November 22: First love notes


Chocolate Tuesday! And the kids set out their clothes the night before! This made the morning relatively easy compared to others…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I woke up to see a magnetic board of more of Big Bro’s sentences. I couldn’t believe it. I guess he was working on it as he was going to sleep the night before. This was an AMAZING way for me to wake up.

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  • Twins were up and we all said our good mornings to each other in Big Bro and Red’s room. Red asked me to help her get dressed. She ran downstairs for Chocolate Tuesday.
  • After I showered suddenly Twin Husky appeared in my room saying “Mommy! Mommy!”. I’ve really noticed a difference in our connection since I’ve been staying home on Thursdays and Fridays with them. I feel like I’ve been able to strengthen this relationship just by being there. Then Twin Crazy made her way up. As I was getting changed, both were in my closet talking about belts, shirts, scarves. Twin Husky is talking up a storm. Twin Crazy understands everything but still talks in a slurry time of language and it seems like Twin Husky understands.
  • Downstairs, things were easy schmeasy. I got my coffee ready. Red rejected her pants so I got her a different pair. I helped Big Bro get dressed even though he doesn’t need help (but needs me). He was really excited about “day camp” at Red’s school – especially I think because one of his friends is also there. He is adamant for some reason against bringing a jacket. I don’t know if this is some sort of peer pressure or if he really is very hot blooded.
  • Twin drop of was great; Red and Big Bro drop off was great. They mentioned to me that Jackets are a rule so I went to the car to bring out a sweatshirt for Big Bro. He did not cause a fuss. He was busy playing with pine cones with his friend.

They all seemed really happy this morning. I wish I could say the same for me. For some reason I just feel empty. Maybe its because we’re going into Thanksgiving which is normally one of my favorite holidays – but there’s so much going on at home and also with my step dad (pancreatic cancer) that I feel like I’m not where I need to be right now. I feel the need to be back on the east coast with my family who is hurting now. And as a family here we are also doing hurting of our own. I love the 4 days with the kids but am not looking forward to this upcoming holiday. I feel empty and tired and not in the right place. I need to put my best foot forward to make it nice for the kids.

For work, I have a lot of meeting scheduled for feedback from our forums. I am started a second round related to the second forum I am managing. I am going to take the opportunity during these calls to try to sell the members extra reports that are available to them and also drive up our revenue. I would also like to work on my client deliverable and FINALLY break the curse of procrastination.

Highlights of My Working Day:

I was busy but not terribly busy. And of course I didn’t get to the deliverable that I’ve been procrastinating over.

  • I had two debrief sessions over two different forums and received some great perspective on moving forward.
  • I had an interview with a market player for my client project and learned some new things to help inform our work.
  • I lead a go-to-market meeting for another forum we are trying to develop and coordinated with folks internally to figure out who was going to “own” each potential contact.
  • I also looked at some of the services and associated prices for these services that we charge one of the forums. There are some questions I have that we will need to figure out.

And no work done on my deliverable!!!! Ugggh!!!

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up with the kids was fine; Red was proud of her Thanksgiving hat and also her placemat where she made little turkeys out of her handprints. I missed her class’ Thanksgiving feast – I do feel badly about that but I needed to be at work today. I’ll make it up to her during the 4 day holiday weekend. But to look at her little face with that hat on just breaks my heart…

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  • I came home to a house smelling like cooked food; Hubby was home early and cooking. While dinner was cooking the Twins were being adventurous with their little chairs again. I repramended them and put their chairs in the closet. Kids ate well. I lit a Pumpkin Pie candle and had a beer.

