August 29: Graduation


I love Wednesdays. I get to wake up later than usual, eliminate the commute, enjoy my home while working, take breaks in the sunshine, and wrap up early and see them in the early afternoon. Since Big Bro is in first grade now, and since his class didn’t let out until 1:50, around the same time the Twins would be napping, I took the opportunity to get more hours in at work. It was a great, full day.

Highlights of the Morning and Work:

  • Woke up, took a shower, made coffee, had a yogurt/granola/fruit breakfast, watered my garden, and set up for the day.
  • I worked on finalizing the Agenda for one of the forums for end of September and confirmed speaking spots with all speakers.
  • Had a “sales” meeting for a prospect. He was on the fence. I suggested him speaking directly to one of the members. I found a perfect client for him to speak to, they connected, and the prospect will be coming to the meeting! Yeah!
  • I coordinated with a consultant who is organizing a piece of the Agenda for me; she is new and is doing a great job. I enjoy working with her.
  • I set up some communication materials for another person helping me on this effort – I am delegating a lot of tasks to others so I can focus on client interaction, speaker interaction, and sales. I’m enjoying my work these days.
  • I packed up some snacks and water bottles for the kids and left the house at 1 PM. There was little/no traffic going to get them.
  • Highlights of the Afternoon:

  • Big Bro was smiling and shy when I saw him at the door to his classroom. He mentioned that his bike broke this morning so we went over to check it out. It was the front break handle. It snapped. It didn’t seem to be a big deal, but it did need to be fixed. It put him in an “off” mood.
  • We went to pick up Red. It was her last day in her “class” at pre-school/daycare. She will be moving up and graduation to Pre-K starting Monday. I love her teachers. I hugged the one that was there and thanked her for everything that she has done for Red and our family. They have gone out of their way for us this year.
  • The three of us went to the bike store to see if they could fix Big Bro’s bike. At first they said they were booked until TUESDAY. But poor Big Bro rides his bike to school when he is at co-parent’s. The look on our faces must have said it all. They stopped what they were doing and said they would fix it for him on the spot. We were elated. This gave us time to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while the bike was being fixed.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky just seem to be bigger and bigger each Wednesday I see them. Or, maybe it was that there was a new child at their daycare, a baby about 5 months old. I couldn’t help but pick up this child and talk to him and hug him and smile with him. The Twins were very protective of the child. Both were going up to him, being gentle, and kissing him. There was no jealousy that I could see when I was playing with him. It was the last day for them as well at their daycare. She was just…. OK. She fed them and kept them warm and they napped, but there was always T.V. on and these kids really needed to be with other kids their age besides themselves. They will start daycare at Red’s daycare center on Monday. So this was their last day with this particular provider. I hugged her and thanked her for everything.
  • All of us went to pick up Big Bro’s bike. We thanked them for going out of their way for us. Big Bro was thrilled. Twin Husky started crying for a small, blue bike.
  • There was an issue between Red and Big Bro over a container of green playdough when we got in the car. I suggested that Red give back the green playdough to Big Bro, and that we would go to my house and see if the playdough there was good and clean and colors not mixed up. If not, I promised to take them to buy more, that way she could have purple, Twin Crazy could have pink, and Twin Husky could have blue. That seemed like a good deal. She gave the playdough up to Big Bro.
  • The boys slept on the way home.
  • Kids saw the new table and loved it.
  • Red reunited with Cocoa and Cocoa was purring for her.
  • Kids checked the playdough and yes it was disgusting and colors all mixed up.
  • I threw a chicken into the oven.
  • We hit the road to Target, for playdough. That was the only thing on our list. I kept mentioning that to the kids. They understood. Twin Husky got scared on the escalator and I had to have the people behind us pick him up since I was halfway up myself. Kids were great at Target. Running, laughing, and picked out a perfect $6 playdough set. All were good when they got distracted with other toys but I reminded them that it was only “playdough” that was on our list.
  • Big Bro started his homework, kids played with playdough.
  • We ate a fabulous dinner. The first meal at the new kitchen table.
  • Big Bro was making phone calls to family members and actually having good conversations.
  • Dessert time was smoothies with some old and new fruit. We had them on the top deck outside in our yard. It was awesome.
  • Twins and Red “helped” me take up the trash bins up the driveway. They were using their muscles and being very helpful.
  • I put on the water sprinkler for the front yard plants and everything is so screwed up. The pressure is completely out of whack and the hoses are spewing all over the place. Of course the kids had fun with the hoses and I was biting my tongue not to laugh with them too hard.
  • The boys though started to play with sand/mud along the driveway so I sent everyone inside for baths. The baths were quick but at least all four got clean.
  • Bedtime. I pleaded with them to go to sleep since we have a very early morning tomorrow.
  • The boys are sleeping in their “fort” again. Sheets hung up along the bunk bed so that they are sleeping inside the dark fort.
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    I finished the evening solo with laundry, a shower, and sending some emails for work. Tomorrow I will have Red and the Twins with me all day – I should be packing/getting ready for tomorrow but I don’t have it in me. Breakfast will be Chocolate Thursday but I’ll have to pack up food for the afternoon – I’d like to take the kids out somewhere while Big Bro is at school. I’m tired just thinking about it.

