November 8: So much happening!

Chocolate Tuesday! That meant that Big Bro was up and ready. We woke up to all of the kids up at the same time.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I gave big hugs and kisses to everyone in the morning. This is a little thing that I do without fail, for each of them, every day. I even used to sing a song for it, but now with so many kids it would take too long….
  • At one point in the morning before I got into the shower, I looked at the kids and it was the funniest thing. They were all standing shoulder to shoulder, just watching me as I got my things together to get ready to get to the shower. It was so strange yet so cute. 8 big eyeballs focused on my every movement. I felt like I was on stage. I thought a perfect picture opportunity but by the time I got the camera the older ones (wiser) were out of there and I only had the Twins left in position.
  • Breakfast was great for all; Chocolate Tuesdays are always a bit easier than the other days. Twin Crazy was already dressed but she had oatmeal all down herself. She is getting very particular about being dirty, especially her hands. So she was reasonably upset. I gathered another set of clothes for her and got her changed when she was ready.
  • I gathered clothes for Big Bro and Red and had such a hard time getting them dressed. They kept rejecting the outfits. I know we have better luck when they pick out their clothes, but we will need to do this the night before just for logistics. I’ll try that tonight. Get them to pick out their stuff and I’ll have everything ready downstairs for the next morning.
  • We were running a bit late so we divided the drop offs. Hubby did Big Bro and the Twins. I dropped off Red. We took our time. I had a alot of extra hairbands on my wrist so I had her pick out her hairband for today and also she wanted extras to be kept at school. We wet her hair in her school bathroom and she showed me all of the pottys. And the wall where you line up and wait. She had fun showing me these things. I wet her hair and then I sat her down and took my time putting her hair into a pony-tail. Probably too much time. But I enjoyed this time with her. She then picked out the hairband for me to wear today. She gave me lots of hugs on my way out. I told her I wanted to “bottle them up”. She wouldn’t stop. I then suggested she give her teacher some hugs. That was a good transition for me to leave her room.
  • Her school is closed this Friday so I am looking forward to spending more time with her. I will take the day off if my reduced work-week is not approved by then.

Now I’m on the ferry, the sun is out but it is cold. I feel like I had sufficient time with Red today but felt rushed with the rest. I feel a bit empty on those mornings when I do not connect with each of them in some special way. I helped Twin Crazy get clean, and joked with Big Bro about how he doesn’t want to kiss or hug me in front of his friends, but poor Twin Husky was a bit out of my reach this morning. I helped him when his leg get stuck in a chair but that was basically it. I’ll want to spend extra time with him tonight.

For work today, I have several meetings set up but I don’t remember what they are for. I will also need to start on project work, and I really need to close up loose ends with the meetings that just passed. It should be a busy day.

HIghlights of My Working Day:
OMG so much happened today that I am really not sure where to begin. I just walked onto the ferry for home with the biggest smile on my face.

  • I had a quick meeting today to plan for a client project that I will be delivering. We talked about potential sources of information and people in the industry that we need to talk to, to get the information we need to complete the project. My colleague also found an AMAZING source document that will be the basis from which to start the work. I was drooling over it. It was the kind of thing that I want to close my door and read and immediately create the working documents that will serve as our deliverable. It was terrific. I will have fun with this project.
  • I also lead a team meeting for a firm initiative that we are partnering with; essentially we need to rethink our approach to our service offering based upon conversations we’ve (I’ve) had with potential members/clients. We need to think through the target audience and also clearly define how our offering will be different from others based upon our new thinking of approach. I put myself on the line to modify our sales materials and distribute to the team so that we can secure more clients to participate in the effort. It was another successful call and I feel hopeful for this initiative. It would involve more meeting planning and travel – but more client facing and relationship building, which I am excited about. I would also get credit for the sales initiative and developing a service offering from scratch.
  • I spent some time looking through a “Request for Proposal” and thinking through our firm’s questions for clarification, which are due on Thursday. The Director has asked me to consolidate the questions and send off to the client by due date — so he is pointing to me to lead the client management for this proposal.
  • I had a discussion with two Directors about my proposal for reduced workweek. Both support what I want to do, but both raise risks/concerns about me being out of sight out of mind. They therefore want me to be in the office for 2 of the 3 working days. They also want me to continue being aggressive with sales – this will be important for my personal development as well as the growth of the office. They see me as part of our office/firm leadership and they want me to make sure that I am aggressive and use my time wisely to be client facing and team facing. They don’t want me to back down on my approach to sales. They think I have what it takes play a bigger role in office management – even with the reduction in work week! I am so psyched about how things are working out for me – they definitely value my contribution and they NEED ME and WANT ME to stay, to continue to grow, and continue to work with our clients to build a strong management presence in our office. So happy. Really. So happy.