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  • After dinner the kids had a great time having a parade and using my legs to go “under the bridge”. I was doing this with Red on my back, Big Bro pushing around a rocket ship scooter, Twin Husky pushing a toy stroller, and Twin Crazy pushing a toy shopping cart (with twin babies inside…). We had a great time.
  • At one point Big Bro was blocking a path and to get through the Twins had to give him a high-five. They caught on quickly. My password was a kiss. Twin Crazy gave me a kiss each time, but Twin Husky said “NO”.
  • Bedtime was fine; kids enjoyed their books; I enjoyed having them in my lap and snuggling in close to me… asking questions about the book and observing new things from the pages that we have not noticed before, even though we’ve read the books 100+ times.
  • I just returned from checking on the kids upstairs and I passed by a surprise that he left in front of our bedroom — oh my goodness this is just too cute. One day I will miss those nights of checking on them and finding these little love notes from a son that is learning how to read and write:

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It was a good day. I love my new candle. I feel like I learned new things at work. I feel like there’s still more to do, but I’d rather feel a bit under pressure than bored. I love that I have a day with Big Bro tomorrow. I love that he is learning to read and write. I love that I have more of his notes to look forward to in the very near future. I love that after that we will have four days together. I love that Thanksgiving is coming up – it has always been my favorite holiday. I am missing my family though. The best we can do is take pictures of the food and send them to each other; or Skype. Or FaceTime with the new iPhones!!!

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

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August 26: Taking the day off with Pop-Pop and my son


I’m doing things a bit differently today. I’m taking a vacation day. For several reasons. Big Bro’s daycare is closed today, and my dad is in town. My dad booked a flight out here when I was having troubles a week or so ago. I obviously appreciate that and also the time we get to spend together with Big Bro. It is a special weekend because Monday is Big Bro’s first day of Kindergarten, and it is Red’s first day of pre-school.

Red's last day at home daycare

Red's last day at home daycare

So I’ll keep my note brief since I am on vacation after all. We spent this morning waiting for Pop-Pop to arrive – he showed up while Big Bro and I were outside waiting. After lots of hugs, kisses, tickling, and giggling, we:

  • went to lunch at a diner and sat at the counter
  • got haircuts (for mommy and Big Bro).
Big Bro reconnecting with PopPop
Big Bro reconnecting with Pop-Pop
Handsome boy

Handsome boy, almost a "kindergartener"

  • got some ice-cream
YUM

Big Bro with chocolate goodness

  • went to Big Bro’s new school to look at the classrooms. We found his room with his chair and his folder, crayons, and name tag. It was so exciting. It was great having Pop-Pop there.
Checking out Big Bro's new school

Checking out Big Bro's new school

Now we are resting, getting ready for a ferry ride to see Hubby – all of us are going to go on the ferry – four kids, me, and Pop-Pop.  His relationship with our kids is so natural and playful. He talks to them like they’re people. He actually has conversations with them. Yes, he teases them too. But there are always laughs, and hugs, and tickles when he is around.  Our kids light up when they hear that Pop-Pop is coming. Months can pass by since we live across coasts, but it doesn’t matter. As soon as he’s here the kids light up and it’s like the relationships have not skipped a beat. It’s really cute to watch – not at all forced or contrived.  It’s all very, very natural with him.

So I’m going to sign off now since I’m on vacation. Have a great weekend everyone. Wish me luck on Monday morning with my eldest in Kindergarten and Red in pre-school.  I think they are both ready but I may not be!!!!   🙂  Monday will be a big day of changes for us as a family. I’m looking forward to all the new beginnings.

