Goodbye November – Recap


I feel like I’m slacking in capturing the highlights from these four kids. There’s just too many of them that I fall behind – here’s a recap from last week

Thursday:

  • Big Bro helped Twin Husky get dressed when he started having some problems
  • Drop offs were fine for Big Bro and Red; on the way back home Twin Crazy, Twin Husky and I went food shopping. They love the “car cart”.
  • We drove around the neighborhood looking for a reservoir that should be close-by (I am still extremely fearful of earthquakes and I want to know where this reservoir is… it should be walkable from the house) and we saw some stunning decorations; one that caught our eye was this low, low tree with RED red leaves and HUGE ornaments. It was gorgeous. I’m noticing that Twin Crazy is using the word “gorgeous” a lot recently. She cracks me up.
  • We relaxed on the couch by the fire and read books; kids played with stickers
  • At night we did homework, and then the kids turned the living room into a “campsite”. Big Bro and Red were the mommy and daddy, and everyone had blankets and pillows out. They were teaching the little ones their numbers and the alphabet, and then they said it was time for night-night. They were going to pretend that dinner (that I was cooking) would actually be breakfast. They were having a ton of fun together. Twin Husky was a bit left out (as usual) but he did make his way into the group a bit. He was very particular about how he was positioning his “animals” for sleep on his blanket. Too cute.

20121202-203208.jpg

20121202-203226.jpg

20121202-203258.jpg

Friday:

  • RAIN RAIN RAIN; it was crazy wet outside. Big Bro was shuttling the kids from the house to the van with an umbrella.
  • After dropping off Red, the Twins wanted to stop by their classroom quickly to say Hi to their friends and show their teachers their bears and fluffy pillows
  • The three of us went to Home Depot for some gardening tools – a cheap rototiller and I found some pots on sale
  • Bathtime! Lunchtime! Naptime! While the kids napped, I tilled the entire garden area and broke the tool that I just bought.   It was actually a great activity.  It was only lightly raining and the sun was out – so it was really nice being outside and getting physical with my new project.
  • After picking up the kids we went to Home Depot to replace above rototiller. We looked at the HUGE holiday light decorations and the kids got a bit sidetracked.
  • We then went to buy rainboots for Red and Big Bro. We went to TWO STORES with NO LUCK. I wound up sitting with them on the floor using my phone with the Amazon app and bought them boots for our “farm”
  • On the way to the car we were surprised by Santa Clause! There was no one there! It was like he was just waiting for us and only us. At first the kids were apprehensive about sitting with him but then I announced that who-ever got a picture with Santa while SMILING would get an ice-cream/or dessert immediately afterwards. Suddenly Santa was rushed by the kids.
  • We went to Starbucks and split a bunch of rice-krispie treats and hot chocolate.

20121202-203322.jpg

20121202-203345.jpg

20121202-203405.jpg

20121202-203419.jpg

20121202-203444.jpg

20121202-203501.jpg

I had a great end of the week with the kids. Fridays are not a bad night since we know we will see each other the next day. When I got home by myself, I went to work on some cedar gardening beds in my living room – this required drilling that I had never really done before and I worked until 11:30 PM.

20121202-203528.jpg

The rest of the weekend:

The next AM I put mole-wiring all over the garden area and then got showered and shopped at Trader Joes’ in enough time to have some friends over with their kids. We had a great time and I loved their visit. The kids had soooooooooooooo much fun that Twin Husky was even walking around saying how much fun he was having – and Red drew a picture of their family that she wants to send to them.

Last night during book time Red announced that someone in her old classroom was dead — ugggh I knew this was going to come but it took me by surprise; I didn’t know that her teachers had told her anything yet. I wound up sitting with her past bed-time for close to 2 hours, being with her while she thrashed around (and hid her face from me), sat quietly, then we talked, she asked a TON of questions, and then we drew pictures together for this child’s family. She happily went to sleep (thankfully) with smiles from ear to ear. I’m not sure if it was the talk that we had, the way her questions were answered, the drawings that she did for the family, or the time that I spent with her, but I’m just glad this kid went to sleep with a smile on her face and a gleam back in her eye. She is the one that worries me.  In fact, looking back at the pictures of her shows a girl who is a bit “off”.  I didn’t pick up on anything unusual, which bothers me a bit.

Today, Sunday was a rain downpour again in the AM. Our backyard was a river. It was exciting investigating the river with the kids. We had neighborhood kids over all day today and Red seemed to be back on track. Big Bro was having the time of his life with some boys in the neighborhood. Today they are finding worms (and getting soaked)… tomorrow….???!???!?! They were too cute.

