April 13: Feeling surprisingly relaxed

A busy day; the last day of work before I leave for a work trip all next week. So I went into the office to work today since there is still so much to do.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy went potty! I said we would get her changed to pick out her underwear. She was very excited to do this. She ran to her drawer and instead, pulled out stockings by mistake. But she wanted to wear them too. So Red and I went to her closet and picked out some dresses for her to decide on. She said that one was too tight but was VERY excited about a red one. I took pictures of her looking demure. She refused to smile. Red was smiling though, proud of her little sister and she agreed that she looked so cute.
  • Twin Husky was busy eating a bagel. Big bites along the whole bagel. He kept saying that it was a circle. He also loved the cream cheese.
  • Twin Crazy put on her rain boots by herself. She loves those things. They probably fit even better on her with stockings – versus her PJs which make the boots way to tight for her.
  • Red wanted me to help her with her clothes. She set them out in the order she wanted to get changed into… her top, her underwear, her pants, her socks. Very particular. There is an order to everything.
  • All the kids noticed holes in my socks and started laughing and teasing me and poking my feet, saying they were going to try to pick my toes. I acted silly with them and they loved it. I had all kids all around me looking at my feet and trying to get to my toes. We were all laughing. It was too funny.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were both taking care of their babies. Twin Crazy was feeding her baby a vitamin, and Twin Husky was feeding his Tiger a bagel.
  • Big Bro went riding with the Motley Crew. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and then Red. I had to run back to the car to get her purse with her nail polishes. But this made her smile from ear to ear. I was running late for the ferry but was glad I made that second trip to the van for her.
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    On the ferry to work I felt incredibly relaxed. I have a lot of work to do today… some presentations to finish (that I will deliver next week) and also some speakers to still confirm!!!! Plus several meetings related to the client project. How am I working on client projects now too????!?!??!?!?!?

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got some paperwork off related to my house purchase!!!!
  • I started to review and work on presentations; also had a meetings to review two different presentations that I had no part of data collections or report preparation. So I have to understand the data and understand the implications of the data. And think through how I will present it to make it interesting. That is the hard part because the data itself is kind of boring.
  • I had two market interviews for the client project.
  • I went to lunch with the office for Dim Sum. It was excellent and VERY fast.
  • I helped a colleague get in touch with one of my friends related to a project he is working on. She is going to help find the right person within her organization for him to have a market interview (THANK YOU MAMA J!!!! I KNOW YOU READ THIS!!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!)
  • I worked with our admin on various logistics for the forums. Things that she was used to doing in the past I asked her not to do since I thought not a good use of time. I’m trying to make things easier and more streamlined.
  • I secured a Plan B speaker in case the our speaker for the one forum falls through. I almost hope they do, since I think the PLan B option is much more interesting for the group and I really like the guy.
  • I’m on the ferry now and looking forward to being with the children. I will be on my own tonight which always makes me happier. It is more relaxing. I can focus on the kids without the frustrations of the failed relationship getting in the way. The plans for the weekend are forming and I’m feeling good about getting away next week. I think we’re relatively prepared for the meetings but I know I’ll be working after the events and getting ready for the next day. Next week I will get little sleep and will need to be “on” the entire time.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the house and am getting more and more excited. I will turn 42 this summer and I will be a first-time home buyer. The thought of having my own space, to put my own things, and root and grow with my family has been so important to me in the past. I’ve been craving it. I can’t believe it’s almost here and I was able to find a location zoned to 10/10 schools. I feel like I’ve done everything I could do to set myself and the kids up to be the best that we can be. I’m looking forward to getting in, settling in, and making the house a home.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and we talked about dinner. We talked about ordering a pizza. I pulled over and ordered, then we picked up the Twins. Twin Crazy’s stockings were trashed. She was still talking about them. Twin Husky wanted to sit in Big Bro’s car seat. Red helped him into the van by lifting his butt in the air and pushing him in the van. Twin Crazy wanted to sit in between Twin Husky and Red in the back seat and Red and her were holding on to each other laughing before I pulled Twin Crazy away and tucked her into her own carseat. Sisters.
  • Big Bro’s pick up was good but it took a really long time for him to get his bike. I think he’s really taking advantage of the freedom… exploring the school yards, going in circles… I’m not sure but it takes him a long time and his face is always full of smiles when he shows up. Everyone in the car was singing and laughing while waiting for him. He took the lagoon route and wanted our car to go REALLY slow so he could beat us. I tried hard, but couldn’t go slowly enough so he was mad when he reached our van at the end of the lagoon trail.
  • By the time we got home, the pizza man was also arriving at our house.
  • After dinner, we noticed some motorcycles outside so we went out there to check them out.
  • We then decided to watch some “Olivia” on TV and got popcorn. All kids were excited for this.
  • Twin Crazy went poop in the potty so I gave her 2 chocolate chips. That was a mistake. The twins were going nuts during bedtime. Twin Husky threw a book and toys into the toilet. I told them I was feeling mad. That resonated with Twin Crazy. We sat and read books. I tucked them in.
  • Big Bro meanwhile was cleaning all the things that were thrown in the toilet. After I grabbed them and threw them in the sink, he had a process all set up for soaping up the stuff, cleaning, and drying them. He was a pleasure tonight. When someone else is acting up, Big Bro becomes an angel.
  • Twin Crazy was REALLY crying in her crib. It wasn’t a normal sounding cry. I went to her. I held her in my lap and Twin Husky wanted to come too. I asked her if she felt sad and she said YEAH. I asked her if it was because mommy felt mad and she said YEAH. I told her that sometimes people get mad, just like she does and just like Twin Husky, and Big Bro, and Red…. and that Mommy feels mad sometimes too and that’s OK. I told her that I still love her and will always love her and kissed her and asked her if she understood. She said YEAH. And Twin Husky did the same. I held them tighter and asked them if it was OK now for them to go to sleep. YEAH. Kisses. hugs. Back in their cribs. I covered Twin Crazy and Red covered Twin Husky. I wiped the hair away from her face and whispered my normal “I…….. love……. you” and again. She joined me in the routine. And she was OK. I went to Twin Husky and he was already rolling around smiling. “I…… love….. you. Sweet dreams.”.
  • I read to Big Bro. Again the story about the princess that dies. He now asks what happens after someone becomes dead. I talk about how no-one really knows for sure, but that a lot of people believe that your spirit, the thing that makes you FEEL and LAUGH and THINK and BE is inside of the body and that its called a spirit and that your spirit lives on even after your physical body is dead. He questions me on this each night and he picks out this book on purpose each night. His questions are very frank and I love that about him. He has always been curious about the world around him.
  • Red had a problem going to sleep. They were laughing with each other and I went in to scratch their backs… then went into the hallway to type this up… and then they crying. I think it happens as soon as Big Bro falls asleep. I think she feels the lonliness. She was laughing one minute and then upset the next. I keep trying to figure out is she scared, sad, lonely… maybe all? I try to talk to her about it but she is just silent. She is in there now quiet, and I think not yet asleep.
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    We had a great night. Easy. Real. No your turn my turn. No passing the kids off. It was just us. And we ate and played and the evening flowed. And when someone had an issue there was a child who was there to help. And even though it was only me with the four of them, I feel like I had really good one-on-one time with EACH of them. Talking to them. Encouraging them. Teaching them. I feel tired but happy.