So I am on the ferry now with a huge weight lifted off of my chest. This has been a long time coming. My company has been so patient with me. I have devoted 8 1/2 years to them and had to prove myself in different ways but also prove that I am VALUED, versatile, and willing to work together as a team to think through a working arrangement that will benefit me, my family, my children, and the company. I FEEL LIKE CELEBRATING!!!!!!!!!!

Hoooo-hummm. But now what do I do for dinner?!?!?!? My poor kiddos. I’ll get better at this, really. What do I do with my Twins this Thursday and Friday?!??!?!?! The zoo, visit to the city, aquarium, hmmmmmm – the possibilities are ENDLESS.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red first and for some reason she burst into tears. She must have had a hard day for some reason. The teachers couldn’t really explain it. Then was the pick up for Big Bro and the Twins.
  • I cooked a REALLY quick dinner of mac-n-cheese, frozen peas, and frozen shrimp. Big Bro made “name tags” for the family and set them at the table where each person would sit. Red helped mix the cheese powder with milk. Twin Crazy was busy drinking (and spilling) water out of a cup. Twin Husky was playing with a pot and had some water in it so he felt like he was cooking too. Before you knew it, the dinner was ready and the kids were done eating at 6:15!!!
  • Afterwards we colored (Twins!), did puzzles, ran around with soccer balls, danced, and drank chocolate milk.
  • The Twins love brushing their teeth.
  • Red got upset that I forgot to give her a second half of a banana. My heart broke because of HOW she said it. The anguish in her voice and her face just broke my heart. I had to explain to her that I forgot to give her the other half of the banana — it wasn’t HER, it was ME. I forgot by accident, not on purpose, and that I was so sorry. I held her in the kitchen as she ate a banana and she looked at me with such a smile on her face. I wanted that moment to last so I was slow as I walked her up the stairs.

Now I’m on the couch thinking back on the day, thinking about tomorrow (I will be quite busy), and also thinking about Thursday and Friday — what to do with the kids?!?!?!?! I’m excited.

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

August 19: Getting ready to camp – first time as a family of SIX

I had a glass of wine last night with dinner and in my middle-age I am feeling it this morning.  We have some extra time to get folks together this morning since I will be working from home.  We are getting ready for our camping weekend with other families of multiples — this should be a crazy but fun weekend seeing all the twins and triplets.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • I got out of the shower hearing Red crying.  She was upset that her band-aids on her owie were off.  She wanted new ones.  The Hello Kitty ones.    I was not dressed so I needed her to wait until I got some clothes on.  She also requested that I wear the socks that match hers… the white ones with the grey toes.   OK sweetie.
  • I head downstairs to get the band aids and my socks that she requested.   I meet her upstairs and she has already picked out her clothes for the day and is dressed.   I just help her fold up her sleeves, and also fold up her pants… HIGH.   She is particular this morning so she may need some extra attention.
  • I get dressed quickly and check in on Big Bro.  Red climbs on me like a monkey.   Big Bro wants to wear shorts but he has rejected all the newer shorts I bought for him at the beginning of the year.  So I suggest he wear pants and he can wear his old shorts from yesterday over the weekend on the camping trip.  He thinks this is a good idea.
  • We all head downstairs.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are busy eating blueberries and cereal.   They are excited to see us
  • Twin Husky likes closing doors now.  Garage doors, refrigerator doors, bedroom doors, etc.  I meet him closing the garage door and almost on Twin Crazy.
  • One of Twin Crazy “lovey” blankets is clean so now she is walking around with two of them completely happy.
  • Twin Husky is playing with a stuffed animal rabbit pointing to eyes, ears, mouth, etc. and then both Twins are pointing to their own.  So sweet.
  • Diaper changes with both of them were really easy this morning since I had the 2 blankets and the rabbit as props.
  • Twin Crazy found a red marker and proceeded to write all over her hands, face, and white rug.
  • I threw some laundry into the washing machine.
  • Twin Crazy pointed to her ear which is what we do when we say that we hear something.  I listen and the dishwasher is on.   So we all go into the kitchen and look at the dishwasher.  We feel the dishwasher vibrate.  We talk about how the dishes are getting cleaned and there’s lots of water and the machine is what we hear and feel.   Twin Husky loved it.  They were so cute.  I love doing things like this with them.  Stopping what I’m doing to teach them something new.   To listen to them and react to what they’re trying to communicate and/or ask.   I really try to stop when I can for them so show them that I respect who they are and what they need.

Can you hear what I hear? Kids listening and feeling the dishwasher

  • Then the blueberries went flying and smashed in the white rug.  We just had the rug professionally cleaned so we’re not too happy about that.
  • Red was having difficulty with her cuffs – she kept getting upset about the size of the cuffs on her arms and pants; they had to be even and just right.
  • Eventually got Big Bro dressed in pants
  • Got them vitamins
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!   I was doing the drop offs solo since Hubby will come back early and therefore couldn’t take the ferry due to scheduling.  We are hoping to leave for our camping trip a bit early.    the bag with extra clothes for daycare was already packed so I threw that along with the shoes in the car.
  • Drop offs went fine — Red was still a bit particular about the cuffs.

On the drive home I’m thinking about work.   It will be a busy day getting the proposal together and sent off.  I am hoping that I will be able to leave for camping by 3ish so I do not want to be the last one holding the Master of this thing until 5 PM.  I need to get everything packed and kids picked up early so DO NOT want to be stuck with this proposal.    I’m hoping it goes smoothly today.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • At home a make a huge pot of coffee.  Eat a bagel.   Eat the leftover blueberries and cereal that the Twins did not destroy.
  • Wrote out this post.  Now I need to switch gears and get on work email to see how the proposal stands.  I have a meeting in 20 minutes to prepare for.  I’m hoping the day goes smoothly.  I’m looking forward to the weekend with the kids in a brand new environment with all activities provided to us.
  • Had a call with the team about the proposal.   There is more to do but we’re in good shape.   Some empty areas to fill but we got those areas assigned.   I now own the Master document.
  • I took the proposal as far as I could go and then sent it to our Admin for formatting – and also to merge the last remaining pieces from people.   All open items are clearly laid out so she knows what is missing.
  • I eat some lunch at 1:15.
  • We have a call at 2 PM to discuss pricing.
  • It is now 1:30 PM and I need to:  pack for all kids for camping trip (clothes, books, cards, games, sleep stuff); pack for me (clothes, beer, pills), and pack food.   I need to do this in 30 minutes (less than that actually since I’m typing right now) before the 2 PM call.
So, I’m going to sign off now.  Hopefully I’ll get the packing done and be ready for the 2 PM call.  Hopefully the call won’t go beyond 3 PM and hopefully I will not have to do anything after that.   I want to be packed, kids picked up, and on the road somewhere between 3 and 4 PM.
I’m really looking forward to our camping trip.   This will be the first time with our family of six.   My camera battery is all charged – I’m sure there will be lots to capture.   I just hope that we don’t lose Twin Husky, our outdoor man of adventure.
Everyone have a great weekend!
Til Monday,
-Mama K

August 18: Ready, get set, GO!!!

This morning was extremely rushed – for some reason hubby and I both slept through the alarm and woke up to Twin Husky talking at 7:15.   We had to hustle.   But we promised both older kids that they could take showers this morning (badly needed) – we both jumped out of bed and started RUNNING.

  • I woke up Big Bro and Red.   I got their clothes ready in piles and got them ready for their showers.  Big Bro would go in next after Hubby.
  • I grabbed Twin Husky and Twin Crazy next.  They were happy that it was morning and it was a new day.
  • I corralled all kids into our bathroom (it is actually really big so we weren’t cramped at all).
  • Big Bro jumped in shower.   He does good in the shower by himself but needs some help with the “important parts”.
  • I diapered the Twins.  They were busy playing with brushes and pointing at things and saying “That!”
  • Big Bro is out!   Get dry and dressed!   Mommy and Red are in!!!!   The shower was like a revolving door this morning.   The water never shut off.   Hubby in and out, Big Bro in and out, Red/Mommy in and out.   It was seriously crazy.
  • Mommy and Red are in!!!  Quick showers.   She is so sweet.  I had to be careful with her owie.
  • We all got dressed quickly and then ran downstairs.  Twins were already down with Hubby.  Big Bro ate a bagel quickly.  We packed an envelope of oatmeal for Red.   Hubby packed me a bagel (THANK YOU)
  • TIME TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Drop offs were very quick.  Hubby and I are on the ferry now still decompressing.   We had literally 45 minutes to get all four kids out today – and we were set behind because of two out-of-the-ordinary showers.   I don’t know how we did it.

Today at work I will be focusing on the proposal.   All day.   I’m not looking forward to it that much but it will get done.

The sky is foggy, grey.   Not that cold though which is nice.  A lot of people are playing with their phones and iPads.  I got some new gear for my iPad that I’m excited about and also BUSINESS CARDS for Mama In Motion.   I’m going to start giving them out soon once I become brave enough.    I will work on the recipe submission for today as well.   I’ve received a lot of recipes from folks so thank you to all.  Keep them coming.  I have a backlog now so it may take a while for you to see your submission.

I’m going to get a coffee now!

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Answered some questions to potential members of a new forum we are creating
  • Talked to the whitepaper client and she liked our work.  She will arrange to come in our office in the next two weeks to talk about other work.
  • Set up a meeting with a potential client for Monday afternoon.   We gave him a proposal yesterday and he will visit us on-site on MOnday.
  • Picked up some lunch to eat at my desk; while picking it up I stopped in my kids’ old day-care center.   We miss it there so much.  It was great to know that the kids were right downstairs in my office building — that I was close to them in case I needed to be.   We loved that center and the people there.  I even had an opportunity to hold a baby…. a TWIN that the Center Director had; she is 8 months old – I held her and I saw her brother sleeping.   How sweet.   I just can’t imagine working in a place where my kids were literally a few rooms away.   I held that baby and something just clicked in me; that mothering sway and holding her and smelling her head.   I just love it.   How amazing.   Thank you Mama J for the diversion today!!!
  • Spent most of the day working on a HUGE proposal.  It was actually a stressful day; I still had more that I would have liked to do but I had to run to the ferry.    I can’t get back on-line until 8:30 PM tonight after the kids go to bed, so I handed off what I’ve done to two other team members, who will take it further.   I’ll check email at 8:30 to see if there is something more I can do.   We will then send the draft to the East Coast so our other Partner can pick it up and work on it further since he will be 3 hours ahead.   We will likely have a team meeting in the AM to divide, conquer, and send out the final proposal.
  • Made changes to the proposal during our end of day meeting and literally emailed it to the others as I was packing up – I have a ferry to catch!

So now I’m on the ferry.   I tried to give out some business cards while folks were waiting in line but I got about 6 rejections in a row so I got discouraged and ran back to Hubby in line.   I need to think about a better pitch than “Are you a working mom?”.   Sooo lame.

I also have some flowers with me that a friend sent to me yesterday – they are absolutely stunning.   Soooooo beautiful.  Thank you so much Ted!   You are a wonderful friend and so thoughtful!

It is still cold outside, but it’s a bit sunny.   We are going camping this weekend on a trip organized by a parents of multiples club – so just imagine about 20 families going camping with all of these twins and triplets everywhere.   We’re going to start packing tonight and we will hopefully leave a bit early tomorrow afternoon.   I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Where are all the working mothers on this ferry??!??!?!??!

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Pick up for Big Bro was  a bit sad; he was just sitting on the couch looking out of it.  He claimed his stomach hurt but one of the teachers said there were some older kids playing a DS (??? what is that?) and she asked them to share with Big Bro but they ignored her.   So he may just be sad/depressed and not really sick
  • Pick up for Red/Twins was cute.  They were going for a walk again.  They all seemed happy.
  • In the garage things got crazy.  Twin Husky kept pushing the van button to open, close, open, close the van door.   Then I went around to the other side and he was running away from me.  He is such a boy.
  • Inside things got progressively crazier.   I set up Big Bro on the couch with a movie.
  • Red requested socks.  Don’t ask me why she took off her old socks with her shoes and why she needed a new pair.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a rubber band which frightened me a bit.
  • Twin Husky got lost.  I heard him, but could not find him.   I eventually found him in his room with the door closed.   “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyy”.   I had to go over to him and tickle and kiss him on the floor he was so cute.
  • We’re doing an old standby for dinner – boxed mac n cheese and chicken nuggets.  Hubby and I are going to order Indian Food for us.
  • We talked about camping.   Red asked if we will bring “SACKS” there.   I said, “Socks, of course we can bring socks there.” “No mommy, not sacks, SACKS.   Like graham crackers.”   Ohhhhhhhhhh.   Snacks.   “Do I have lions in my ears again?”   I applauded her for going out of her way to explain to me what she meant, instead of breaking down in tears like she usually does.  She’s getting so much better at her conversations.
  • For some reason we kept walking up and down the stairs – I don’t remember why.   Red pointed out that we were both wearing white socks with grey toes.   She has a thing for socks lately.
  • Mother’s Helper was busy doing laundry and rearranging the closets.
  • Daycare asked for more clothes for the twins so I packed stuff up for them for tomorrow and next week.
  • Twin Crazy was walking around with a book.  Someone (Hubby) eventually read it to her.
  • All kids ate well at dinner, including Big Bro.
  • Hubby started packing for the camping trip – all of our gear.  We may need to get some flashlights because I have a feeling the little ones will be fighting over them.  It would be good for each of us to have our own flashlight.
  • Twins went down for bed
  • Notary public came to the house for us to sign loan docs
  • We rushed Red and Big Bro to bed
  • Signed loan docs
  • Ate Indian food
  • Hubby is now continuing to pack; I wrote a list of clothes and food to pack tomorrow (I will work from home).
This was a crazy day – running non-stop essentially the entire day.  After I post this I will need to check work email to see if I need to do anything with the proposal tonight.   I swear the tension in my neck and shoulders is so bad…. this whole day was running.    But I got some good tickles and kisses in there and Red was really cute today with lots of interaction and talking and mothering her little brother and sister.
All in all a good day, but hectic day.
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
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