Til Monday –
– Mama K

August 24: Happy kids, unsure Mommy


I had a great day with the kids; work is still in flux which is causing my head to spin a bit…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Kids were waking up and in good moods; I did not hear any tantrums.
  • While getting ready, I hear a little voice “Mommy, can you help me with this?” It was Red, and she wanted to wear her new halter dress again. She needed help with the halter part and the button. “Of course sweetie. This part is hard. There’s a button all the way in the back and that would be really hard for you to do.”
  • She requested a pony-tail so I tried the best I could with what I had to work with. Hubby calls it her “Steven Segal” look.
  • She helped me fetch my lotions and creams – I used to do make up at home but now I wait for that at work. She likes to help me get the items out of the drawer and give to me.
  • I’m picking out my clothes and looking for leggings. Red asks me to wear a dress that way both of us could “match”. I honor her request and then have to “dry-shave” my legs since I was not preparing to wear a dress today.
  • I check in Big Bro’s room and it does not look like he’s in bed, but he is. He’s all curled up in a ball. I ask him if he wants to get dressed upstairs, or downstairs. Downstairs it is. OK bud, time to wake up. Let’s go downstairs now. I bring his pile of clothes down, along with Red.
  • Twins are running around having fun eating berries and cereal, and playing. Big kids get set up at the counter for breakfast.
  • I keep helping Twin Crazy with her banana during the morning. She needs help with the peel.
  • Diaper change with Twin Husky was so cute. He’s really talking now and loving the feet and toe games I play with him. And the tickling the belly and all the kisses.
  • Twin Crazy did not want me for her diaper change – she kept requesting Hubby so he honored that request. I still went over there to kiss her face and her nose and do a quick tickle. Now she’s laughing at me again. I’m not sure why she was mad at me earlier.
  • Vitamins and kisses. I like this routine.
  • OK! Time to go!!! Big kids get their shoes on. I pack up shoes for the Twins. All are in car and ready to go. I’m still scurrying around getting instant coffee, taking my vitamins, finding my shoes, finding my keys.
  • First drop off with Red and Twins was great. Red loves her dress. We told her daycare that this will be her last week. She will start pre-school on Monday.
  • 2nd drop off: Big Bro’s last day of pre-school. There are older kids in there with “DS” games. I ask them if they have kick-ball games on the DS. Or hide and seek. Or kick the can. Or climb a dirt pile. No. They have Sponge Bob goo or doom or something and lots with Star Wars. I ask Big Bro if his friends have DS toys and he says some. I say, “Hmmmmm. If we get you a DS you’ll have 15 minutes on the DS and then you have to go outside and run for 45 min. OK?” He laughed.

Now we’re on the ferry, and I’m still thinking about the new job opportunity; Hubby is giving advice on staging of my communications with the Firm, first telling them I’m interested but saying I need to think through how I want it to be structured. Over the weekend thinking about it and then next week talking about my needs to work from home more often, etc. I think this is a good plan and makes sense. Improves my negotiating power.

It is sunny but a bit chilly. I did not bring a jacket and now I’m wearing a skirt because of Red. I hope I don’t freeze my ass of today. I’m going to be working today a bit differently since I will have a “new lens” on. I will probably need to think about a trip to our office on the East Coast to work with the person who is leaving. I’ll need to get a serious brain dump from her… she’s been doing this for 11 years and has a lot of institutional knowledge that will be difficult to transfer to me.

I’m hopeful again today. Hubby and I are working together on thinking through this new opportunity and he’s also reading books I’ve bought on financial planning for the family. I feel like we starting to head on the right track together.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Had a conference call to discuss go to market sales tool for the partnering initiative
  • Went immediately into another conference call to discuss our sales pipeline for consulting services for our offices in the U.S. I suggested adding three “unqualified” opportunities for big relationships in our city; I would like to own the sales go-to-market efforts and coordinate with our team to drive sales within these companies.
  • Talked off-the-cuff with one of the Directors about my potential change in role and the different path this would take me at the firm. He believes that this path would be an easier way to promotion to Director compared to the alternative…. long hours, unpredictable travel, multiple projects, individual project sales, etc. that is typically required to make Director. I trust his opinion and feel better about my prospects at the company; I can actually get excited about this new role since I would be given leeway to do things differently – this would be the part that would excite me. But I am confusing myself – just last week I was about to demand reduced work week by hour and also a day off; so this is really a whip-lash decision for me.
  • Went to a great lunch; I’m trying to splurge every now and then – it was outrageous. The sit-down fancy cloth napkin kind of lunch.
  • Worked on the Best Practices document as a wrap up for our last project
  • Organized a trip to our East Coast office for next week — will need to be there physically to best transfer knowledge and learn for preparation of my new role.

Now I’m on the ferry – I will be solo tonight with the Mother’s Helper; I’m thinking about a VERY kid-friendly dinner tonight since I am still stuffed. Pasta! I’m looking forward to picking up the kids. It is Big Bro’s last day of pre-school so we’re entering a monumental milestone for him. I hope he transitions smoothly. I think he’ll do great (maybe me not so much so).

