Gig Tips: Stock up your workspace with morning routine stuff


Getting out of the house when you’re also trying to get kids out of the house is not easy. You focus on getting the kids ready, and getting them fed, but you forget about yourself.

I remember a standard routine that I used to do….

Essentially prepare yourself for a day where you have NO time to put on make up, eat, or wear proper shoes. Get your work space set up to include a complete extra set of mascara, face powder, eye liner, lipstick, hair spray. Also a pair of simple black, high heels. Also a quick breakfast if you need it (cream of wheat packets, oatmeal packets, power bars).

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That way, on days where you have breakdowns with the kids and you simply cannot devote ANY time to yourself to get ready for work, you can have what you need to do that AT work, once you get there. I remember plenty of days where this was a standard routine for me. No make up on the ferry with wet hair, and then I would get to work and put on make-up and sometimes even dry/style my hair if it was really cold outside.

Working moms tend to cut corners where needed and this is a place where I thought the corners were acceptable to cut. And if I have a full set of make up in my office, I know that on days if I forget to put on mascara, etc. I am prepared to complete my “look” at work without skipping a beat.

And I have no problem with cheap makeup. Especially if its sitting in an office drawer 95% of the time.

Thanks for listening –
– Mama K

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March 19: Power Day! No, roller coaster day….


This was an AWESOME day. It just all sortof came together – very busy, but very smoothe. Update: no, it ended on a really sour note. Blech.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Twin Crazy was excited about bringing her bouncy, laughing, jumping doll to daycare. She was also excited about bringing her new backpack (thank you Nana!).
  • All kids ate quickly, and got dressed AOK. No problems. No issues. No crying over socks. No crying over shirts. Their clothes were out, their favorites were clean.
  • Even though Big Bro lost his bike riding privelege this AM, he did not put up a fuss. He knew that he wasn’t able to ride and just dealt with it. There was no whining about it, which I was grateful for.
  • We all got ready so quickly that we all took the same van together for drop offs. We dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first, then Big Bro, then daddy off at the ferry station, and then I dropped off Red, solo. We looked at the rainbow that her class painted and I had to take turns with her to get a picture of her with it.
  • I got back home and started my working day – ate breakfast, cleaned up a bit, and got my computer and phones out. I was ready to begin.
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    Highlights of the Working Day:

  • I reviewed a client presentation that we gave today. There were a few changes that needed to be made before we could present it to the client.
  • I must have reached out to 20+ people to confirm partipation, speaking spots, etc. I confirmed topic and focus areas with the clients of one forum.
  • There were lots of emails to trouble-shoot today.
  • I started to get ready for my client presentation. Hair dry, make up, suit. I got my lunch ready – 2 cheesesticks and a Pepsi. I got my car phone charger and also my ear bud microphone. I listened to Metallica on the car ride until I had to turn it off to get ready for a conference call.
  • I had a conference call on my drive to the client as a status check for one meeting in April we are spear-heading. I finished the call in the parking lot of the client office building.
  • We had our interim review with the client and they seriously love us. I presented the work and it was very much “work together” – bringing the boss up to speed on the analysis, discussing highlights from interviews, and working with them to think through initial scenarios to run with our market sizing model. We mapped out what we will be able to deliver by next Tuesday’s status meeting and I believe that we continue to impress them with the analysis, thinking, and teaming along the way.
  • I drove back home and blasted heavy metal. Scorpions. Tesla. I felt alive.
  • I got home right at 5 PM and had time to switch to the mini-van. I went to pick up all the kids and start my 2nd shift.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • All pick ups were great; I gave them a snack while I cooked dinner. Dinner was ready shortly after 6 PM and they ate really well. I made a trip with them to the mailbox while dinner was finishing up. Red ate 6 pieces of broccoli.
  • Afterwards the kids played, I folded laundry, got the Twins changed.
  • Twin Husky now points to the part of his head where he wants me to kiss him. So cute.
  • Twin Crazy started wearing my shoes around; Twin Husky started wearing Red’s summer flip flops.
  • I talked with Big Bro about numbers and infinity and how there is no last number. I can’t believe I’m getting into these discussions with him already. He’s not even 6 years old.
  • Big Bro also wanted to talk about dolphins. How he knew why they jump in the air… to play, and to breathe. He’s right. I asked him where he learned that. He said he just was thinking about it.
  • He also wrote a note to a leprachaun telling him to come in for some gold and a surprise. He said that he was going to catch him and laughed.
  • Red wanted airplane rides but wanted my pajama bottoms to be pulled to my ankles since I didn’t shave my legs. They all hate the stubble on my legs when I rough-house with them.
  • I did bedtime routine with Twins – Twin Crazy has gotten into a routine of wanting to kiss her brother. I first would dangle her over his crib, and then put her inside his crib where they lay together and laugh and blow kisses. So cute. When I put her in her own crib she was really upset, calling for her brother. So sweet.
  • Big Bro was hiding in the Twin’s room, not wanting to start bedtime routine.
  • Red had a hard time with bedtime routine tonight. It’s almost 9 PM and its still not over….
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    [Note; 8:30 PM: OMG Red is screaming right now and daddy is on night-time routine. He just lets her scream and come downstairs to me. He just ignores her and reads to Big Bro and lets her come down here to me… what happens when I am not here? Are these kids going to be screaming and ignored? She keeps running down here. OMG it is now 9:08 and she is screaming for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I went up at 9:10 and talked to her and settled her in bed. I talked to her about her breathing and how I sometimes have a hard time going to sleep. I talked to her about relaxing her arms, shoulders, fingers, elbows, legs, etc. I said I would come back in 2 minutes to check back on her and I did. Now I’m in the middle of a “4” minute check in and writing this. I’m listening to her sighing in the monitor – knowing that he will never have the patience for this and that these kids will need me now more than ever.]

    So this is the roller coaster I live. Seriously. I spent 95% of the daytime feeling on top of the world. Kids were cooperative, playful, intelligent, ebbing and flowing with me. Work was great. I was jamming on things that needed to get done, multi-tasking, getting revved up for a client presentation, and knocking their socks off. I felt alive on the drive home and happy. I ran to get my kids to embrace the balance that I need. They were happy, jumping, playing with me and playing with each other. They were engaging and I felt proud of them….

    … and then bedtime. And Red. And screaming. And prying her off of me.

    I can’t wait to get out of this house – I can’t stand to hear it anymore. I need to know that we are doing the right thing by these kids given this situation and this does not feel right to me. This is sink or swim. And I can’t stand to see my kids sinking, and flailing, and standing by without doing anything. This is the worst possible situation to be in. Force the separation for what you think is best in the long run, but I don’t believe in that long run scenario. And she was happy today but in pieces tonight. And I was pumped all day today, and feel defeated tonight.

    The end of the school year cannot come fast enough for me. We just have a lot of ground to cover between now and then. I am ready for it and ready to be there for my kids and fight for them along the way.

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

    February 6: Shoes


    This morning was a morning of frustrations. Mondays are terrible with me to begin with but there was an extra layer of anxiety that could have been prevented.

  • Good morning to Big Bro and Red! I missed them last night. They didn’t come home with Daddy until well past their bedtime so this morning we reunited. Red eagerly showed me two animal purses that she was given the night before and asked Twin Crazy which one she wanted. Twin Crazy wanted the doggie purse. I gave Red a fist-pump for sharing with Twin Crazy and also for giving her the opportunity to pick which one she wanted.
  • Big Bro was excited about the R2-D2 and C-3PO Legos in his pockets and we talked about how funny it was how Red and him switched 1/2 their bodies the other morning and switched heads and bodies.
  • Big Bro was very cooperative; Twin Crazy was cooperative but wanted to be held and dance. Twin Husky was having problems, since he wants to put all of his things in these big bags but one of the bags is actually quite heavy so he can’t carry everything around. This frustrates him so much and I had to deal with his crying and trying to help him with his bags and trying to explain that the one bag is way too heavy for him.
  • A Lego light-sabre fell into the toilet and had to be rescued.
  • I found out that Red lost her shoes at the party last night while with Daddy. I knew this was going to be a HUGE problem. This is the girl that would freak out about the wrong type of socks. Her Dora sneakers never felt comfortable for her so she rejected them. She had one pair that fit and was comfortable. And now they are missing. I spent time with her shuffling through shoes to see if we had hand-me-downs that would be big enough but most of that gear is for the little ones. We had some boots and also some boy shoes that would fit but I could understand the reason why she wouldn’t want to wear them. We were running out of time. We had to leave to get Big Bro to school on time. We had to split up the drop off and I took Big Bro and Twins, leaving Daddy behind to deal with the shoes. I gave Red a huge hug.
  • Drop offs for Twins was funny. Apparently Twin Husky wanted to wear sparkly silver shoes as we were going through the shoe frenzy this morning. He put one of the sparkly shoes on his foot ontop of his pajamas and I laughed when I pulled him out of the car. He also had a sparkly princess cup with him. And he is in love with a cute pair of red flowery shoes that he’s been wearing the past few weeks. So me and our daycare provider started to laugh and raise our eyes about Twin Husky’s choice of accessories. “It’s OK” we say, I love his happy face and if he wants to dress like a princess then let him.
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  • Drop off with Big Bro was fine. I held his hand and we had his 100 project (a Lego house). I noticed that he let go of my hand as we approached his school yard where the classes were waiting in line. My heart sunk but also inside I was proud of his need for independence. This is just the beginning.
  • I rushed to the ferry in fear that there would be no more parking spots, but I scored one without a problem. So, the day is gray, and I will be busy at work. I have to document the planning meeting calls and distribute to the groups, and also start to plan the agendas. I have to complete the go-to-market materials for the other initiative and get that going as well. Finally, I have to start to think about the kick-off for the client project we are beginning next Monday. I will be very busy today.

