I went to lunch at 1:15 and ate at a great sushi place while typing on my iPad. I called Red’s pre-school to see when they wake up from nap. 2:30. Great. That gave me time to go food shopping before I stole her for our 1:1 time….
    • Red was so excited to see me. She was smiling and jumping up and down. She was literally speechless.

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    • I asked her what she wanted to do and she wanted to go shopping for new underwear for Twin Crazy. So cute. I suggested feeding the ducks first. We had a great time. She sat on my lap. There were four different kinds of ducks there all with different looks and different quacks. Some were meek and some were aggressive. We talked about the different kinds of ducks and tried to throw the bread to the meeker ducks.

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    • We then went shopping. On our way we made a list. I never walk into a store until I make a verbal list with the kids. This prevents melt-downs when I say we cannot buy random stuff at the store that they happen to fall in love with. So on our list was 1) underwear for Twin Crazy, and 2) sneakers for Red. When we walked in there I was sidetracked by blankets and Red quickly remarked “No Mommy. That’s not on our list.” I couldn’t believe it. “Thank you [Red] for keeping me on track.” So cute. Then she got sidetracked with the Christmas ornaments but she did not break down in a tantrum when we moved on because they were not on the list. We shopped for sneakers. She needed a pair with lights. We went shopping for small underwear for Twin Crazy. She picked out a package that she thought Twin Crazy would like. We stopped at a drug store for pull-ups for Twin Crazy. I found the right size and gender, and Red picked out a package that she wanted us to buy. She is so sweet. Shopping for Twin Crazy was the first thing she wanted to do with her alone time with me. I am so lucky that these kids are so empathetic with each other.

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    • We then picked up Big Bro and the Twins; I cooked a quick dinner; we tried more potty time with Twin Crazy without luck – but she loved the pull-ups (so much so that she had on about 4 or 5 pairs all over her legs). I felt like I didn’t have enough time with Twin Husky but I’ll make it up to him tomorrow.

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    I had a great day. I felt like I contributed to our family finances and then had the opportunity to steal my child for 1:1 time. Dinner and after dinner was a blur with kids and a flurry of activity but I enjoyed it; and am enjoying my couch now even more than earlier today! Wait a minute…. I hear some stifled laughing at the steps…. I better go now and be a tough-ass so these kids respect me and go to bed.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    November 29: A DAY TO REMEMBER!!!!


    Wow what a rough night, what a rough morning. Red woke up at 3 AM feeling clingy, needy, and refusing to let go of my hand. I broke my rule of “no kids in bed” and asked her to come with me. Big Bro heard this and he came too. So we all had a “comfy” night together in bed. I know, this is wrong. This is hard to break. But it was 3 AM and I needed sleep. And I missed my kids since I didn’t see them the night before. So it was selfish of me, too.

    I had to wake up early so I could take an 8 AM conference call in the city. I needed to take an earlier ferry. So this AM was unusual again today… and it got worse…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I woke up to Red and Big Bro. Red was in a great mood. Asking me about my clothes, my stockings, my skirt. And how she has tights, and skirts, and how her skirts have shorts underneath. And if my skirts have shorts too? How cute. She really was in a great, playful mood.
    • Then I saw the Twins bouncing and bounding into the bedroom…. “Mommy!! Mommy!” Twin Crazy was so excited that she was jumping up and down and jumping like a rabbit over to me. Big hugs and kisses. Twin Husky was equally excited, but in his own subdued way.
    • Chocolate Tuesday! Big kids head downstairs. I get their clothes together.
    • I tried to help getting the kids breakfast and then had to pack up to catch the earlier ferry. I had coffee automatically brewed so it was easy to get my fuel for the morning.

    My walk to the ferry was nice. I am going to have a busy day today. Back to back conference calls again. It is foggy. Very foggy. As I approach the dock I wonder if it is too foggy for the boat to leave. I can’t see the boat. Was it cancelled? I get there to find out that the ferry is there, but it is full. Shit. What do I do now? What do I do about the conference call, and what does my schedule look like for the rest of the day incase I take the call from home and then try to drive into the city?

    I arrive at home, kids are surprised to see me. I look at my schedule and decide to have my admin cancel the 8 AM call and reschedule. I will try again for the normal ferry time to make it to the office for the rest of my meetings.