    I think I’ll give myself a break tonight and only work on one presentation to send to a Director. Will do the rest at some point over the weekend.

    Great weekend to all –
    – Mama K

    January 18: A power day

    I HAD A GREAT DAY!!!!!
    I was solo this morning with the kids and I was excited about it. I had as much ready the night before as I could…. the extra clothes packed for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, the jackets ready by the door, the shoes ready by the door, the lunch-bags out, the clothes piles ready, the coffee machine programmed….

    So I woke up, got a shower, threw on some clothes, and started the day with the kids. It was so smooth and everything went great; Red had an issue with her socks again, but that was expected.

    Highlights of My Morning and Commute:

  • Me changing diapers in the Twins’ room where it is sooooo much warmer compared to downstairs…. Twin Crazy mentioned “potty” so we ran in there and low and behold, there was a nickle’s worth of pee-pee in the potty. She obviously went in her diaper when she woke up, but I couldn’t get over that little bit of pee-pee in there!!!!!!!!!!! We were so happy.
  • Kids at the breakfast bar eating oatmeal, cereal, bagels, apples, blueberries
  • I turn around to see Twin Crazy unchanged out of her pajamas and putting on a pair of pants! Big Bro helped her with her socks. She picked out a shirt – one of Red’s shirts.
  • Red helped me pack up the car
  • I dropped off Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first; then Red and I dropped of Big Bro. I picked her up so she could see Big Bro going into his classroom.
  • Red had problems with her socks again in her school lobby. I tried to be patient.
  • I dropped off Red and had so much fun with her friends. I wanted to take a picture of her and her friends and then they wanted to see the picture so I reversed the image and I was also in the picture. The kids had a blast and all of them were hanging on to me and laughing. It was hard to leave… but I was working from home today and had a conference call to get to….






    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I grabbed coffee, and ate a Trader Joe’s frozen breakfast.
  • Conference call at 9 AM to do initiative planning for a meeting in April. We are getting closer. I secured two meetings with what could be key sponsors to the intiative. We have our first meeting on Monday and will need better materials to review with them. I asked our partner to put some thought into showing some case studies and also the benefit of bringing this industry collaboration group together in the first place. We have to sell the concept and that means there must be something “in it” for everybody involved.
  • I quickly got ready for my face to face meeting. Hair, make up, suit.
  • I had another conference call for a debrief on one of our forums. It was a good call.
  • I quickly hit the road for a face to face proposal meeting. Me and the Director met beforehand to go over our approach to the meeting. I lead a lot of it and felt good about our positioning. It was a great meeting; we did well selling ourselves and establishing a good connection with each of the clients. We have to make some refinements to the proposal which I will try to do before Monday.
  • On the way home, I rolled down the windows and blasted music. I felt great.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I met my mom at my house. She is here through the weekend for a belated Christmas celebration; and my brother arrives tomorrow. She loves my new room. I found her napping in my bed….
  • We went to pick up the kids. Red came running so fast to me that I pretended to fall over. We then made a big deal about the Legos at Big Bro’s aftercare program. Pick up for the Twins was cute since our daycare provider was taking them for a walk – they both came running over to us.
  • My mom played with the kids (Legos) as I cooked dinner. Twin Husky was cooking some dinner of his own.
  • After dinner we ran around a bit, did some acrobatic flips, made a game up about cleaning up our toys, and also did tattoos.
  • Red and Big Bro helped Twin Crazy and Twin Husky get changed for sleep. They helped with the new diapers and getting their pajamas on. I think even Twin Crazy helped with Twin Husky’s change. It is so cute how they all get along and help each other out. I love it.
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    It was a VERY relaxing afternoon after a power morning — with meetings and clients. I feel on top of the world. I had a great day at work – made a lot of progress and had a great face-to-face meeting – looking very professional and taking ownership of the meeting while positioning our firm favorably compared to other consultancies – to win, you have to know and believe in why you are different from the rest. I have this story down, and I believe it, having worked at other consultancies earlier in my career.

    So now my mom is here, my kids are sleeping, and I am happy. My brother will arrive tomorrow. I’m keeping the kids home except for Big Bro. He is upset about that but I promised him a scooter ride to school, with only me. No-one else. And that seemed to satisfy him.

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    December 8: All day keeping me on my toes…

    Today was a bit of a strange day. I am normally off from work on Thursdays. But when I started my “new” work arrangement with my company, one of their conditions was that I would/could be flexible if push came to shove, particularly supporting client projects. So of course I granted them that wish. After all, this is management consulting, and flexibility to meet your client need is an absolute minimum requirement for the job. So, I worked today since I had a client meeting scheduled for today.

    But, Hubby had a meeting at 7:45 AM, and I had a conference call at 8:30 AM, which complicated things a bit… I would be on my own for all drop offs and we also had to leave earlier so I could be back in time for my conference call….