    HIghlights of my Working Day:

  • I grabbed some to-go breakfast on my way to work. I’m glad I did, since I was busy non-stop.
  • I had to attend to various emails on various topics as soon as I got in. This took some time.
  • Since we won the client project, I needed to get some administrative items done. I needed to complete the paperwork to get a project number set up, get the team together, put files onto our shared server, distribute some key documents to the team (such as budget, proposal), set up a debrief meeting with the team for tomorrow AM, and begin to work on the discussion document that we will be using to Kickoff the project next week.
  • I lead an internal office “touchpoint” meeting to get a sense of workload and also an update on our office move. I’m looking forward to a new location to a busier part of the city. Change is good.
  • I also had an impromptu meeting related to one of the initiatives we are launching. I started working on go-to-market materials to start soliciting interest. I want to start sending out these invitations TOMORROW since the event is only 2 months away…. This will be critical for me to focus on tomorrow.
  • I did not have time to work on the planning minutes or the planning for the other two forums – I carved out time to start on that tomorrow.
  • Now I’m on the ferry and looking forward to picking up the kids. I have not thought of dinner but I think we may have some chicken that is not frozen. There are some cherry tomatoes too – I recently sent out a recipe with these ingredients so maybe I’ll try that.

    I’m interested in hearing about Big Bro’s 100 project, and also seeing what kind of shoes Red is wearing. And of course, I want to see if Twin Husky is wearing his one sparkly shoe. Too cute.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • All pick ups were great; Red was upset about her shoes so we decided to go out and buy a new pair for her. The kids decided to go out to eat versus go home first so I took them to Applebee’s…. crayons on tables, bottles of chocolate milk everywhere, Red needing to go to pee so we all paraded across the restaurant into the ladies room, etc. etc. Kids ate like champs.
  • We then paraded to Kohl’s, right next door, but the walk felt like an eternity, with four little ones hyper on chocolate milk.
  • At Kohl’s the ONLY thing on the list was a new pair of shoes for Red. So all kids couldn’t ask or throw a tantrum for ANYTHING else. This rule works well. However, the kids did get sidetracked at a rack of Angry Bird t-shirts. Red tried on some shoes, Twin Husky tried on some shoes when I wasn’t looking. We found a pair for only $16 on super-sale. Twin Husky tried to walk away with the shoes he found but we were too quick for him.
  • Once we got home Twin Crazy tried on Red’s shoes, and also Twin Husky. I’m not sure about that boy recently, but he’s only 2 so he has some time to figure things out. 🙂
  • Big Bro read an entire book tonight. He was wiped out by the end. I can’t believe he’s a reader.
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    I’m typing as I’m listening to my daughter cry through the monitor. I am downstairs. I try to console her and as she’s asleep and as I’m walking out, she starts screaming again in anguish. Daddy is up there now with her. It’s not good. She is suffering. I’m not sure what to do.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Random Thoughts: Cyber Monday!


    So, Cyber Monday came and went. And from what I can tell, it was a big deal for retailers and actual shopping exceeded many’s expectations.

    I did not participate in it since I’m trying to tone down my shopping sprees. I KNEW that if I started with holiday shopping for kids (rational purchases), I would go overboard with items for myself (irrational purchases, considering the amount of stuff I’ve purchased for myself over this last year — refer to my post “Staying Sane: 41 ideas for yourself”).

    So I’m curious about our shopping activities of our audience. Some questions for you:

    Way to go ladies! Kuddos for stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and helping to close the Federal deficit!! Job well done!!

    Thank you for (playing) participating!!!

    – Mama K

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