    • I walk in to see Red sprawled across the benches and screaming crying. Big Bro is not dressed. Twins are upstairs with Hubby.
    • I try to work hard to Red. She is very upset about something. It doesn’t look like she ate breakfast. She is clinging to me. I get her down to get her dressed. She refuses the shirt I picked out. I ask her about a different shirt. I try shirt #2. She is still bawling. I decide to take her to school and hubby take Big Bro and Twins. This puts Big Bro in a fit. He wanted me to drop them off. I promise to pick him up later today and to do scooter to school tomorrow. He didn’t get any help from me during dress time [he doesn’t need my help but he likes the attention] since I was spending so much time with Red. All of this was happening while my Admin was on speakerphone working with me to cancel/reschedule the 8 AM call. Too funny. What a collision between work and home. These collisions I always find interesting but a bit stressful.
    • I try to leave with Red and it is hard with her shoes, her lunchbox, and now she is bawling about the little red reindeer stuffed animal. You’ve got to be kidding me. Big Bro is in the doorway crying about how I’m not dropping him off. I can’t do much about this now but I will try to make their evening special in some way. Plus I need to give the Twins some time too….. hmmmmm.
    • Red drop off at pre-school was not easy. Clinging. Pouting. I made her laugh on several occasions but it wasn’t enough to turn her mood around. I left with her being held by her teacher, her bawling and reaching out to me, and me prying her little fingers off of my jacket. Uggggh.

    So, now I’m on the ferry. It’s like groundhog day. I feel like I had two mornings. And it hasn’t gone particularly well so far. Plus I’m hungry. I had barely a dinner last night (beer and bread) so I guess I’m a bit sluggish too. Plus tired from being woken up in the middle of the night.

    Work will go well today. I will have several meetings and hopefully the consultant who I enlisted to help me with my client deliverable will turn around something EXCELLENT for me. I’ve heard a lot of great things about him and how dependable he is so hopefully he gives me back something good. It will make my new work arrangement that much easier if we finally have people we can rely upon to do the heavy lifting of project work. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    It was a sort-of productive day, and I felt good being in the office and interacting with people.

    • I had three different 1:1 debrief conference calls for the two forums I am managing. Again, great ideas and feedback from the participants.
    • I also started to think through the organization of the Spring meetings – I sent out “Save the Date” information to all of the participants from both forums…. i still need to close out loose ends from the last meeting though…. I will need to focus on that next week.
    • I spent some time thinking through the client deliverable and am looking forward to getting the work from the consultant who is helping me. I will work on that draft tomorrow at home during my half-day and **hopefully** I will feel good about that first draft.

    I’m on the ferry now headed home to pick up the kids. They almost feel like strangers to me since I didn’t see them last night and this morning was very fragmented and rushed. I’m looking forward to getting “re-acquainted” with them.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Tonight went smoothly – I did the pickups and decided to pick up Red first to give her some extra alone time with me. Dinner prep was fine; the trick I find is to keep the kids occupied. Especially now that the younger ones are starting to fight with the older ones. I had Big Bro and Red put up stick-up decorations on our windows around the house. This worked well.

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    • I broke my rule about “one meal” at dinner tonight. Usually I have the kids eat whatever we are eating, but that meant left-over stew that I knew would not be a hit. So they had home-made mac-n-cheese. The funny part was when Twin Husky started to dive into the stew, “caveman” style.

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    • We then finished putting lights up along the banister which was fun but a bit daunting. It really is impossible to keep two 22 month olds away from little white lights, especially when the lights are within reach of their little hands.

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    • The biggest milestone of the evening was when TWIN CRAZY WENT PEE-PEE FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN A LITTLE POTTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I cannot believe it. When I started to change her, I realized that her diaper was sort of dry so I figured there MUST be some pee-pee in there. I asked her if she wanted to try and she ran to the door. We all gathered in and sat with her. Red even held her hand. She switched from two different little potties and was “talking” the whole time and I didn’t even realize it but lo and behold…. I saw a bit of a discoloration… and upon further investigation I realized that YES, my little pumpkin girl, my little Twin who was born at 6 pounds 5 ounces nearly 22 months ago, ACTUALLY PUT A LITTLE TEENY TEENY bit of pee-pee in there. OMG it was great. She helped me dump it in the toilet, and she flushed herself, and we all sat there and said good-bye to it as it was flushed away. We were all cheering and clapping and excited and all of us got an ice-cream treat and also I gave her extra M&Ms for going to the potty. I told her that we are so proud of her and love her so much and if she continues to go, each time she will get a treat and an M&M. She was so proud of herself. The look on her face. She started laughing and jumping and she then DID NOT WANT ME to put a diaper on her for bedtime. OMG she is not a baby anymore. She is a girl. My little girl. Big Bro drew a picture for her because he was so proud of her.

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    So today was a bit dicey at first, but ended up great, and is certainly a day that I hope to never forget.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

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