    It was a great, full day. I felt completely productive at work and also had lots of good time with the kids. We did a lot together today. I’m going to sleep well tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    August 29: The first days of school


    The weekend with my father was wonderful – it was filled with playground visits and preparation for back-to-school.  We got all the “necessary” gear to make Big Bro’s first day of Kindergarten and Red’s first day of pre-school successful – new lunch boxes, backpacks, sneakers….   We also went to a birthday party yesterday and all four kids had a blast.    The parents still don’t know how we’re doing it, and to be honest, I don’t know how we’re doing it either…

    Highlights of our Morning and Commute:

    Again, because of the first days of Kindergarten and pre-school, this morning was very unusual:

    • Wake up at 6:30 so I can enroll Big Bro in an “after care” program since Kindergarten ends at 11:30.   Leave it to us to wait until the last-minute.   I also have to look for Red’s immunization records so we could hand in her completed application form for pre-school (again, last-minute).
    • I want to get to “after care” at 7 AM since we were concerned spots would fill up.   As I start to leave, Red is already walking downstairs, after gotten dressed by herself in her first day of pre-school clothes that she picked out by herself the night before.   She said she wants to come with me.
    • We get to the “after care” and they tell us that there are spaces, but they needed more families to sign up before hiring a teacher.   So we are on the waiting list and nothing is confirmed for us for today.  SHIT!!!!  Now what are we going to do?  Good thing I’m working from home today.  I might have to cancel my business trip this week.
    • At home, Big Bro is eating a special “chocolate bagel” since he is nervous for his first day.  I guess Hubby feels bad and is trying to help him through this.
    • Red gets ready for oatmeal.
    • Twins are walking around talking and playing with books and eating.
    • I pack Red’s lunch; Hubby packs for Big Bro
    • Red and I pack her bag with some extra clothes and sunscreen, and some small toys.  She is ready and organizing all of her stuff.  So cute.   She asks for a pony-tail so we go into the bathroom to wet and comb her hair back.  She is gorgeous.
    Red packing for her first day of pre-school

    Red packing for her first day of pre-school

    • OK!!! Time to go!!!!!
    • First drop off:   Twins are dropped off very quickly.  No problems.
    • 2nd Drop off:  Big Bro is acting very nervous about school.  There are people everywhere.  It really is over-whelming even for us.   Me, Hubby, and Red are there during Big Bro’s drop off.   We find his name by his hook and hung his jacket and backpack there.  His lunch goes on the above shelf.  Inside, his spot is near a friend from pre-school (thank goodness).  We play with play dough that is provided at his seat.   He is very clingy.  This is going to be rough.  As we start to leave he runs after us – we go up to the teacher and mention that Tyler is VERY shy.   She asks him if he could be her helper.   He agrees.  My heart aches.  We take a few (but not many) pictures but honestly it breaks my heart to think back on the morning.  He is so painfully shy.
    Big Bro being very nervous on his first day of Kindergarten

    Big Bro is very nervous on his 1st day of Kindergarten -- look at how he's sucking in his lips