20121202-203544.jpg

20121202-203553.jpg

Sunday nights are harder for me since I do not see the kids until Wednesday afternoon. Twin Crazy screamed the entire way to co-parent’s. The rest of the kids were quiet. I returned home and just had to put my head down to take a breather. The weekend was more emotional than I would have liked; I’m thinking of the kids now and hoping they are OK as they go down to bed.  I’m worried about my girls.

Have a great week everyone –

– Mama K

Advertisements

November 28: Lovely rain


Today was a good day of rain with me working from home and then reuniting with the kids.

  • Woke up to the rain; looked outside at the yard and the trees and fell in love with this house again
  • Got ready for work which meant comfy clothes and slippers.   Working by the fireplace with Cocoa who kept me company while she ate and played all day.
  • Work was good.  Conference calls.  Client follow ups.   A good day.

  • Went to pick up Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky early because of a doctor appointment later that day.   Bad move.  All had interrupted naps which caused problems later.  BUT – the reunions were priceless.  I hugged Red for I think 5 minutes non-stop just outside of her classroom; Twin Husky woke up to see me and grabbed my nose and hugged me.  Twin Crazy couldn’t stop yelling “Mommy”, “Mommy”, “Mommy” even though I begged her to whisper since her other classmates were sleeping.
  • I took a conference call on the way, during, and after Big Bro’s pick up.   I love “mute”.
  • We went to the pediatrician for Big Bro’s wellness visit.  The kids played great in the waiting room.  Big Bro was awesome during the visit.  The doctor mentioned that he is doing really good at being dirty.   How embarrassing.
  • The kids got to pick from a trunk full of crap toys – these crap toys really caused me issues when we got home; kids were tired and cranky, and these crap toys I’m sure were made in China and self-destructed within 2 minutes of play.

  • When we got home Twin Husky helped me with the garbage bins (our thing together).   Red played with Cocoa.  Big Bro did 2 pages of math homework and then went out looking for friends.  No-one was home so he took a shower and then watched some TV as I made dinner.   Twin Crazy and Twin Husky by this point were acting crazy.  No naps kills us.
  • Dinner was fine; dessert was fruit
  • Afterwards I colored with Red, Big Bro played with Cocoa.  And the Twins were going nuts.
  • Booktime was fine; we read a book about divorce and in the story the kid looks up to the moon when he misses the other parent.  I said that’s what I do too…. in fact that’s what I did the night before.  The kids were intrigued by this.  I showed them the photograph that I took… a big, full moon with little clouds scattered everywhere that picked up the moonlight and actually looked like lace… I took a photo and showed it to them tonight.   I asked them that whenever they miss me at night they should look up to the moon because I am doing that too.  And whenever they miss me by day, they should look up to the sky because I am doing that too.

I wish it were that easy.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

November 8: Back to my new normal


Thursday is my day with the Twins and early pickups with Big Bro and Red.
Things I loved about today:

  • Waking up to Twin Crazy and his “Zebra” and having me kiss he Zebra on demand to his feet, ears, nose, etc. etc. etc.
  • Chocolate Thursday for breakfast, the kids happy, Cocoa sitting on the ottoman, and the fireplace on.  Two huge cups of coffee and feeling really good for the drive to Big Bro’s school
  • The soft rain outside, the smell of the trees, and the smell of someone’s fireplace. I feel like I am in a ski town now
  • How Big Bro and Twin Husky were doing great together today sharing balls; Big Bro was amazing with him today
  • Finding Red snuggled on the couch with Cocoa when I thought she was still sleeping in the van from the drive home
  • Dealing with Twin Husky after he found his rainboots; then Twin Crazy found hers. They were wearing them ALL DAY LONG and loving it
  • Having a little potty in my van; Twin Crazy needed it on our drive back to our house
  • Tickling Twin Husky and hearing his laugh
  • Pulling weeds and feeding the chickens with the Twins; feeling how soft the ground is and how easy the weeds come out with the root; the smell of the ground and the chill in the air and the clovers and green grass growing everywhere
  • Receiving unsolicited kisses from Twin Husky and then Twin Crazy when I tucked them in for their naps
  • Seeing Big Bro after school looking REALLY well rested; I had him sleep in as long as I could (7:30) so he got close to 12 hours of sleep last night. I could tell that it did him good today – he was so well behaved, fun, and so good with his brother/sisters
  • Doing homework with Big Bro after we got home
  • Playing kickball with a huge blue ball with the kids after getting home; Big Bro laughing and then gagging and then throwing up after the laughter. “I’m glad there were no other kids here”.
  • Having some neighborhood kids come over and kick the ball around, and then play Legos with the kids; watching Big Bro with his new best friend laughing on the top bunk of his bed as I took pictures of them
  • Seeing Twin Crazy and Twin Husky dancing non-stop when I turned the radio on in the van
  • How Big Bro is taking showers now in my room and is completely independent for this type of care
  • Seeing Red wash Twin Crazy’s hair; she is a wonderful big sister
  • Seeing Red’s beautiful ringlets of curls spiral around her face after her bath
  • Hearing Big Bro read the “book” that he created called “The Five Little Pumpkins”. How he created the book after dinner, and then offered to read it to everyone during bedtime routine
  • Flipping the girls each into bed and hearing their squeals
  • Having the kids go to sleep peacefully as soon as I tucked them in