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Older kids were up and excited to get dressed by themselves, since their piles were already out and they were looking for positive reinforcement. Big Bro was excited to wear a new spiderman shirt I got him yesterday.
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  • We were talking about the need for everyone to be ready to leave early, and for Big Bro to have his backpack ready (as an example). The next thing we knew, Twin Husky came walking into the kitchen dragging Big Bro’s backpack and using all of his body strength to lift it up and hand it over to Big Bro to help. That was just so cute I couldn’t stand it.
  • Honestly, the rest of the morning was a bit of a blur. I can’t think of anything else that stood out…there were the diaper changes, the lunches to pack, the shoes to put on, the jackets to put on, loading the kids in the car…..
  • I did all the drop offs; Red first, then Twins, then Big Bro. I made it back home with 10 minutes to spare to prepare for my conference call. I re-filled my coffee mug and booted up my computer.
  • Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had the conference call and got some good feedback from one of the participants of the forum that we are trying to sell a membership to. He liked the forum but their business may not be big enough to be relevant for the group. I would not take “no” for an answer so I invited him again as a guest for the next meeting in April in hopes that he wants to become a member.
  • I jumped in the van, and drove into the city. I was starved. I was contemplating a McDonald’s run, but feared I would be late. This was a good call, since there was traffic on the highway. So I blasted loud music and enjoyed my drive into the city, yes, with a minivan. uggh.
  • I made it to the office just in time to shove some graham crackers in my mouth and then start at 10 AM conference call with a Director and another new member to one of our forums. I lead the meeting and focused more on how this particular person could help us drive additional members. I’m in sales mode. He has contacts at great companies and he is really easy to collaborate with – I’m enjoying working with him to build this forum and grow it to something much bigger than it currently is….
  • I grabbed lunch. Grilled cheese. Comfort food. I’m starved and it is cold outside.
  • We then had our client meeting. We’ve done good work for them, but this is a kind of project where you just want to shake some sense into your client. Their business idea doesn’t make sense given the risk and reward and they are very naive about some obvious aspects of the business. So I’m hoping things go well with them, but we’ve raised the issues so we’ve done what we can do to provide our advice.
  • I did some admin items afterwards and then headed home. I picked up take out dinner (BBQ) and picked up the Twins.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Dinner was BBQ. It was delicious. Kids ate well. Twin Husky was eating ribs like they were going out of style and I was calling them “dinosaur bones”. He is such a boy. Almost reminds me of a pint-sized man.
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  • After dinner, Hubby took out a “Santa train” that essentially goes around the Christmas tree. All kids were going nuts. Twin Crazy wanted to dance with me to the Chrismas music. Big Bro was all over the tracks, the trains, and the controls. He was observing everything and figured out why the train wouldn’t work at any given time. He loved controlling the thing. Red was being such a big sister/mother to Twin Husky and to Twin Crazy. It was really too cute to witness. She was instructing them on where to sit (far away from the tracks) and how it works, and hugging them and holding their hands. It really was too much for me to watch. They are so sweet with each other it is almost crazy.
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  • Bedtime with the Twins was great. They grabbed their animals/blankets and walked upstairs, blew kisses to folks below, brushed teeth, read books, sang a song, and willingly went to bed in their cribs.
  • Bedtime for the older ones were a different story. Whining, crying, defiance, more crying, etc. etc. I finally had to leave. I said I would not read books if they did not cooperate. I gave them a chance to cooperate. They did not. So I left. I left Hubby up there dealing with two cranky crazy kids because I want to teach them to understand that I follow through with what I say. If they don’t follow instructions and are defiant even if I’m trying to understand the issue, I warn them what will happen and then I need to follow through. So I left. They’re quiet now so I guess they were just super-tired.
  • I had two glasses of wine tonight. I am not working tomorrow. I may take the Twins to the doctor if they have room in their schedule for us. If not, I want to take them to a museum. I’m sure I’ll figure something out over a big pot of coffee….

    And now Red is screaming upstairs so I guess I’d better go and see what’s wrong…

    Until tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 7: Learning more about my kids every day

    I get to work from home today! YEAH!

    Highlights of My Morning and “Commute”:

      • I went into Big Bro’s room to gather clothes, and he was just waking up. He was stretching, saw me, and then said: “Mommy, today is going to be special for TWO reasons.” Me: “Yes sweetie? What are those reasons?” Big Bro: “Today I get to go on a scooter ride to school with you, and later today you are going to pick me up early so we can buy new sneakers.” I just stood there. Speechless. Then I reached over to him and gave him a very gentle good morning kiss on his head. He does not know how happy he made me at that moment, and even now as I type this. I asked him if he likes it now that I get to work from home and also not work everyday and he said yes, he likes it alot. We both agreed that I should have done this alot sooner… 🙂
      • Kids were eating breakfast at the counter again this AM – the only problem is that we only have three bar-stools. Big Bro did not want to kneel on a chair or use a step-stool. So does that mean I have to buy another bar-stool???? Uhhh, yeah, with four kids that require EVERYTHING to be the same, ummm, yes I should probably bite the bullet and get one. UGHHHGHGHHG. Hopefully I can find one that matches the other three.


      • Red was funny today – she put a stuffed animal under her shirt and said she had a baby in there. It was funny and everyone was poking her belly saying “baby”. Then we realized that it was Big Bro’s stuffed animal in there and then some fights/tantrums started. Ugggh. Can’t a cute moment just STAY a cute moment??@??!?!?
      • I was running around upstairs getting things and running from room to room but all the doors mysteriously were closing on me. Seriously. I’d turn around an the door would be shut. It was like Poltergeist or something. I opened a door and there was Twin Husky laughing at me. So now I guess he knows how to open and close doors.
      • We gathered our things and set out for our scooter ride. Twins were in the stroller. It was cold. We were late. I was hustling. My heart was thumping. Nose running. I am OUT OF SHAPE. Big Bro couldn’t help but scooter through a big pile of leaves when he saw it. So cute.