    • We drop Hubby off at the Ferry
    • 3rd Kid drop off:   The front desk is very welcoming since they know Red through Big Bro.  I drop off all the paperwork and sign the (BIG) check.   We go to her new room and she is a bit cautious.  I help her find her name on her cubby and put her things away.  We try to do “pegs” which was the activity set up but she is not that interested.   We go for a walk around the room so she can soak it in.  Most of the kids there already know each other from the earlier classroom and she is the “new kid” but the people there are so nice and she is so spunky that I’m not worried about her.   We wind up at the pegs, she becomes occupied, and I hug and kiss her goodbye.  She looks down engrossed in the pegs and ignores me as I leave.  This is always how she was at the older daycare center – she had her routine.  Sit down at the activity for the morning and don’t say goodbye to us…. She is so sassy.  I think she’ll be OK.  From what I know, she did not shed a tear.
    Red is READY for pre-school

    Red is READY for pre-school - no tears at drop off

    • I then go back to after-care to sign up Big Bro.  There was a misunderstanding and they called us back.  They will take him starting today.  The problem is that they close at 6 PM which is impossible ffor us to do if we are taking the ferry.  If I work from home it will be OK, but days I work in the city I will just have to take the earliest ferry home so I can pick him up in time.
    • I am home now, trying to work.  It has been an emotional day today but I held it together.  Hopefully big Bro is doing OK.  I worry about him.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I set myself up in the living room; answer emails since I was off on Friday and there were a bunch in there.
    • I start to organize meetings for the Best Practices discussions as a result of our last project.  Hopefully we can turn these into business development meetings and identify other opportunities for consulting work at these other organizations.
    • I organize sales outreach for some of our firm forums
    • I go out for lunch – sushi, head to Trader Joe’s for food for the week – Hubby will be on his own with the kids and I want to do my part so that he has what he needs.   While at Trader Joe’s I buy little mini ice-cream cones so we can celebrate the first days of school together.
    • I do more sales outreach for a separate forum our firm is leading.
    • I put a chicken in the oven.
    • I pick up Hubby early at the Ferry station.  We are going together to pick up all of our kids
    • I will need to pack up for my trip but I’ll do that tonight after the kids are in bed.

    Dinner and Commute:

    • I pick Hubby up from the Ferry at 5  PM.  We go to pick up Red first.  We arrive and she, as expected, is a sassy little diva.  She stands there and tries to hold back a smile.  We try to talk to her about her day but she is silent.  She wants to hold each of our hands.   We see her seat with her name tag and she looks so cute.  She had a pee-pee accident today (small one) and had to change underwear.  She tells us about this and said we have to bring in lots of underwear for her at school.  We also need to bring in a blanket for her naps.  She had a great day.   After leaving the classroom and walking through the lobby, she holds each of our hands and her smile is literally ear to ear.  She can’t hold it back.  She is so happy.  I make a BIG fuss about the first day of school and how proud of her I am. She skips and laughs and giggles and says “stop it  mommy!!!”.   I just want to squeeze her.  She is leaping with happiness.
    • 2nd Stop:   Big bro.  The three of us pick him up at the after-care center.  He is playing in the back with some cars and some boys.  He stands up and gives me a HUGE hug.  He is proud when he says to me “Mommy… I only cried for a little bit and that was only in the morning.”.  I tell him how proud of him I am, how I can’t wait to hear about his first day, and how it was probably scary for him  but hopefully he had fun.
    • Outside, they are both playing like monkeys on the bars leading up to the building.  The reunion of the two is so sweet.  They are both laughing and giggling.   I am on top of the world.
    • 3rd stop was the Twins.  On the way over there Red says that we didn’t pack any spoons for her applesauce.  I say that I was sorry that I forgot but did they have some at school?   She says no and started to smile.  Big Bro says, “Yes there are.  There are spoons at school.”.   The twin pick up was easy shmeasy.   It seemed like the daycare provider missed Red?  She goes over to the car and mades a big deal about Red’s first day of school.
    • At home, the chicken is cooking.  The twins are running around.  The big kids are well behaved.   Big Bro is unpacking his backpack and somehow he goes outside and takes off his jeans.   I’m not sure why he did that.   He grabs his new pencils and starts to sharpen them.  He plans to vacuum up the wood shavings with the dustbuster.
    • We look at their lunchboxes.   Both ate only ½ their sandwiches but ate all the fruit and applesauce.  Seemed OK.
    • OK!!!  Time to eat!   The chicken was cooking while we were doing pick ups; I sliced bread and heated up some veggies.  It was very easy.
    • I am shocked and amazed at how much food Big Bro and Red eat.  Red eats so much we ran out of chicken and she shoves all the plates aside and starts picking at the carcass.   I’ve never seen that before of a 3 year old.  Both kids eat their vegetables.  I am astounded.
    • We receive a call from our mother’s helper – she can’t make it because her car broke down but I pleaded with her to find an alternate car for tomorrow and Wednesday night since I will be out of town and Hubby will be on his own.
    • Twin Crazy is in a strange mood – I think full fledge toddler moods are with us now.  She knows what she wants, and she wants to do everything her big brother and sister does.  Tonight she is obsessed with using a kid knife to put butter on bread.   She is so upset she eventually pukes all over Hubby.  At this point it is a signal to me to put her down for a “cat nap”.
    • She goes down, but angrily.  I grab Twin Husky, who is in an excellent mood, and ask him to take a catnap too (otherwise Twin Crazy would never go down).  They stay there for about 20 minutes; Twin Crazy crying, Twin Husky talking.
    • I bring out Trader Joe’s ice-cream cones as a celebration.  The older kids get quiet so fast.
    • I bring down the Twins for their ice-cream.  And tell them that we have this treat because Red and Big Bro did so good on their first days of school.
    • After ice-cream we have chocolate all over the kitchen so we make a  game out of finding the chocolate and me picking it up
    • OK!!! TIME FOR MILK!!! TIME TO GO UPSTAIRS!!!!   All kids start their shuffle upstairs.  It is amazing to watch.
    • I change the Twins in their room and Big Bro and Red are there.  I love having all four around me at the same time.   Kids are playing in the closet and I am changing each kid.  We read books, made fart sounds in each others bellies.   Twin Crazy is spitting milk all over the place.  Twin Husky is just a barrel full of laughs.  Twin Husky looks like he is doing exercises – reaching up to the sky and then touching his toes, over and over again.  Big Bro and I are laughing.  They are all in such a great mood.
    • I grab Twin Husky and kiss him and tell him that I feel like I didn’t spend a lot of time with him today.  Then Big Bro says that I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him either.  My heart breaks.  But I say “sure I did’ — we spent a lot of time together at your school and talking about your day.”  “Yes but I didn’t get ‘mommy time‘”.  Oh how I sunk.  It’s not even the amount of quality time I can give them… but it’s also about ALONE time.  I need to get better at this if I possibly can.  This is important to him.
    • Twins go down without a hitch – Twin Crazy acts anxious from her crib and I think of the toothbrush – I bring her one and she smiles at me and she quickly uses it, I then give it to Twin Husky, and they are fine.
    • Teeth, pee-pee, and books are so easy with the older kids tonight.  I read a few pages of each book for them.  Red changes  her mind about pajamas, and about how much the window should be open.
    • I look into each of their eyes and tell them how much I love them and how happy I am today about them… about listening to their bodies and eating so well and also for going through a scary but fun day.   I ask them if it is OK if I kiss them in the middle of the night while they are sleeping and Big Bro agrees  but Red says “No” in a sassy little way with a laugh.  I make a face at her as I close the door to their giggles.

    I feel like today was so amazing – I just couldn’t get enough of the kids.   I was so proud of them and so happy — for the people that they are becoming.  For the way all of them get along and laugh the way they do.   For the way they respond to me and run into my arms and laugh and squeal and show their emotions.   For the way they try to make me laugh.   I just can’t get enough.   I am addicted to these children.  At least these ages.  I know this will change.  They will grow older and not need me in this way as much.   I hopefully will be ready for that when that day comes — but for now, I want to soak this in.  Every kiss, every hug, every laugh, even the emotional outbursts.  So much feeling – so much passion with everything they do.   I love it.  Days like this are too good to put into words.

    Tomorrow I will be leaving them for a business trip so this was a great way to ease into the trip.   I will be with them again tomorrow AM but will leave for the airport after all the drop offs.  Hubby will be on his own tomorrow night, all day Wednesday, and also Thursday AM.  Wish him luck.

    Til tomorrow –

    –          Mama K

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