 

20121108-215306.jpg

20121108-215333.jpg

20121108-215350.jpg

20121108-215408.jpg

20121108-215426.jpg

 

The kids were WONDERFUL today; I am HAPPY and relaxed. I’m looking forward to the Fall in this new home with them.

– Mama K

March 27: Lots of rain but no heat.


Rain! Rain! Rain! I’m moving slowly this AM. A bit from the rainy gray day, and also lack of sleep. Red was up crying last night at 1 AM and co-Parent was barely getting out of bed. She went right back to sleep but the heat was not on!!! [How much money does it really save to keep the heat off during the night?] It was 62 degrees in the house! So we were moving kindof slow today, and now ALL FOUR KIDS are sick. Sneezes, runny noses.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Chocolate Tuesday!! Twins were happy eating, even though they were sneezing intermittently.
  • Red and Big Bro were still upstairs, slumbering. It was hard to get Red up. She was moody. I had trouble with her picking out her clothes [this should be done the night before]. She had issues with the shirt, the pants. I sat with her and talked with her. I told her I felt tired. And a little bit sick. And that sometimes its hard to get moving in the morning when you feel that way. But I said I was going to eat breakfast to give me some energy (I usually don’t eat at home – lack of time). I asked her if she could help me pick out my breakfast (cream of wheat packets) and that I would eat if she would too. That seemed to work. She embraced me and we went downstairs together with her pile of clothes.
  • Red picked out my breakfast and she got ready for Chocolate Tuesday.
  • I took Twin Crazy to the potty for positive reinforcement. I told her how proud of her I am. Her face squishes up in a big smile whenever I say that. She is doing soooooooo good with potty training. Hopefully she does well today.
  • I next went to work on Big Bro. He was upstairs still in bed. I mentioned Chocolate Tuesday. He still wasn’t moving quickly. I talked about last night and how he went to sleep late and that’s why he must feel a bit tired this morning (and I do too). Then we started talking about the funny things from last night… how Red was asking in the monitor “[Big Bro], where are you?”…. and “Mommy….. I’m scared.” And we talked about how I hear them at night when they are talking to each other as they go to sleep and how I laugh when I hear them laugh and say funny things. We both were laughing at that. I put a pile of clothes together for him (favorite pair of jeans) and gave him privacy to get changed upstairs by himself.
  • I ate breakfast!!!
  • Got Big Bro’s breakfast
  • Dished out the vitamins for all of the sick kids
  • Helped Big Bro with his sneakers (our little together time)
  • Helped Red get changed; she had her backpack ready.
  • Found out that the Motley Crew was still going to RIDE today so we got Big Bro’s helmet on and off he went. I text with the other mommy which makes things really easy in the morning.
  • I packed up the Twin bag and Co-parent dropped off Twins.
  • I dropped off Red and we made a quick pit-stop to the bathroom to wipe off the chocolate off of her face. I like this one-one time with her. I took my time wiping off her face and was gentle with her. We talked about how Twin Crazy likes to wipe our faces and laughed about that. We walked into her classroom and again she was proud of her HUGE backpack. Once we got there, I realized that she showed up to school with FOUR jackets…. two spring jackets, one fleece, and one raincoat. All but one shoved in her backpack. Too cute.
  • 20120327-205525.jpg

    I arrived in the Ferry parking lot a bit early, was able to get a parking spot without a problem. Then the rain started. I sat there for a bit since I was early. I checked my email. I wondered how Big Bro’s ride was going and that hopefully they reached the school in time.

    Now I’m on the ferry and it is bumpy. It’s supposed to rain the rest of the week. I will be busy again today. I have seven meetings today and am overbooked for two of them — 3 related to forum planning, 2 related to client project, one performance review (mine), one firm-wide staff meeting/conference call. PLUS I need to still get work complete for a different client project. It will likely be quite impossible. I’ll have to lug that binder back home and focus on that tomorrow, I betcha.