      • After Big Bro drop off I strolled the Twins to daycare. Along the way Twin Crazy and Twin Husky each started to look up at me and play peek-a-boo. I wasn’t in a rush so I took my time and played with them. One would look up, and I’d smile and laugh and giggle and tickle their neck and touch their cheek. Each time one would look up, that is the routine I would do. We had a great time walking several blocks like this. Twin Husky is also now fixated at pointing to all of the basketball nets along the way (there are lots in the suburbs).


      • My commute home was relaxing. The stroller was light so it was less of a workout. I was thinking about work. I was checking work email on my way home. Getting meetings scheduled and checking to see that we were getting content in to include in our client deliverable.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

      • I set up my computer, phones, blanket, coffee, water, and a candle. I made breakfast for myself.
      • I had several conference calls today debriefing from our forums. Again, received great thoughts on how to improve and provide more value to the group.
      • I spent the rest of my 1/2 day working on my client deliverable. It is in really good shape. It went out to the client in the early afternoon. Now we just have the meeting tomorrow.

    The Rest of the Day:

      • I went to Big Bro’s parent-teacher conference. She is wonderful. So much patience and such a sweet disposition with the kids. I like her a lot. She says that Big Bro is the “reliable guy” but could use more help with self-confidence and being able to describe his opinion and thoughts and how he feels and examples of situations from his own life in the classroom. He has a hard time when his “home” world and “school” worlds collide. There was a bit that was a surprise to me but I’m already thinking of ways to work with him on certain things to help him get better at stating his opinion and offering more of himself during conversation. I guess we all have trouble with that but in his case its a bit harder for him compared to his peers. So I left the meeting a bit scarred, and feeling like I needed to protect my little big boy first born.
      • I grabbed him and we went to buy new shoes. During our one-on-one time I took the opportunity to practice “thought” and “feeling” questions with him. We both have some practicing to do. He loves his shoes. I’m glad I was able to spend the time with him and make him happy.


      • We picked up Red, and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. All kids were going crazy looking at the holiday lights on all of the houses. We also played a game where we would flubber our lips each time we past a house with lights. All kids were doing this. And me. We had fun.
      • We realized that daycare dressed Twin Husky in a Phillies shirt – the same one that Big Bro was wearing! We laughed that they were twins.


      • During dinner prep I had the music on loud and was dancing with Twin Crazy while holding her. She loves this. She loves to dance in my arms. She loves me jumping and swaying and spinning. She cracks up. Surprisingly, Big Bro joined us for the dancing in the kitchen. He never really has done this before. It was great! We were really dancing hard in the kitchen and thats when Hubby came in. We calmed down after that and ate dinner.
      • After dinner I did horsie-back rides with all of the kids. They each stayed on the 2nd/3rd step and waited their turn while I went around with a kid. They were loving it. Again, I feel like I’m out of shape.
      • Then bathtime. All kids needed it. Twins went to bed early. Bigger kids followed soon thereafter.

    I had a great day. We got a reasonably good piece of work out to the client for discussion tomorrow. I also had time at home and with the kids to play, dance, and laugh. I also learned a little more about my son. I learned a side to him that does not surprise me after thinking about it, but still upsets me a bit since he is a quiet, empathetic, and sensitive little guy. So I feel for him. And I want to work with him to make it better for him. So today was a good day. I’m learning more about my kids and my family with each passing day.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 6: Morning glory, busy afternoon, unknown evening…

    The kids woke up very needy for Mommy this AM since I was not able to see them last night. I took it all in and reveled in it.

    Highlights of the Morning and My Commute:

  • I woke up with Red in the bed. She crawled in, in the middle of the night. I remember A LOT of tossing and turning, so I didn’t sleep well again last night.
  • Big Bro and Red got dressed without a problem. The kids setting out their clothes the night before really seems to help. There are no arguments over clothes and the kids are eager to dress themselves.
  • There was a feather on Red’s leg (pillow?) and I made a joke about “what is THAT doing there? Are you turning into a bird??!??!?” She giggled and Big Bro chuckled.
  • Chocolate Tuesday! All kids were lined up at the kitchen counter. Twin Husky was playing peek-a-boo with his bread. Twin Crazy was double-fisted with spoons, one for each cereal bowl (hers, her brother’s), Big Bro and Red were eagerly eating their chocolate and all were really quiet.
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  • I helped with lunches and Twin Crazy helped me put things away. She loves doing that with me. I pick her up to the cabinets and she helps put the packages of stuff away.
  • Red had some breakdowns this AM over drinking cups, her bread being served to her with the crusts on, food containers in her lunch, her forgetting her lunch box at school, etc. I think this was the affect of her interrupted sleep. I understand how she feels and I told her that.
  • I took Twins and Big Bro while Hubby took Red. Big Bro is looking forward to tomorrow, since I told him we would buy sneakers after his school. His soles are coming apart so he is psyched for that. Another trip to Kohl’s!
  • I’m now on the ferry and I’m actually looking forward to work. Today will be the day where my client deliverable takes close-to-final form. I’m looking forward to that. After procrastinating for so long looking at white pages, now there is actual thinking and content and information to work with and refine. Unfortunately, we will be telling our client something that he does NOT want to hear, so we need to think through the delivery of the presentation since it will be a difficult one to give on Thursday.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I spent the majority of the day working on my client deliverable. There is work that still needs to be done — I will likely work after the kiddos go to bed since tomorrow I have meetings during the day and our client meeting is on Thursday! I must get a draft sent to my Partner for his review TONIGHT or else we will not meet our deadline and will not be as prepared as we should be for the meeting. Ugggh. This means that I know I will have this hanging over my head tonight. I will be with the kids but not “with” them 100% – which I hate. I will be anxious as they get ready for bed and will be thinking of this work. I’ve been here so many times in the past over the past 5.5 years of management consulting with kids. It’s hard. It’s very hard. I want to be 100% connected with them tonight but I know it will be hard if not impossible for me to do.
  • I also wanted to share a picture of our office holiday tree. I am the one responsible for the rubber chicken, binder clips, post it note, and blue “flags” (particularly the ones on the breasts of the rubber chicken). A bit of comedy infused in a busy day always helps.
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    I’m on the ferry now and am solo tonight with the kids. My goal tonight is to be as present as I can possibly be, and not worry about cleanup – rely on the Mother’s Helper as much as I can. I will try not to think about work. I will try to get the kiddos to bed earlier (which benefits them anyway). I will try to get this post out quickly tonight so I can focus on my deliverable and get to sleep by a decent hour. So, I will call it a night from here. You won’t hear from me again until tomorrow.

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    p.s. at home now making dinner with the kids — having fun, drawing, blogging, and connecting, talking….. so far going GREAT!!!! 🙂

    November 16: Managing Expectations…

    Wednesday! My last work day of the week! Yeah! I hope its productive!

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • The Twins woke up earlier than expected; so we brought them in our room and I asked them to rest since it wasn’t time to wake up. So I lay there with the two of them, resting their bodies and listening to me, while Hubby showered. It was so cute watching them. Each had smiles on their faces but were quiet, at first. Then Twin Husky grabbed the tail of this favorite Tiger stuffed animal that he sleeps with and pointed the tail to Twin Crazy’s nose. Then the giggling started. Each were laying down, looking at each other, smiling, and giggling. Every now and then Twin Husky would lift up his head and look at me and say “Hoooowooooooh” (aka “Hello”).
  • I showered quickly and headed downstairs. I helped with getting Red more cereral (she eats a ton), getting Twin Crazy more oatmeal (she eats a ton as well, but a lot winds up on her PJs), getting Twin Crazy bread and dry cereal, getting drinks, telling the Twins to stop playing with their drinks (e.g., spooning their oatmeal into their water cup), getting clothes for everyone except for Big Bro (who dressed himself this morning, YEAH!).
  • I had diaper changes and clothes changes for both Twins. I love that time with them. They totally get into the games that I play with them. Counting 1-2-3 as I take off a diaper, looking inside and making a big deal out of poop or pee, kissing their bellies, and now I’m also starting the “love game” with each of them. Me: “Did I tell you yet today how much I love you?” “I love you so much that I’m going to kiss your nose [I kiss nose]. I love you so much that I’m going to clap your hands [I grab their hands and have them clap]. I love you so much that I’m going to eat your toe [I grab a foot and pretend to eat a toe]”. Etc. Etc. They’re getting really fun and totally getting into the game.
  • Twin Crazy was having a hard time with her pink balloon that everyone kept stealing from her. She held strong and communicated “My balloon”. Great job for her with her words!!!! Bad job Big Bro and Twin Husky for teasing your sister!!
  • I ran upstairs to get dressed for work; downstairs I hear crying and Hubby yelling. What is going on down there? When I came upstairs everything was going fine…
  • We separated the drop offs this morning since I have an appointment tonight and wanted the extra car at the ferry station. It’s getting cold here. I dropped of Red. She had a hard drop off.
  • Now I’m on the ferry and thinking about today. I have to start the client deliverable – it just needs to get started. I also have some clean up from the meetings that honestly needs to get done. I also have a lunch meeting with the CEO of an other consulting firm and we are evaluating how our firms can work together to sell and deliver work. I worked on a project with this woman in the past and we provided her great value for what we did – she is interested in pursuing other opportunities and maybe formalizing what we can do together. It will be an interesting lunch. She wanted to meet with me and two Directors at the firm with whom she used to work. I’m glad to be part of it and I actually initiated the meeting. So I’m feeling good about where I am from a work perspective.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    I feel like I was busy but did not accomplish what I wanted today….

  • I had a meeting with one of the presenters from our last forum and gave him feedback on how to push his “concept” to a more practical solution for the members of the forum.
  • I started working on the client deliverable that has been on my mind, but did not get nearly far enough to send to the Director – I was hoping to send him something by end of day today – I will likely want to work on it a bit more when the kids are taking naps on Thursday and Friday – this is really being imposed by me – not by anybody at the company… I’m hoping over time I will get better used to the 50% and actually honor it…. 🙂
  • I had a business development lunch with a potential partner. It was good to connect with her and we may be able to leverage her team for staffing on several proposals we have outstanding.
  • I also had a business development conversation with a potential client relating to a Request for Proposal that we will need to prepare – she indicated that the timeline has shifted to January so that gives us some breathing room to get the proposal prepared.
  • I had an appointment tonight so I am not at home now to care for the kids. I miss them on these nights. It is 7 PM now so they are probably running around and playing after dinner. And talking. And whining. And possibly fighting. I wish I were there to help them in their PJs and talk to them about tomorrow (my day off!!!) but instead I’ll have to suffer through some bread, cheese, chutney, and good wine. Poor me. 🙂


    OK I just got home and had enough time to sneak into Big Bro and Red’s room as they were talking (instead of going to sleep). They were thrilled to see me. We talked about Thursday and Friday. Big Bro wants to go on a Scooter ride to school tomorrow with me (but didn’t want the Twins there….. hmmmm…. i think he gets embarrassed at school when they are there). Red wants to go to the zoo. And a museum. And trace stickers. Big Bro wants me to read a Dinosaur book. And paint. I need to better plan activities with the older kids for these two days… I’m overbooked already!!!

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    October 4: First day is a success

    I’m traveling for work and we had our first true day of meetings.   I was in charge of facilitating the discussion, welcoming the guest speakers, and also presenting facts/data and the implications to the group – and also facilitating discussion versus only reporting numbers (how boring).   It was a great day.   Folks gave me great feedback and I’ve already tried to do things a bit differently to engage with the group and hopefully drive consulting sales.


    It has been a very long day.  I woke up at 6:15 Eastern (3:15 Pacific) and the work was non-stop.   All day meetings, post-meeting debrief, cocktail hour/schmoozing, and dinner/schmoozing.   I found several others who went to Columbia University (very, very strange since most tend to stay in NYC).   I also had a great dinner conversation about 80’s metal bands and I even had fun singing Cinderella’s “Nobody’s Fool” and “Shake Me”.   I had a second filet mignon.  And too much wine.  This will be a fun bunch.  They are smart and also fun.    I’m going to like this.


    But the day is long.  And I have tomorrow and Thursday left.   I am exhausted already and have more to go…. and of course I miss home.


    The report from home today was that there was kissing of the monkeys on the cereal box “Gorilla Munch”.   I bet you anything it was Twin Crazy.


    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    August 12: Taking my crew on the ferry

    I decided to work from home today since I went out-of-town yesterday, and I have my work computer with me.   This changed things up a bit:

    Morning and Commute:

    • Red remembered about my promise of going to Big Bro’s school on a day when I work from home.    When she found out I was working from home today, she started to get excited and slowly started to communicate the change in routine.   I was patient with her and let her finish her thoughts…..”Mommy… you work from home today?   So [Twin Husky], [Twin Crazy] and me go to [Big Bro] school?    And we look at Daddy go on Ferry?”    “Yes sweetie.  We can do that if you want.”   She was excited.
    • Big Bro was still sleeping hard because there was a pee-pee accident last night.   He downed 3 glasses of milk before bed — poor kid.   Accidents happen.   Because of this we let him sleep a bit longer – we also had more time since we didn’t need to make the drop offs before the ferry left.
    • I got four sets of clothes ready for the day; changed everyone, got on shoes, everyone’s excited.
    • We get the kids in the car and drive to the ferry station.  The kids go wild when they see the boat.  I get reprimanded by a “rent a cop” that I’m blocking the way where I am parked.   “Come on man, I got four kids that are excited to see their daddy get on the Ferry.”   No luck.  I loop around and find another spot, less conspicuous.   The ferry sounds its horn and begins to back up.  Smoke fills the sky.  Twin Crazy says “hot”.   Twins are pointing to the boat.   We all wave bye-bye to daddy.
    • We all drop off Big Bro.   All kids go onto sidewalk and hold hands.    Big Bro wants to get dropped off in privacy so I set up the other kids in the “community play room” and drop of Big Bro solo.  He appreciates this.
    • I play with the Twins and Red at the daycare center for about 45 min.  They loved it – legos, baby dolls, doll house — we received a lot of attention.   We want to send Red here in September although it will be much more expensive for us.
    • OK time to go!   On the way out I see some legos in little hands so we go back and put everything back.  Twin Husky was not a fan of this but he soon got over it.
    • Drop off at daycare went fine.   They all looked a little tired and maybe needed a snack.
    • I’m back at home and will start my day – I will need to finish the proposal and send out to the client by end of business tonight; I would also like to start on the “best practices” deck as the hand-out to those people we interviewed during the last project as a “thank you”.  It should be easy to do.   I already know how I’m going to set it up.
    Highlights of my Working Day:
    • Ate a yogurt; set up for the day in my home-office.  This included my iPad, my work computer, and the Apple home computer.  I also had my cell phone nearby and my home phone.   It looks like I’m a day-trader.
    • Wrote commentary on my morning, since I did not have a commute trip this morning
    • Discussed status of proposal with two Directors.  Made some last changes and I sent out to the client.   I at least know that he read my email because I received a “read receipt”.  Hopefully we’ll hear something back soon.
    • 1:30 PM:  Went out to lunch by myself and brought my iPad.   Wrote a piece that I will post on Sunday night.
    • Started and finished the Best Practices document that we can send to interviewees from our last project.   I think it’s ready to go but I sent it to a Director for comments/feedback.
    • I plan to wrap up early today….   get the kids, head to the ferry, and meet Hubby in the city for dinner.   If we leave early enough we’ll all be able to make the 7:30 Ferry from the city back home.   Kids are free on the ferry on Fridays.   They absolutely love it.
    • OK, gotta run and get myself ready and also pack a bag for the kids!    Some PJs, diapers, 4 small cars for entertainment at the table.
    Dinner and Bedtime:
    • I picked up Big Bro and told him that we were going on a ferry and we both started running to the van
    • I picked up the rest and told them the same thing — -“Daddy… daddy…. boat….”   How cute.
    • Got to ferry parking lot in plenty of time — they looked so cute and anxious waiting for the boat.    They went nuts when it arrived.

    My crew waiting for the ferry to grab dinner with Daddy

    • They were great on the ferry — standing up on the cushion seats looking out onto the water.   We were in the front of the boat so they had a great view of the city.   They were great.   Red gave the ticket to the ferry guy.
    • We met hubby and headed out for Mexican food — rice, beans, chicken, enchiladas, quesadillas, and BEERS.   All kids ate well.   Twin Husky sat in a booster seat while Twin Crazy was in a high chair.   We had a great time.   The kids were so well-behaved.
    • We walked a bit — Big Bro and Red pushing the stroller.   Twin Husky was mellow and Twin Crazy was going nuts jumping back and forth in her seat and laughing and cackling.
    • We shared two cookies from Subway since all the ice-cream stores were closed.   Big Bro took control of the water cup and all kids shared their water.   So cute.
    • Ferry ride back was fun; all kids tired.
    • As soon as we made it back the toddlers went upstairs.   I got milk for all; quick routine for Twins and they were out.   Quick routine for the big guys and I think they’re sleeping.
    IT WAS AN EXCELLENT DAY….   felt productive at work and I had A LOT of quality time with the kids.   I absolutely LOVED today.
    Going to watch a movie now with hubby –
    Till Monday –
    – Mama K

    August 11: Flying high and evening reunion

    Today will be a very unusual day in our household.   I am taking a day-trip flight to present our findings and recommendations to a client audience of 15 people including the Senior EVP.   This means that I had little to no time with my kids this AM – only Red was awake (sortof) when I left the house…and hubby had to do the morning routine and get 4 kids out all on his own…

    Highlights of the Morning and “Commute”

    • I woke up much earlier than normal.   Showered, and ran downstairs to make some instant coffee.  I got dressed in a dress and black blazer, and actually blow dried my hair to make it more presentable.
    • Red woke up during this time.   She is always the early riser of the bunch.   She was a bit cranky.
    • Big Bro last night asked me to leave him a note with the names of the games on my iPad – I downloaded some and then wrote the note as I promised.   So I left the note for him by his bed.  I also left a note for Red – “I ♥ you   – Mommy
    • Since she was cranky we went back into her room to find her note.   I sat with her and read it to her and told her Big Bro received a note so I HAD to leave a note for her too.   She looked at me and started to smile – still holding it in but then jumped on my lap and gave me the biggest hug.    That made my morning and the feeling will help me through the morning since I didn’t have time with my other children.
    • The ride to the airport was easy – we live very close.  I parked in the hourly parking lot.
    • Got the ticket at the kiosk – business select – breezed through security
    • Grabbed fruit, yogurt, coffee, and juice – the best breakfast ever.   I ACTUALLY ATE!!!    AND I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYONE EXCEPT FOR MYSELF!!!
    • Make up in bathroom (this I guess was part of my usual routine — but there was lots more counter-space and lots more light)
    • Now on flight.   And its quiet!   I don’t have any kids jumping around or trying to run down the isles or looking behind or kicking the seat in front or needing an activity or complaining that they are hungry/thirsty/tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • However, I do need to prepare for a major presentation I will give 3 hours from now.
    • Text from Hubby:   “Everyone was in a bad mood.   [Red] crying and not eating.  Twins fighting over yogurt…. spilling all over.   Dad exhausted and heading into long day.  [Big Bro] was sleeping in and ok.”
    • And another coffee on flight… my third…. yes I’m flying high at this point
    Highlights of my Working Day:
    • Met up with Director and grabbed a taxi to the client.
    • Looked through presentation and made some last notes to myself for talking points.
    • Met with client 1/2 hour before the meeting so she could give last minute guidance; also sold the concept of another project to her and she is excited and completely on board.  She needs to coordinate with some others in the organization but it looks like we can add them to our list of interested participants in the study we are jointly conducting with our partner.   YEAH!!!
    • Had a 1 hour presentation where we presented some very sensitive material.   I tactfully handled areas of sensitivity that I knew of, however there was a person on the phone who was not part of the process at all and was extremely defensive.   We were challenged by him since 1) we tried to include him in our previous interviews/discussions but he sent a proxy instead — so he was working with us on the first time with a lot of these issues; and 2) he was on the phone and not face-to-face.   Face to face with these kinds of meetings is so much better so you can establish actual connections to the people.   In the end though the leadership gave us high accolades, again, so we felt good about the work.
    • At this point it’s 1:30 — grab taxi to airport.   We’re at different terminals, so I’m on my own.  Go thru security, I’m starved…
    • Grab lunch — pizza, and a BIG heffeweisen beer.   I’m psyched.    During lunch/beer I start writing the proposal that is due this week.   I actually made a lot of progress and then realized my flight was boarding so quickly closed down and ran to the gate

    Work and beer go together wonderfully

    • Continued the proposal on the plane; talked business with the guy next to me — he had some ideas for this Blog so I am grateful for meeting him.
    • Grabbed another beer — the day is getting better and better.
    • Grab car – head home.   I go to ferry station to drop off the Audi and pick up the mini-van.
    • Head home and continue to work on the proposal for another hour.   Get it to a point where I can email to a Director on East Coast so he will look at it and then give me his feedback (he is 3 hours ahead of me which works well).
    • Talk to Hubby.   The plan is for me to pick up the kids and get to the ferry station in time for them to see the boat arrive.   I’m on my way!!!
    Dinner and Bedtime:
    • Pick up kids — WHAT A REUNION.    I did not see them a lot the previous night, and definitely didn’t see them in the morning.  So this was fun.  Big Bro was talking about the note I left for him.  He likes it and said he’s always going to keep it.   I have to write him more notes [feeling guilty…]
    • Red was wearing her pajamas from the night before – I guess Hubby had a hard time dressing her this AM.    Then I notice that Big Bro is wearing the same shirt as yesterday (that he also slept in).   I’m wondering if he at least changed his underwear and socks?   Oh well.
    • Ferry came in and all kids were fixated on the boat, and seeing Daddy.
    • At home with everyone!    I played with kids; tickled, hugged, laughed, ran, I love the reunions.
    • Red needed to pee and wanted privacy; Twin Crazy was running around; Big Bro was playing with a beach-ball “globe”; Twin Husky was cranky — wanting Daddy and his doggie blanket.
    • Dinner went great; Big Bro ate like a champ.   Hubby brought out mangos which were a hit
    • Afterwards we played – animals, balls, cars — and the kids all helped putting toys away
    • All kids went to sleep quickly
    So, it was an unusual travel day with significant work presentations… hubby had to pick up the slack in the AM for me to be able to even do any of this.    The kids looked good and healthy – they were a bit smelly from old clothes but that is the least of my concerns.   We were happy to be back together and getting back into our normal routine together.
    All in all a very good day –
    Till tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    August 10: A bag with a computer, presentations, high heels, baguette, package of cheese and chutney

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:


    • While getting ready i heard Red crying; she was in one of those moods where she just laid there in a ball crying, and didn’t tell me what was wrong.  I try to be patient but it is hard.   What is it sweetie?   Why are you upset?  Did you have a good night sleep?   What can I do to make it better?   She was handling her loosened pony-tail.   Is it your hair?   do you want met to fix that for you?   Still no answer.   Twin Crazy came into the room and pointed to Red, “talking” in her baby talk and me responding “Yes, Red is upset.  She is sad.”   Twin Crazy is very empathetic and she gets it when someone is upset.  I have an idea.   Can you help me with my lotions?   She helped hold the bottles as I got my face cream and eye cream on.  That seemed to help.
    • Twin Crazy came in with two toothbrushes and was saying “brush”.  She loves to brush her teeth.
    • I still couldn’t find my brush since Twin Crazy took it downstairs yesterday and it never made its way back upstairs.   So Red, Twin Crazy and I went downstairs.
    • I fixed Red’s hair in a pony-tail and I asked her to tell me how Daycare does it.   She directed me with water first, then brush, then put in pony-tail.   So I told her that I was going to follow her directions exactly as she told me.   She seemed VERY happy from that point on.
    • Finding clothes was a bit of an issue this AM since we have 6 loads of unfolded laundry in our back bedroom.  I had to do some searching.   I came out with jeans for Big Bro but he wanted shorts so I asked him to go and look for some.  He got overwhelmed with the back bedroom but then I found him fishing for some in the dryer.  He was successful and found a pair of his favorite shorts.
    • I then diapered the Twins, talked to them.   Twin Crazy was reading a book.   Twin Husky was playful and I asked him if I could kiss his belly.   They are so sweet.
    • OK!   Time to get in the car!!!    I pack up the bag with their jackets and shoes.   Big Bro finds some books to bring to school.   Both drop-offs went wonderfully.

    We are on the ferry now, it is grey but the water is flat.  Some people are chatting with each other but many are reading books or listing to music.  I wonder what they do for work.  I wonder what their situations are with kids – do they have any and at what ages?   I feel so old to be having these kids so young.  We see some of these faces at daycare in the mornings but for some reason we mind our own business.  This is a nice way to commute, probably one that cannot get any better.


    Today at work I am going to be hustling:

    • I have to get the presentation complete for our huge meeting tomorrow
    • I need to confirm objectives for potential project so I can start that proposal
    • I will have a face-to-face meeting with an old client who will give us some insight on potential business opportunities and guidance for 2 proposals under consideration so they do not die.

    So – it will be a busy day for me.  I will again need to hit the ground running.  I wish we had a good bagel place by our office.


    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • got myself ready in the ladies room – make up and hair
    • grabbed tea, water, and an entire box of fig newtons.  This was my breakfast.  I need to get better at this – I need to start bringing in something healthy to eat – yogurt, fruit, or something.   This is getting ridiculous.
    • worked on the presentation that I will deliver to the “expanded” client team, tomorrow.  The content is there, it just needs to be repackaged for this new audience.   I received feedback from our client as to what to include, so I hit the ground and attacked the presentation.   It was in great shape for Director review; very few edits.   We went to press with it and then sent it to the client for them to print on their end.  Tomorrow’s meeting makes me a bit nervous since we may have some push-back from people – especially if they are on the defensive.   But the Senior EVP will be in the meeting too so hopefully that will keep the meeting tame.
    • sent out a draft of project objectives and key questions for a proposal due this week; once potential client confirms, I will be able to write the proposal.  I will likely write it on the plane tomorrow if I receive feedback from him early enough.
    • joined a business lunch that was rushed but got chicken parmesan so that made up for my shitty breakfast.
    •  went to face-to-face meeting with an old client – he is moving on to another company so this was really to catch up with him and also gain his help in understanding who we can contact within the company for work and also follow up on status of two outstanding proposals to them.   On the way back from the meeting the Director and I talked through a go-to-market plan for this client/organization on who we should be talking with; we are going to start setting up meetings to do this; i love this kind of stuff – being more client facing versus managing a team to get the work done – project management is fine when the team is dependable but it is really hard when they are not – then the work falls on you and I just don’t have the time available to deliver a team’s worth of work myself – I only have a limited number of hours in the day and fewer than what most consultants are able to do.
    • picked up the presentation materials, packed up my computer.   I’m now headed to an appointment so I have all sorts of things with me; iPad, computer, presentations, my high-heel shoes,etc.   I sort of look like a bag lady but with too much technology.


    Commute Home:

    During Wednesday nights I have these appointments so Hubby holds down the fort and we now have a NEW mother’s helper so I don’t feel guilty.    If I’m lucky,  I will be able to see Red and Big Bro off to bed, and only if they are dragging out their teeth, PJs, and book routine.   So I’ll think of them now and miss them.   Wednesday nights are hard for me for so many reasons.
    4:45 PM:  NOTE:  There is a woman on the train who is bouncing her baby too much.   he’s in a baby Bjorn but she is honestly physically comforting him too much.   She must be a new mom.   She does not realize that she is creating a spoiled child who will not be able to soothe himself – creating a being who will be dependent on her for his satisfaction.   What the hell is she doing?  She’s bouncing all over the place and hopping.   I know I did this with my first, but by 3 and 4, you know better and I want to tell this woman to stop it but I know I can’t.  There she goes again, bouncing all over the place.   Even though the kid does not need to be bounced now.   STOP IT PLEASE YOU ARE MAKING ME NUTS WITH THE BOUNCING YOUR KID IS NOT FUSSING NOW AND YOU ARE CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WILL DRAIN YOU FOR YEARS ON END.   Whew.  That feels better.


    6:50 PM.  OK.   My appointment finished and I had to wait and wait and wait for a train to take me back downtown to take the last ferry home.   It is absolutely freezing outside.   I really have had it with where I live.   I don’t know if I’ll have time to grab the glass of wine I was hoping for.


    7:34.   Yes, I did.  Unfortunately I had to guzzle the glass of wine.  I shoved just one bite of baguette with some Mt. Tam cheese; had to wrap the rest, including the chutney.  So now I have a bag with some presentations, a computer, a baguette, and a saran package of cheese and chutney that I’m sure is fallout out all over the place.   There are few people on the ferry tonight.  I feel buzzed with the one glass of wine that I downed in less than 10 minutes.   It is freezing outside.   Think October/Nov weather.   I hope the kids did well tonight.


    8:05 PM:   I’m still not used to the iPad and as I’m walking home in the freezing cold (windy, cold, snot dripping from my nose) I hear the Bee Jees coming from the iPad in my bag.   I need to figure out how to work this thing.


    8:15 PM:   tuck Red and Big Bro in bed.   Ask them how their day went.   Scratch Big Bro’s back.   Talk to Red about a lot of stuff I don’t remember now.   I tell them about my trip on the airplane tomorrow and how I think I’ll be back in time for their dinner.   Big Bro asks me to see what games are on my iPad and tell him…. I tell him I’ll leave him a note so he can see it in the morning.   Now I have to figure out games on iPad…. I’m going to finish the baguette and cheese with hubby as I do this….

    Till tomorrow


    – Mama K

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