Dinner and Bedtime:

 

  • Picked up Big Bro and took pictures of him near his favorite sections of his classroom. They had face-painting today; he had a spider on his face
Big Bro's last day at pre-school

Big Bro's last day at pre-school

  • Picked up Red and Twins; Twin Husky climbed up by himself into the van and then crawled into the front of the van, behind the wheel, pretending to drive and pushing all the buttons. It was hard to get him out of the front seat.
  • At home we played with balloons. Each kid had one and some extra; all started popping. Big Bro was upset that he didn’t get the color he wanted; Red caved in and gave him her balloon and asked for a different color. He later admitted that he’s trying harder not to have these breakdowns. And he knows that Red gives in to his tantrums because she doesn’t want to hear him cry.
  • Big Bro was in the bathroom doing his business; then Red had to go so she went on her little potty; Twins were extremely interested in all of this so everyone was in the bathroom looking at poop and pee. There was a lot of saying and waving “bye bye” and Twin Crazy was insistent on flushing the toilet multiple times. I think she’s ready to start potty training.
  • Made mac-n-cheese; Big Bro and Red helped stir the powder cheese and milk; all kids ate well
  • I started PJs and milk early so there was time to play; the four of them played with kitchen food and they were serving each other food and me too; it was really cute. We all cleaned up and then headed upstairs.
  • Big Bro took the Spider off of his face as the other kids explored my make up drawers.
  • All kids then wanted to brush teeth together. Twin Crazy really goes nuts over brushing teeth. She shared a stool with Red. Then Twin Husky shared a stool with Red.
  • Books, sing songs with Twins. Kisses goodnight.
  • Big Bro and Red played with the story cards – went to bed very quickly.
  • Big Bro admits that he’s scared about Kindergarten. I may try to take him to the school either tomorrow or Friday so that he can look around and feel more comfortable before his first day.

I had a reasonably good day; the kids were great; work was still unclear and I’m not sure if this will be adding to my stress or containing it… I guess there’s only one way to find out….

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

August 5: Extra time with my pumpkins but still so depressed


Today I was lucky to have some extra time with Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy – their daycare provider had a doctor appointment so I had to bring them in later.   Because of this I took the liberty to work from home.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got up a big slowly (drank too many beers the night before) but made it to the shower and downstairs in time to organize a few things before the kids were up
  • I took it slow.   There really was no rush since I did not have to take the ferry.   I enjoyed the kids.
  • I had four piles of clothes today, versus the normal two.   This is because daycare usually changes Twin Husky and Twin Crazy into day clothes for us – it makes our morning routine easier that way.  But today, we had four piles which was fun.
  • The kids cooperated with breakfast.   I made a full pot of coffee for my day at home.
  • When it was time to go, I had all kids get ready with shoes etc.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy both came to me, one by one, to get their shoes on.
  • We dropped of Big Bro at school – he knew we were all coming in but he specifically requested that not everyone come into his classroom.   I agreed to this.  So the plan was to get the siblings set up in the “common room” at pre-school with toys and then privately drop of Tyler.  He was happy with this plan.
  • When I got them out of the van they were all well-behaved and stayed on the sidewalk holding hands.   The group knows to do this, especially if we are in a parking lot or crossing a street.
  • We got inside and the siblings were excited about the toys which were new to them.   Big Bro was happy that he had me to himself for drop off, and that his friends didn’t have to look at a huge group of kids (his kids) as they welcomed him into the room.
  • Red, Twin Husky, and Twin Crazy had a blast at pre-school.  We stayed there for an hour, playing with dolls, legos, plastic animals — playing make-believe in a kitchen area — climbing/sitting/getting down from chairs and doing it again, and again, and again.   They really had fun.
Kids playing with "new" toys at Big Bro's pre-school
  • When it was time to leave they were great.   Again, they stayed on the sidewalk until I shuffled them in the van.
  • We cruised by the library but it wasn’t open yet, so we went home.   Had a blueberry snack, watched our landlord mow our lawn, colored with markers, played with a keyboard, and did a puzzle.    There was only one problem (a BIG one)…. Twin Husky bit Twin Crazy’s finger.   I couldn’t believe it.   We’ve never had a biter.   I reprimanded him with a very harsh tone and he looked down but did not cry.   He took it like a man.   Then about a minute later Red came screaming over to me saying that Twin Husky tried to bite her.   Oh shit.   I can’t deal with this.  Daycare then called at 11:30 so I happily dropped them off.
  • After their drop off I headed to the food store – bought a chicken for dinner and a lot of other stuff.  Picked up a burritos for me for lunch.
I love experiences like this.  It gives me a glimpse of what it is like to be a stay at home mom.   I really had fun.  The kids had fun.  They were so well-behaved, with the exception of the bite incident.   But I was ready to give them to daycare.   I was ready to head home and get some work done.   So I know that I do want to continue to work, but I guess just a bit more time with my kids is all I need to feel more balanced, more happy.
Highlights of my Working Day:
  • I essentially sat on my couch with my feet up and worked on the go-to-market materials for the start-up initiative; we need those materials complete for a progress call next week AND for a client meeting next week.
  • I threw in a load of laundry.  I ran the dishwasher.
  • I booked a flight for a client presentation for next week – we were asked to go and present our findings and recommendations to a much larger audience… essentially all the people who were involved in the internal interview process and they are the ones whose jobs will be impacted as a result of the work.   This meeting by far will be the most stressful of any we’ve had to-date.   I will need to refresh the presentation deck to make sure the tone is proper so as not to offend anyone in the room on that day.
  • I threw the chicken in the oven at 4 PM.   I started to cook some beets.     I set the table.  I got the pajamas ready for the kids.   I confirmed that our Mother’s Helper was planning to show up tonight.   YEAH (there’s a whole pile of clothes to do, and a whole sink of hand-washables for her to attack).
Dinner and Bedtime:
  • I was on my own tonight since Hubby was at a baseball game.    This was fine since dinner was done and I was ready for them.
  • All ate well.   Twins liked the beets.   Big Bro and Red at least tried them.   The chicken was a hit.
  • Afterwards Big Bro and Red watched a movie and ate popcorn (we like to do this on Friday nights).  Twin Husky was having fun rocking back and forth and talking on our rocker.   Twin Crazy had a great time on the slide structure.
  • Pajamas were fun; the Twins were ready.   I got them milk and they took the milk and their blankets over to the stairs.  They were so ready.  Up they went – books, sing a song, kisses, and in their cribs — butts in the air, blankets in hand, thumbs in mouth.   Out.
  • Red and Big Bro were fine with teeth brushing, etc.   They both sat in my lap for two books.  Big Bro looked exhausted and was out within 5 min of getting into bed.
  • Red came out saying that her finger hurt – so I looked at it, found nothing, but offered her a band-aid.  She proceeded to put it on the wrong finger (wrong hand even) and I caught her in the act and mentioned it to her.   She looked at me, put her chin down and eyes up, and tried to hold back a smile.   She knew I was onto her.
I had a great day, but for some reason I was still extremely depressed in the afternoon and even now.   Spending too much time in an empty, soul-less house is really disturbing for me.   We are renting our place and it was meant to be a temporary spot for us (for a year or so) until we figured out where we REALLY want to settle.   But Kindergarten is getting underway soon, our place is so empty (no pictures up, bookshelves empty) and it feels like my life is in a holding pattern with no time horizon for any decision to be made.  It is so disturbing to me.   I find it so hard to believe that despite my working from home and having time with my kids (and kind of feeling like a stay at home mom today), I am still so unhappy.   I feel so misplaced.   And I think my meeting my old high-school friend last night had a lot to do with it.   I miss my home.   I want a home for my children.  I want less stress and less pressure.   I want simplicity.    I want to enjoy my time and live my life with my family – and get on with establishing a home and rooting for the sake of them and myself.   I will need to write more on this at another time – but I’m just feeling so down right now.    So empty despite having so much.
I think I’ll call it a night, check in on my sleeping kids, take my meds and go to sleep –
Till next week –
– Mama K
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