    Highlights of the Working Day:
    Another busy day —

  • 2 planning meetings for forums;
  • 1 interview with a potential speaker – we are going to bring her in for the Fall, but not for the Spring since her data will be more relevant then
  • 1 primary interview for the client project
  • 1 status meeting with the client to preview initial insights from interviews and our refined thinking of the quantitative analysis
  • my annual review. It was OK. 2011 sucked and my review reflected that. But my new role with the forums is working and they will continue to focus me in that area, while allowing me the time to cultivate client relationships/project sales, but also reducing my direct involvement with project delivery. I have to keep myself focused on work and on the kids. I need for both of these aspects to stay on track – I will worry about myself later. Overall I’m pretty satisfied with the discussion.
  • So now I’m on the ferry and it is a completely rough ride. We are tossing and turning all over the place and its actually quite fun. We’re hitting big swells and I’m getting that negative g-force feeling in my stomach. Fun.

    I’m looking forward to an evening with the kids. Not sure about dinner – I have not planned that far in advance. Maybe fish since that cooks up quickly in the oven, even frozen.

    Dinner and Bedtime:
    Rain, rain, rain…

  • I picked up Red in a downpour. She wore her cute little cat raincoat.
  • We picked up Twins next. And then Big Bro. Big Bro and I ran through the rain to get his bike. We were both soaked by the time I loaded it into the trunk. Looks like we’ll be dropping him off tomorrow – we’re expecting rain the rest of the week.
  • I got everyone home and started dinner. Red was having multiple breakdowns. Crying and not talking. Not communicating the issue. She gets that way sometimes. I think the lack of sleep and feeling sick are impacting her today.
  • We found two different spiders and the kids went nuts looking at them each. I was brave and got some paper and collected the scared creatures and returned them outside. I probably drowned the poor things – they were probably escaping the rain; we rarely see spiders at all inside the house.
  • Kids ate reasonably well. Red had one or two tantrums.
  • Twin Husky has been crying on and off all night too.
  • Big Bro has been teasing a bit.
  • Co-parent is playing with the kids on the floor. He’s actually awake. No… wait… he just put his head down and is now snoozing with the kids around him. Typical. He’s just laying on the floor with his eyes closed with all of these kids surrounding him. It makes me ill.
  • Twin Crazy just came over to me for a visit. I’m going to play with her now.
  • 20120327-205559.jpg

    20120327-205610.jpg

    I’m sitting down, feeling like crap. I can barely swallow. My head is pounding. My throat hurts and my nose is running. I’m achy. I want to curl up and make this go away. I can’t stand the sound of his voice.

  • I had bedtime with Big Bro and Red. It was really fast. Twin Crazy paid us a visit and sat on Big Bro’s lap for a bit during booktime. Big Bro was trying to get me to read a second book and I wouldn’t give in. Red was acting playful despite the lack of sleep. Big Bro looked exhausted. I tucked them both in, gave them their kisses, and headed out the door.
  • 20120327-205623.jpg

    So I’m downstairs now, feeling like poop. I just ate a huge bowl of ice-cream with Rice Krispies mixed in (my favorite). This is not a very healthy living environment. I feel like this is my bear den and my cubs are upstairs too far away from me. I want to fast forward. Red is crying. Let me go to her.

    After talking, reassuring, laughing, more hugging, and I love yous, it is now 9 PM and this child has started to cry again. Wish me luck tonight.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 14: Puddles, worms, and Nana


    It’s Wednesday night at 9:45 PM so I am writing this from memory… it will be brief…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • It was POURING outside; kids were watching the rain and also commenting on the worms. We stood there for awhile looking at the rain and worms together. I talked about how the worms like the water and how when it rains you can usually find some worms on the sidewalk. Twin Husky couldn’t find the worm we were talking about so Big Bro helped him to find it by pointing and talking about where it was.
    • We talked about how Nana was coming in an airplane to visit and how she would be with me when I picked them all up from school. I asked if that was OK and they said YES!
    • When I dropped Big Bro off, he was brave and walked from the car by himself up the driveway to school. The rest of us stayed in the van and watched him go. He said he was going to count the worms he saw on his way into school. The other kids were fast-walking because of the rain but he was slowly walking, taking his time, probably counting the worms he saw.
    • Twin drop off and Red drop off were fine; I carried Red’s blanket and baby doll inside of my own raincoat to keep them dry. Red appreciated that.

    20120314-220933.jpg

    20120314-220947.jpg

    20120314-221000.jpg

    20120314-221010.jpg

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • I went home and got myself set up. I cleaned up from breakfast, loaded the dishwasher, put some laundry into the dryer. I ate some breakfast, refilled my coffee, and got my computer set up and phones nearby. I was ready.
    • I addressed some emails related to the forums we are planning for April. Also did some miscellaneous sleuthing for a contact name on behalf of one of our directors. I also had to load my old email files into my new computer in order to find these contact names… so it was an inefficient morning.
    • I spent time formalizing the Agendas and timing for 2 of our big meetings in April. It helps to see things concretely and to see where there gaps, if any, in the timing.
    • I did some speaker outreach for both of the forums… confirming spots and also following up with requested information. We are really down to the wire now, the speakers should really be set at this point so I feel a bit under the gun.
    • We had a client conference call to review some analysis. Our team stayed on after the call so we could get ready for our client meeting on Monday. We need to build another analytical model to evaluate the opportunities for the client based upon different dimensions and different scenarios. I tried to get the team on track to 1) refine what we have done so far; and 2) build a working tool for our meeting on Monday; 3) plan for the scenarios and understand which “levers” to pull in the model for which scenario and why; and 4) talk about the discussion document to have to guide this working session with the client on Monday. I’m a bit worried since I won’t be working much from now until then – especially since my mom is here.

    I gathered up my things, picked up the kids, and we were all talking about Nana on our way to the airport. Big Bro also told us a story that he said was “bad”. How there was lots of water and how there was a group of worms that were smashed by someone’s feet. And both Big Bro and Red were telling stories about how much it was raining today and how there were piles and puddles of water everywhere. I handed out graham crackers, we picked up my mom, and ordered a pizza before heading home in the rain in great spirits.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • It was a fun reunion with Nana. The kids were really running around and full of energy.
    • We cleaned up the toys a bit to make the place seem less of a disaster; Red used the dust-buster, Big Bro started wiping up spots off of the rug, I tried to get the twins to work on the puzzles but they just wanted to play with water and dump water everywhere.
    • Pizza came; the kids were going nuts. “Hello Pizza man!!!”
    • Twin Husky really wanted to play with Red’s baby doll and blanket. He kept putting the baby on a pillow and covering it with the blanket. He even fed it with a bottle a couple of times. So cute.
    • The kids were very physical after dinner. Lots of tumbling, tickling, horsie rides, and airplane rides.
    • I did bedtime routine with the boys – this was different. Twin Husky went down without a problem. He loves to sleep. Big Bro was easier during the routine since it was just me and him. He was very cooperative and we read together and then he was quietly doing his Legos before jumping into bed.

    20120314-221039.jpg

    20120314-221051.jpg

    I’m now finishing this write-up and its 10 PM. Red was having problems going to sleep so I had to go upstairs to soothe her. I don’t like holding her hand or rubbing her back to get her to go to sleep… instead I like to hold her, calm her down, talk to her, ask her if there is anything specific that she wants to talk about, ask her about her feelings (is she scared? sad? isn’t sure?). I feel so bad for her, especially when I’m sitting next to her in her bed and prying my arm away from her grip. Especially when I’m looking into her eyes and they seem so sad to me.

    I’m glad my mom’s here.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Staying Sane: Ice-cream in the Rain


    What I enjoy most these days are those special moments when time almost stands still and your brain starts to actually think like a child’s.

    This happened over the weekend.    After lots of activities in the morning (buying new pajamas, hitting baseballs, kicking soccer balls), both Big Bro and Red had VERY long naps – this likely had to do with the cold weather and the pouring rain.  After they both got up we all decided to go out for dinner.   I wanted to start a tradition.   On weekends if it is raining and if the kids are good I want to take them out for ice-cream.

    We gathered our rain gear, headed out for dinner (kids still in pajamas), and then braved the weather with inside-out umbrellas on the way to get ice-cream.

    Thinking like a child.  Getting excited for the big treat.   The adventure in the rain.  Holding the umbrella.   Not realizing that it will go inside-out from the wind and getting a big surprise when it does.   Walking through the rivers of rain.   Feeling the chill in the air and not caring.   Getting picked up to see the ice-cream flavors.    Looking at all of the colors… wondering which one to pick.   Sitting next to Pop-Pop on a Saturday night with the ice-cream shop filled with people.   Knowing it is silly wearing pajamas outside of the house.  Wearing a cat raincoat and loving it.   Not minding sticky hands or a sticky face.     Being 3.  Being 5.    Reaching up to hold a hand as we cross the street – wind blowing the cold rain.   Home.   Sweetness.   Cuddles on the couch.  Kisses goodbye and sleep.

    This was one of the glimpses of childhood that I had the joy of experiencing over the weekend.   A memory I will likely replay to balance future days when I need to.

    %d bloggers like this: