October 10: The colors of Halloween


I love Wednesdays. For many reasons – first, I get to work from home in the AM and then in the early afternoon I get to see my kids. Today was an even bigger day. I have not seen them since Friday night – so it had been quite a long time since we’ve been together. It was a GREAT day.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up late, drank coffee, ate breakfast. I put the fireplace on since it was chilly. I set up my computer and work in my living room. I was so comfortable and so at ease that I was smiling from ear to ear. I got a lot of work done…
  • I’m trying to start up another forum and put an Agenda together for that.
  • I am thinking through the launch of yet another forum, and am getting consultants help me with background research on the companies to target.
  • I followed up with feedback from my last forum and we received more responses. Terrific feedback on the event and on me personally, which I am stoked about. I lead a session and at this point it is the highest rated out of all – plus lots of good commentary about the event, speakers, and how it was orchestrated. This is a direct reflection on my work and I am so pumped.
  • I continued to get ready for the next forum in two weeks time – following up on surveys, etc.
  • I packed up snacks for the kids, ate a cheese stick, and hit the road.

 

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Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I loved playing AC/DC “Dirty Deeds” on my way to the kids. I rolled down the window and turned the volume WAY up.
  • I got there a bit early – actually 1 hour early. My mistake. Got the timing wrong. So, I used the time to go Halloween shopping at a second-hand store and bought TONS of stuff; decorations for the house, costumes for me, costumes for the kids. I love Halloween.
  • I stopped at a car mechanic and made an appointment for tomorrow.
  • I had a conference call that got botched since the other parties were completely unorganized and missed the call. We will have to try again tomorrow, which I’m not thrilled about.
  • I picked up Big Bro and we got his bike. He remarked that Red will be upset if he has his bike but she does not have hers. So he said that “we should not ride bikes when we get home that way [Red] doesn’t get upset.” OMG I thought it was so cute how he was considering her feelings.
  • Big Bro and I went food shopping for guinea pig food, cream for home-made ice cream, chicken, fruit, and bread. I love the one on one time with him.
  • Pick up for Red was sweet. The teachers commend her writing skills. I’m proud of her. Pick up for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky went fine. They ran into my arms. The best feeling in the world…
  • On our way home we talked about how I made some changes at the house (renovated a closet into toy shelves) and also bought some new things for the guinea pig. We talked about Halloween and the different costumes. They were really excited to see the stuff that I got as well as the stuff that I have stored.
  • We got home and pulled out Halloween gear. Twin Husky is thrilled with the Buzz Lightyear blow-up wings. Big Bro is excited about a Star Wars costume I found for him. Red is excited about a Tinker Bell dress. Twin Crazy was just acting crazy and I’m not sure what she will be… but there are lots of choices for her.
  • Big Bro went over to his new friend’s house to play Legos. Twin Husky was busy showing off his Buzz Lightyear wings to the neighbors. He was getting embarrassed and sucking in his lips. So cute.
  • Red, Twin Husky and Twin Crazy helped me to pull the garbage bins up the driveway. Red did one on her own and she wants that to be “her job” for now on.
  • I cooked dinner as the kids set the table outside. They wanted to sit at the “kid table” (even me) which was fine. They set the entire table by themselves which was very helpful.
  • We ate – Twin Husky still had his Buzz Lightyear wings on.
  • We heard kids from the house in back of ours, so we went up our hill to meet them. Two girls ages 6 and 4. Apparently there is a courtyard where they live with lots of kids there. I’m thinking that the fence I get should have a gate on it so the kids can have access to that side of the neighborhood too. There are kids in all directions over here, all at young ages. I AM PUMPED. The family seemed really nice.
  • All kids helped with dinner clean up and dessert (pudding) preparation. At dusk the colors in the backyard were STUNNING so I quickly got the kids together for some photos. The cooperated because they knew their dessert was at risk.
  • Big Bro helped Red with a “calendar” project she wants to do.   Creating the numbers and squares and then setting up the calendar with the days of the week for the month.   He asked if he could help and she gladly accepted his help.  We read Halloween books tonight.   The girls were acting silly at bedtime.  Sisters.
  • I told each of the kids at bedtime the things they did during the day that made me so happy … listening, helping, thinking about each others’ feelings, the big hugs and kisses, etc. I want each of them to feel loved.

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I had an amazing day. The kids are getting to be so much fun. There was little crying or fighting tonight. Things fell into place with us. I’m looking forward to Halloween and the days leading up to it. It is a really special time of year for me.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

April 30: A Mama Bear alone with her cubs


Monday. I decided to work from home 1/2 day today (instead of Wednesday) because I THOUGHT the mortgage would be ready for me to sign and then put $$$ in escrow for closing. I was wrong…

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • My first encounter with a child was with Big Bro. I was in the shower and he was downstairs and already dressed for the day. He wanted to go pee-pee and was upset that I was in the bathroom. I suggested that I turn the other way while I was in the shower and not look so he could have some privacy. He told me to promise not to look. I did, laughing.
  • Big Bro literally had all of his things ready to go at 7:30. Back packed, shoes found and ready, helmet set to go. It was Monday and he was the leader for the Motley Crew bike ride to school… AND he had his NEW bike so he was really looking forward to getting started today. So cute.
  • Red put on a necklace and said it looked like mine. She was so cute and I told her that she was my “twin”. Her birthday is coming up and I keep calling her my sweet little birthday princess. She really looked like a princess today with her shiny necklace.
  • I held Twin Husky as I made my coffee. We talked together about the steps of making the coffee and where the grinds go and the water goes. He knows exactly where everything goes and what happens next. We then went into the laundry room to check out the washing machine.
  • Twin Crazy saw the attention received by her brother and then asked for me to pick her up. I can’t resist. She looks at me with those big round eyes and then sings “mommy, mommy, mommy….” and my heart melts.
  • We got ready really quickly today for some reason. While we were finishing gathering our things, Red, Twin Crazy, Twin Husky played with a puzzle. Its sweet how they all communicate now… sometimes for the good, sometimes for the worse. Their laughter with each other is growing more intense by the day… as is their fights with one another. It’s now going in all directions…. between the older ones, between the littler ones, and across all of the ages. Siblings.
  • I took the twins in the stroller and participated in Big Bro’s leading debut of the Motley Crew bicycle gang. The Twins looked at the sprinkler system as we were waiting for everyone. I told them how it works.
  • I overheard one of his friends telling his mom that he wanted a bike just like Big Bro’s. It was “so cool”. I can’t believe I’m hearing this already. I didn’t think I would hear this peer pressure so soon. They are in Kindergarten for goodness sakes!
  • I strolled the Twins to daycare. They were OK with going there and seemed happy as I left.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I made it back in time to rearrange some meetings and let work know that I was working from home today. They all know of my house purchase and process of the mortgage…
  • I had a debrief meeting on the candidates we interviewed. I believe we are going to move forward with one, and I fully support that decision. She was a rock-star candidate.
  • I had a conversation with a Director about two forums we are trying to launch; we determined go-forward plan for both.
  • I followed up for the status of our client project. I’m starting to get worried.
  • I followed up with some work we need to circle back for one of the forums. I need to organize the info so I can thoughtfully articulate it back to our clients.
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I did spend time trying to figure out the status of my mortgage and signing of loan docs. It seems like we are delayed again. I kept waiting for the green light as the deadline for the bank wire approached and then passed. I went to the bank to get a certified check in case the green light came through in the afternoon. I started to drive to the title company. Once I got there the green light still was not in, nor was it coming today. So I drove home, just in enough time to pick up Big Bro.
  • While picking up Big Bro I spoke with the agent and the Seller. They realize this is not my fault and are working with me and being unbelievably patient. I lost the connection but got it back while I was picking up the Twins. I reiterated my appreciation to the seller for his patience and indicated that women are strong and NEVER get in between a mama bear and her cubs!!!!! I see this house as an opportunity for better things for my family. I’m doing this for my children and want to see this happen for them.
  • We got to Red’s and then Big Bro rode his bike home.
  • We had a great dinner, and then had some dessert… leftover cupcakes from Red’s school. All kids were following me around like “dawn of the dead”…. I cut up the cupcakes, dished out the pieces in paper plates, and asked the kids to sit at the table. THEY RAN. I distributed the dessert AND THE PLACE WAS SILENT as they were busy gobbling up their dessert. I cleaned up as they enjoyed their sugar.
  • Afterwards, there was a lot of running around upstairs. I finished cleaning up and made it upstairs and told the kids to calm their bodies down… threatening loss of bike privileges if they do not listen. They eventually calmed down, I had Twins ready in their room for books, and invited Big Bro and Red to join us. They were wonderful. I had all kids around me and quiet. And Big Bro and Red were excited about sharing in the routine with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. Big Bro even read a book to them. I am so proud on so many levels.
  • Twins did their kissing routine, as did I. “I….. love….. you…… sweet dreams….” Blow kisses.
  • Big Bro read a book to me, and then I did the same for him and Red. I am stunned at the fact that he is now reading. I just can’t believe it. It seemed to happen so quickly. He’s only in Kindergarten!!!! I don’t remember doing this in Kindergarten. Are we pushing our kids to hard to fast??? I wonder… But he is like a sponge and he is so quick and logical and questioning and a person learning about who he is and HE LOVES BOOKS!!! 🙂
  • I am typing now in the hallway since Red was scared and needy. Big Bro passed out asleep in about 2 minutes and I hear his deep breathing now.
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    Tonight went well. I was on my own and it went fine. I am a bit worn out from the shear emotional exhaustion that comes from buying a house. And also the various aspects of the divorce. I am not too concerned about work right now but I should be. Our client final deliverable is next week and my head is NOWHERE near that project right now. That needs to be fixed tomorrow. I also need some closure on my mortgage. I need that green light. That mortgage approval is coming between my cubs and their new home and I don’t like the feeling of being in limbo.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 26: Lotion heads


    Tired. Throbbing headache. Big Bro is throwing a fit upstairs right now with co-parent. I’m downstairs in my room, like an outsider.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red coming into my room at around 6:30. She wanted to talk to me and play with my red beads.
  • All kids got dressed, fed, vitamins.
  • I strolled with the Twins as Big Bro scootered with the Motley Crew. The Twins looked ridiculous with the hair all over the place from the hand-soap incident the night before. Their hair was sticking up all over the place.
  • I strolled back with the Twins and we came back to a warm house.
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    Highlights of the Day:

  • We played with puzzles, ate snacks, cuddled on the couch, read books. Twin Husky had fun with the spray bottle.
  • There was lots of fighting and arguing and even hitting today between the Twins. I think they are getting bored with each other. It would be nice to have them interact more with other kids besides themselves and the older siblings. They were like an old married couple with each other today.
  • Throughout the day I answered emails where I had to and even had a quick conference call.
  • I made lunch and then we went for a drive. I asked them to nap in the car and it was so cute how hard they tried to close their eyes and go to sleep. It eventually worked and soon both were snoozing.
  • I had a meeting with my realtor to sign some docs; Twins were sort of behaved but not so much. Twin Husky dumped an entire container of Cheerios all over the floor. Twin Crazy had a pee-pee accident all over the floor. Twin Husky’s diaper came loose and when he let he pee-pee loose, it went all over his pants. Basically an embarrassing mess.
  • We got back and tried to rest a bit in my bed. It was cute but lasted only 10 minutes.
  • We picked up Red, then picked up Big Bro. Big Bro scootered all the way home.
  • As I made dinner the kids got into some hand lotion and wound up greasing themselves up all over the place. Thankfully I got to them before there was any lotion in anyone’s eyes.
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    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • Kids ate well except for Red. She ate nothing. I offered her milk but she refused. So she will be hungry tomorrow.
  • I cleaned up while co-parent gave Twins a bath.
  • Twins went to bed very easily.
  • Red and Big Bro were having their troubles; Big Bro came down to me looking for a shirt to wear for bed. I dried his eyes, handed him a pile of clean clothes, and told him that things would be alright. He’s upstairs now and it is finally quiet.
  • I’m really tired. I have a lot on my mind and feel drained. I don’t think I really had time to decompress from last week. Yesterday was so great for some reason…. today was good with the Twins but I honestly had no good quality time with either Big Bro or Red. I feel like I hardly saw them today. I need to make it up to them over the weekend.

    Looking forward to going to bed.
    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 3: Big Brother and his sisters’ tears


    Chocolate Tuesday!

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red woke up at 5 AM; I went to check on her. There was no heat on. It was 66 degrees. I put the heat on and decided to bring her down with me since it was almost morning anyway.
  • All kids were going crazy with chocolate tuesday. Red was a bit finicky and having problems communicating what she wanted for breakfast. I asked her what bread she wanted. Regular bread or tortilla? She wanted a tortilla and her face lit up with a smile.
  • The kids were “testing” the chocolate Nutella to see if it was OK. [A hypothesis of the reason why Red was rejecting her breakfast was that the chocolate was not good. So we did an experiment and checked the Nutella chocolate to make sure it tasted OK. It did.]
  • Kids were acting silly with head motions so I asked them if they were stretching and exercising. That really got them going with more movement.
  • Red and Big Bro were already dressed from the night before. They wanted to get ready fast this morning so when they set out their clothes last night, they decided to get changed into them and sleep in them to save them time this morning. I told them last night that they were ridiculous, laughed, told them to wear what is comfortable, and left their room. They were ready very quickly this AM!
  • Everyone was ready so early that there was plenty of time to play. Big Bro started to read Twin Crazy a picture book.
  • We did drop offs all together this AM. We were ready quickly so all got in the van and dropped off Twins first, and then Red/Big Bro at Red’s school [he is on spring break so we are paying extra for “camp” for him this week]. They enjoyed all being together in the van. I felt a pang of sorrow for them and their excitement.
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    I am now on the ferry with a lot on my mind. I will be busy at work but I think everything is under control, at this point. I also have things to think about related to personal items…. some things I need to check on to prepare for big meetings at the end of the week.

    Today at work I have one team working session scheduled to go over the team’s analysis and one client touchpoint meeting. This gives me a lot of time to focus on other work and actually get work accomplished. Some sell meetings to schedule, some follow up with speakers, confirmations of speaker times, etc. I also have to think through revamping the entire work product that our company presents at the forums. It is extremely manual to update for each meeting and also the story/takeways are not compelling. Visually it is hard to digest. The files are at graphics now and I need to think through the work product and make changes to format, insight, structure, etc. to make the presentation more concise, compelling, and visually easier to digest. That will take some time but I think I can get to it today. I would like to have a final re-vamp done by end of week for Director review. I think it will be a good day. I’m not stressed at all about where we are in terms of meetings and deliverables.

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I spent time with the project team on our client work and also client update.
  • I spent time reaching out to potential speakers and guests to our forums
  • I remembered to grab printouts of our work product for the forums but did not have a chance to review
  • I spent quite a bit of time on personal things – necessary personal things
  • I’m on the ferry home and am feeling angry. I really want to see the kids. They put a smile on my face and make me relax. They can sooooo effectively use humor with me and they know what to do to get a laugh out of me. It’s easy for them to do. And we enjoy these times. So, I’m looking forward to seeing my kids and laughing with them tonight.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red and Big Bro, and then we went to pick up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky. We found them taking a walk along the sidewalk with their daycare provider as we pulled into the courtyard with the van. Red and Big Bro went nuts. I pulled over to the side and drove up very slowly…. Red and Big Bro both unbuckled their seatbelts and flew to the windows demanding for the windows to be pulled down. There we were, in the van and cheering outside of the window, to Twin Crazy and Twin Husky who were both very excited for the warm welcome.
  • At home I started cooking fish and rice. It was baked, so I had some time with the kids before it was ready. We played for a bit, went potty A LOT (Twin Crazy getting used to the chocolate chip rewards), went for a walk to the mailbox to get the mail, ran around a bit…. Twin Crazy then had a poop accident. While I was upstairs getting her new clothes, somebody (still not sure who) climbed up something (still don’t know what) and grabbed the huge bag of chocolate chips from Costco… there were chips ALL OVER THE KITCHEN FLOOR. I threatened to put locks on all of the cabinets since the kids have proven to me that they cannot be trusted. Everyone was silent.
  • We had some problems with Red during dinner. She was saying that she wanted carrots but not talking clearly. So she eventually threw herself on the floor after we were not able to understand her. Eventually I asked her to either speak clearer, or go into the other room with a book because I did not want to hear it anymore. I eventually had to pick her up with a book, and take her into the other room. At that point she clearly told me that she wanted carrots. I gave carrots to her. She was smiling.
  • After dinner I played “tickle monster”, cleaned up from dinner, and then became the “tickle monster” again. The kids were playing well with each other – Big Bro putting everyone’s stuffed animals to “night night”, giving them wagon rides…. helping Twin Crazy get her new underwear on…. they really were getting along very well.
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  • I was on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky duty tonight. They went down OK, Twin Crazy a bit tough. Red was having a very difficult time. She wanted to stay with me as I read to the Twins. I let her. The cutest thing was the big, big hugs that the Twins gave each other tonight. They embraced, held each other tight, pulled away looking at each other and laughing, and then embracing yet again. IT WAS SOOOOO SWEET I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t seen this affection in this way, with this intensity, so far. It was too cute.
  • I went downstairs and heard so much commotion upstairs. I had to go up. I knew Red was having a really rough time so wanted to go to her. I found Twin Crazy and Twin Husky up in Big Bro/Red’s room reading a book with co-parent!! What?!??!?!? What is this routine? I already put them to bed. “They were crying so I’m reading them a book.” Are you kidding me??@!?!??! Not the kind of routine that I want to start. I brought them both back into their room. Twin Crazy was VERY upset. I sat with her and hugged her and calmed her down. She told me she didn’t want to go night-night. I told her that it was time for everyone to go night-night, that she wasn’t missing out on anything. Eventually I saw that the bathroom door was closed. She is now scared of the dark. I asked her if she was scared because the door was closed and she said YES. I asked her if we need to open the door and she said YES. I asked her if that was the reason why she was so upset and she said YES. I consoled her and told her that yes, the dark CAN be scary and that she must have been very scared with the door closed. I rocked her. I asked her if she was OK now and she said Yeah. I asked if it was better that the bathroom door was open for her and she said Yeah. I asked her if she could go to sleep now and she said Yeah. I put her back into her crib, her little face looking up at me, and told her that it was OK, that it was OK to feel scared, but the bathroom door was open and it wasn’t so dark in her room anymore. I left the room, kept her bedroom door open a bit, asked if that was OK and if she was OK and I heard her say Yeah.
  • Then it was working on Red. I sat with her in the hallway and hugged her in silence. I walked her back into her room. She did not want me to leave, but I did. I went downstairs and she followed me down in a fit. I dried off her face and carried her upstairs. I sat down with her and read her a book. I held her some more. I put her to bed. I put on her special blanket. I brought up my iPad and am now typing in the hallway outside of her room, which I promised to do for her. She hears me typing. She knows I’m closeby. I hear her sighing from time to time and know that she is relaxing and going to sleep.
  • I am so tired. I am so scared for these kids. It will just get worse for them. As it gets better for me, it will get worse for them… so in the end it gets worse for me too. These kids are going to be put to the test. And I know them. I know what gets them upset. I can understand them – and when I cannot, I take the time to figure it out. I let them know, and I prove to them, that it is important to me to understand them and connect with them. I try to understand their fears, their needs, their emotions…. even when they themselves cannot. I am taking the time because it comes natural for me. And also because I know that I cannot be there for them all the time – so I’m trying to do my best with the time that I have to give. To reassure them and help them when I see that they need the help.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 26: Stealing time


    Back to work after a rainy/overcast weekend. I had a great time with the kids. We spent the time together at the house and didn’t really do any destination excursions. Us playing play-dough, playing kickball in the neighborhood, watching the Discovery channel, potty-training Twin Crazy. Now headed into work and I feel good about the time I spent with each child. I really feel like I connected strongly with each, giving them undivided time and attention.

    I’m on the ferry now, feeling pretty good.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Red in my room at 6:40 AM. I was snoozing and found it hard to get up. It was easier for me seeing her smiling face and telling me “time to get up!!!”.
  • I ask the kids now if it is OK for me to kiss them good-morning – mostly for Twin Husky’s sake. He is cuddly but not kissey. I love how he picks a specific spot on the side of his head above his ear for me to kiss him. “Here”. “Here?” I ask. “No. Here.” as he moves his finger a little bit over his head. I kiss him. And he smiles.
  • Twin Crazy went to the potty, I changed her in underwear and packed underwear (and lots of extra pants) for her at daycare today. I’m hoping the daycare provider keeps up the routine with her. She was doing great this weekend. She looks up at me with those huge eyes looking for expressions of approval and I tell her how happy I am and how proud I am of her. How well she is doing (there were of course some accidents but nothing monstumental).
  • I packed up the other bags of clothes and needed items. Red was excited about packing up her backpack for school. She says that there are other kids that are bringing in backpacks to school so she wanted to do that too. So she spent the night before getting everything ready (her baby doll, her Jessie doll, her blanket, her jacket, her raincoat) and setting it out by the back door with all of our other things.
  • Big Bro was excited about wearing sweatpants to school. We tried them out over the weekend and he loves them. I love them because they don’t have any holes in the knees. He wanted to wear the matching soccer ball sweatshirt top that goes with the pants so I made sure it would be cleaned by this AM so that he would be ready to go. He woke up later than normal (did not nap at all over the weekend) but got ready by himself and was so excited when he came downstairs wearing his outfit. Today is Monday and his day to be “leader”, the first in line with the Motley Crew in bikes. It makes Mondays easier for us.
  • Big Bro headed out on his bike, Twins went with co-parent, and I took Red in upon her request. She was very excited with her backpack. I could tell she wanted the attention of her classmates and teacher.
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    Now I’m on the ferry and will be very busy at work today. I have back to back meetings for much of the day, I remember. I don’t remember what they are though. I need to get back on track with where I am with work today. After looking at my calendar, I have 7 meetings scheduled, 2 are in conflict with one another. THere are meetings related to the client project, recruiting feedback, and planning for the forums in one months time. PLUS I have work to do. How is it possible? Every 15 minutes of uninterrupted time makes a difference. I’ve learned to use that time to my advantage. Attacking the time and the task and getting it OFF of my plate as soon as I can so I can move on to the next thing. I checked my emails this morning and there is nothing urgent that will distract me (yet).

    I have my meeting with my therapist tonight so will miss the kids this evening. Hopefully Big Bro and Red will still be awake (likely) so I can catch up with them and their days.

    Highlights of My Working Day:
    Busy busy busy….

  • I walked from the ferry, grabbed a coffee and a chocolate croissant.
  • Made it to the office and went directly into a conference room to catch up with the project team for a meeting that I knew I would be late to (the ferry gets in just before 9 AM and it takes me 15 min to walk to the office). We talked about the analysis and refined our thinking – I think the work is in a better place.
  • Immediately after this meeting we had a conference call to debrief on the interview candidates from last week. I suggested we bring one back for one of the Directors to interview, versus tossing him out of the picture completely. There was something about him that folks liked.
  • We had a primary interview/conference call with a market player related to our one project. We learned some new perspectives we have not heard of before which is the beauty and value of having these kinds of discussions.
  • We had our Monday office lunch and I had to leave a bit early to prepare for another conference call.
  • I was surprised by a call from my dad in India through Ooovooo. It was 1 AM his time. I spent 1 month in India over 10 years ago and loved the experience although the first week was very difficult because there’s no way to prepare yourself for the poverty, how children are used, and how loud/dirty/smelly everything is. He is loving his time there so far (thank goodness). It was fun to talk to him and see him through my PC.
  • I had a planning conference call related to one of the forums I am leading.
  • I reached out to several CEOs for guest speakers and potential members.
  • We had a separate meeting relating to the Agenda and guests for a separate forum; also sat in on a call with a potential participant/speaker.
  • I followed up with some emails and outreach; addressed some random items in my Inbox.
  • It was a mind-blowing busy day with meetings – but I feel like I did not get much work done! There is still client work to prepare for tomorrow, and a whole binder of client-related materials for me to plow through. Plus finalizing speakers and Agenda and details details details.

    I’m glad work is busy. It is a diversion for me.

    I am on the ferry home now, and I am hoping that I get home in time to see the little ones. I have a feeling at least some will be up since it is only Co-parent at home with them, alone. So I’m fairly certain that the older ones will be up, and hopefully the littler ones too. I hope Twin Crazy was still encouraged to use the potty today. I worked really hard with her over the weekend and want for it to continue. I hope Big Bro had a good time on his bike – it will likely rain the rest of the week. I hope Red is happy. I hope Twin Husky has both of his Tigers with him.

    I’m hoping my children are going through this the best they can, and that I am doing all that I should be doing to protect them and get them through this. My focus is on them and being there for them and being happy for them.

    *****
    [8:30 PM]
    OMG I had a great time with the kids just now. Twin Crazy was finishing going to the potty (she only had ONE accident today!) and I told her how proud of her I was. Twin Crazy was running around laughing and then jumping on Big Bro’s bed. Red was excited to see me and clung to my leg like a monkey. Big Bro was busy with Legos.

    Then all kids were going nuts and running around and I was trying to separate the Twins for their bedtime routine but the big kids kept wanting the little kids in their room and then the big kids would come into the little kids room and they were all hugging and hiding in the closet and being kids. Being siblings. Laughing and hugging. And I was there to see it!

    The twins and I whispered “I…… love…. you” and also blew kisses. Red came downstairs to me to talk about a milkshake recipe ingredients. I wrote them down as a shopping list. Big Bro came down to talk about his sweatpants. How kids thought they were pajamas but his response was that “pajamas don’t have pockets”. He wants to wear them again tomorrow, but he also wants to wear them to sleep. He’s addicted. OK, I have to go deal with this now…

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    [9 PM]
    OMG now they are both down here, Red with her head burried in my blanket like an ostrich.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 7: Just a day.


    Wednesday – a day at home. I’m writing this at the end of the day so I’m trying to remember what exactly happened… it’s all a blur. I’m also working off of very little sleep. Red woke up at 11 PM last night, and then again at 4 AM, 4:30 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM. Poor thing. Poor me.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy has been walking around with a princess “fannie-pack”. It is the cutest, yet almost disturbing, thing ever…. she walks around like she has important business to attend to with her little fannie pack on. She buckles and unbuckles it, and strings the strap around to put it on again. She asks for help when she needs it, which is good.
  • Big Bro constructed a space shuttle out of Legos this AM, for R2-D2. R2-D2 was short lived — apparently he traded him with a kid at school for some other Lego figure.
  • Twin Husky was busy carrying all of his things in a paper bag but then the bag broke. He got so pissed off. So we put his stuff into a new bag. His stuff included: yellow soccer ball, random kid forks, spoons, and knives, his Tigers, pretend cleaning supplies, a dress, a green ball.
  • I drove all the kids in since Big Bro lost his bike privileges the night before. I dropped of Twin Crazy and Twin Husky first. Then Red and I walked with Big Bro to drop him off. I then dropped off Red.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I got home, straightened up the house, ate some breakfast, poured another cup of coffee, and set up my computer. I’m ready.
  • I had a meeting with one of the speakers for our forum in April to give direction on content.
  • I coordinated a call with another speaker to give guidance on content.
  • I did marketing outreach to one of the forums
  • I re-crafted go-to-market outreach for a forum we are trying to launch
  • I did more selling outreach to solicit participation in a meeting in April
  • I had to address various emails from all of the above relating to two forums, two meetings/forums we are trying to launch, and a client project.
  • I received some positive responses to the various invitations and also received to offers to speak — AWESOME! Great way to round out the Agenda!!!
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called the quits and ran some errands.
  • I picked up Big Bro first, then Red. There was a fire-truck there and we got there just in time to see the show… it was cute, all of the little kids coming outside to see the truck and the firemen. So cute.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky next, and caught them in the middle of a walk around the courtyard with their daycare provider. The kids were all going wild. Big Bro and Red hanging out of the window, and me driving VERY slowly behind the Twins so they could get back to their daycare house… .it was like I was following Big Bro. We were all cheering from the van to the Twins and were all having a good time.
  • We got back and had an Oreo snack. I played with the kids. The boys were playing together and acting like boys, throwing balls and sling-shotting rubber snakes. Twin Husky was cracking up. Twin Crazy was playing in her kitchen set. Red was wrestling with me and playing “airplane”.
  • I made dinner – homemade pizza with dough from Trader Joe’s. Boys were still acting like boys, cracking up and playing with each other.
  • After dinner somehow they all started on ice-cream. Then we watched T.V.
  • Twins got cranky and I had them for bedtime so it was very easy to read to the them and put them to bed. “I…… love…… you…. Sweet Dreams….” So cute.
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    Now it’s the end of the day and I’m in my space and I have off tomorrow but still have work on my mind. I also have personal things to take care of. Financial stuff. I can’t wait to get this over. I’m looking forward to the weekend when I can decompress. Today was just a day. Nothing magical. It just came and went. Or maybe I just feel that way since I need to catch up on sleep.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 1: Beginning to let go


    It was a memorable day. It was a day of milestones. It’s a day like this when I’m glad I’m keeping this blog. A record of the children and who they are and how they’re changing and who they are becoming. I was home from work today. It’s 10:30 PM right now so this will be brief but heartfelt.

    Highlights of the First Half of the Day:

  • The kids were playing with each other during breakfast. Big Bro and Twin Husky were playing ball.
  • Red and Twin Crazy decided to wear matching shirts. Red wore a pink bunny shirt, and Twin Crazy wore an identical shirt, but in gray. I was calling them “the twins”.
  • I dropped all kids off since it was my home day with them. My day to be a mom. It was raining so Big Bro rode with us in the van and did not go with the Motley Crew. I think he gets embarrassed of the entire clan of kids so for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER, I pulled into the circular driveway at school and DROPPED HIM OFF BY HIMSELF. Oh my goodness I asked him what he wanted to do and let him know that he had a choice. And he choose independence. He looked back a couple of times but I was so proud of him. And it hurt inside when I couldn’t see his blue fleece hood any longer when he turned a corner. I slowly drove away.
  • We dropped off Red next. I wanted to take a picture of the girls in their bunny shirts. They were so cute. Twin Husky was acting so silly and acting like a surfer for some reason. My laugh was bellowing through the school. In fact, some teachers came outside to see the commotion since I was laughing so loud. I love how his personality is busting through and how goofy he is becoming. He makes me smile so much.
  • Inside her classroom, Red gave Twin Husky and Twin Crazy hugs goodbye.
  • I decided to take Twin Crazy and Twin Husky out for breakfast for some bagels. They had fun looking out the window and squealing at dogs, and we talked about trucks and umbrellas and commented on other kids’ rainboots. Twin Husky was wearing a pair that were way too big for him but for some reason he loved them while also putting his hands in his pockets.
  • The day kindof went by…. Twin Husky was cleaning. They both got into Red’s kid nail polish. at 12:45 we picked up Big Bro and headed home for lunch and naps for the Twins. Me and Big Bro hung out and did nothing special or in particular.
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    Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • The biggest event was picking up Red after Twin Husky and Twin Crazy woke up from their nap. We quickly gave them a snack and then Big Bro put on his helmet and got on his bike. I drove along side of him, 3 mph, with my hazards on. Our neighborhood is VERY secluded so there was no real traffic, and he had a sidewalk almost the entire way there, but there was one part of the journey where we were separated by a field. He was so thrilled to be riding on his own with us trailing him. I saw the joy in his face. I could almost feel the excitement in his body. I could almost feel his hands gripping the handlebars. And feel the wind on his face. And feel the sense of independence but also of security when looking over to see us in the van along side of him. He did
    great. We parked his bike and he did the same thing back at home. I said we should do this more often and I have a feeling we will. It was amazing. He is my boy.
  • Dinner was great; I had a steak going in the crockpot. The kids set the table by themselves. I heard them working together to get it done. They ate well. Big Bro ate like a champ. I taught them how it is good to eat meat after working your body and how the protein is good to help your sore muscles. So Big Bro ate a bit more.
  • We ended the night with chocolate milk.
  • It was my night with Big Bro and Red. Both are very clingy. Big Bro needed to sit in my lap. He was convinced that he did not have enough “Mommy time” today even though he had been
    with me since 1 PM and much of that was alone. I feel so bad for these kids. They are suffering already. I sat with them – scratched his back – held her hand, until they were both breathing deeply and lost to sleep.
  • And now as I’m going through my pictures for this post, I see that Big Bro had my iPhone when I wasn’t looking and decided to be a photographer himself and capture pictures of his treasured toys. So cute.
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    I am tired; it is late. I don’t want these days to end. I don’t want it to get worse for them. There are so many glimpses of pure magic during the day with these kids. The boots. The smiles. The goofiness. The hugs. The wanting to help. The look of accomplishment. The drive to do things by themselves. I never want it to end.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 30: Siblings Playing House while at Home


    Friday. My last day alone with all four of the kids during this winter break. We adventured yesterday, but today we woke up to rain and fog. No one felt much like going out. The kids wanted to stay at home and play. And I didn’t feel like arguing. Again it was a day watching the siblings interact with one another. Most of the day revolved around their playing with each other. Playing make believe. Caring for each other. There were some (many) tears, and a bloody lip, but all in all it was a great day filled with warmth and laughter.

  • The kids enjoyed decorating the back sliding glass door. I asked that the pieces be put up high so Twin Husky could not reach them and eat them. They worked together. Big Bro cut out the pieces on the plastic (unnecessary but he enjoyed doing it), Red peeled them off, and Big Bro and Red put them on the door. Twin Crazy also helped a bit.
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  • Big Bro and Red were teaching both Twin Crazy and Twin Husky about their new LeapPads. Both seemed interested, I think.
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  • Twins were jumping up and down like jumping beans, testing out their mattresses in their cribs before naptime. They were cracking me up and I took a video of it, but here’s a photo for now.
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  • After naps it was sooooooooooooo cute but all four of them were playing “house”. They had pillows and blankets on the floor, and Big Bro was Daddy and Red was Mommy – the Twins were the kids. And the twins were loving it!!! The parents kept checking on the kids, telling them it was night night, asking them if they wanted water, and Red was patting each of them on the back. It was too cute. When I asked Twin Crazy about the game later that night and asked who the mommy was, she indicated [Red]. Same thing with Daddy [Big Bro].
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  • I cleaned a lot today. We have not had a mothers helper in two days now. I was busy in the kitchen and also doing laundry all day. Picking things up and organizing around the house during the kids naps.
  • We took it easy with pizza for dinner. The kids watched some tv afterwards. Big Bro threw several tantrums about ice-cream. We didn’t give in.
  • I had a busy, physical day – lots of lifting of kids and consoling. It seemed like Twin Husky was crying most of the time when the kids were all playing. Twin Crazy is very aggressive and I think the poor guy (Husky) might be a bit mistreated by them. I think that’s why he’s resorting to biting (which also happened, or almost happened, today).

    I’m tired. Physically and emotionally. I’m looking forward to the end of 2011 but I fear that 2012 will be much harder on me and my family. I need to make sure the kids are cared for and know that they are loved. Not just say the words to them, but do what takes to make each of them FEEL it. KNOW it. BELIEVE it. Unquestionably.

    Til next week – and 2012!
    – Mama K

    December 29: A Day for the Siblings


    Today was a day at home with the children. No work. I had all four of them since Big Bro’s public school is still closed, and since Red became VERY upset at the thought of everyone home except for her. So I gladly kept her home from pre-school today as well. You would think – 4 kids – all day – man that woman must be wiped out. Truth is, I’m not. I’m surprisingly very, very relaxed. No tension in my neck. No sadness. No aching. No worrying. I’m just, well, “being”. And it feels wonderful.

    We spent the day eating, playing, building legos, playing doll-house, setting up LeapPads, having the kids teach me about their LeapPads, napping, going to the library, cooking….. some fighting, some biting/hitting/yelling. But it was mostly laughing. It was mostly excitement. The kids really enjoyed being together. And playing together. Big kids interacting with the little kids – in a good way and also not-so-good way. But they were together. And they were being kids, being siblings with each other. I loved it.

    Some of the highlights that really grabbed me today:

  • Waking up to Red smiling next to my bed. She was in a great mood. Then suddenly, and out of nowhere, she turned crabby. I think it’s because she realized that she was not staying home ALONE with me – that the rest of the kids were going to be there too. So I sat with her. I rocked with her in silence. She needed to calm herself down and I needed to hold her.
  • Big Bro holding Twin Crazy – he asked her and she said “yes”. They were both really having fun – Twin Crazy with a HUGE grin on her face that she was being taken care of by her big brother. He did the same with Twin Husky but it did not grab me in the same way…
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  • It took an amazingly LONG time to get out the door today. I really don’t know why. Red was really a problem this morning. She was taking her time and changing her mind about pants. Pants. I must have touched and retouched 50 pairs of pants. I eventually told her that I was losing my patience and we were close to not going anywhere so she better decide and SOON. I think she needs more of my time but I don’t like giving it to her in this way — its too draining; no fun at all.
  • Walking into the library with my four munchkins in a line; the librarians all know our family. They are patient with us and our noise. Each of the Twins introduced the librarian with their comfort toys (a tiger for Twin Husky, a lovely blanket for Twin Crazy). Twin Crazy and Twin Husky wanted to spend most of their time drinking from the water fountain. They started fighting and I knew it was time to gather the kids quickly when I heard Twin Crazy screaming at the fountain and Twin Husky bending over to bite her. As we were checking out our books, I asked the librarian if she could make our check-out into several “transactions”. She “got it” immediately and was so good with the kids. The kids wanted to check out their own books with the one library card so she rung them each up separately (except for Twin Husky, who was wandering around with his thumb in his mouth, not interested in checking out books).
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  • Grabbing ice cream with the kids at 11 AM. We were the only ones there. Big Bro wanted to go there in daylight so we could eat in the outside courtyard. I usually get little cups for the Twins but they amazed me – they sat there and held their little cones and ate their cones without any major spills or losses of food. They sat on a bench that circled a HUGE tree and were so cute. Afterwards, the sugar started to kick in and they started to play follow-the-leader on top of the bench that encircled the tree. I sat there quietly and watched them. I was taking it all in. I took some movies. I captured how Big Bro was interacting with the little ones and how the little ones were having so much fun doing the same thing the older kids were doing. They are a pack of four now. It is now that REALLY feel like I have four, distinct, separate, individual, and lively children. I am very lucky that they are all happy, healthy, and honestly look out for each other.
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  • While Red was napping, her LeapPad arrived. I thing Big Bro was more excited about it than she was today. Anyway, Big Bro wanted to surprise her so he set it out by her bed so she could see it and be surprised when she woke up from her nap. I love how he can be so sweet. I love how he thinks of his siblings. I love how he just “gets” them. Knows what makes them happy. Knows what they need. He is really amazing.
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  • I wanted Big Bro to rest/nap – but he wanted to put his Lego space shuttle together first. Together we worked to get it finished, quickly. I looked at each instruction page and gathered the pieces needed, and handed them to Big Bro to stick them on. I know he enjoyed me helping him with his Lego set, just the two of us. But I think I enjoyed it more than him.
  • I made a roast today. I am having fun “nesting” with my babes. I sat on the floor and showed Twin Crazy and Twin Husky the peeler and taught them about the skin on the carrots and potato. I showed them how I peel the skin off and they felt the strips and laughed at the ones that went flying over the trash bucket I was using. Both were running to grab the strips and threw them in the trash bucket for me. I had them smell the peeled carrots and the peeled potato and explained that we could really smell the food now that the skins were off. I love spending time like this with them. I know that our daycare provider does not interact with them in this way. I love teaching them new things. And talking about the world around them. After dinner, Red was sitting on my lap and then leaning over, laughing and saying “ouch – mommy – my head is going into the hot lava”, pretending that the floor was a river of lava. She cracks me up.
  • We closed out the night watching a Sponge Bob show about Christmas and Santa. I had Twin Crazy on my lap. I then had Red laying next to me with a blanket. Then Red was on my knee, with a blanket, covering Twin Crazy and putting her arm around her, still on my lap. Then Twin Husky came over and sat on my other knee. So I had three kids in my lap, with my arms around them and talking with them about the show. Too cute.

    I had four kids today, got impatient with them yes, but had a different kind of fun with them. They were all together. I mostly sat back and watched the interaction. I was essentially a person shuffling them between different activities but really stood on the sidelines and just watched them. Watched them talk. Watched them laugh. Watched them care for each other. Watched them share.

    Where I could, I stole one-on-one time. But it was mostly a day for the siblings. And tomorrow will be another such day. I’m looking forward to it.

    It’s amazing how my life has changed — thinking back to my 20s, my 30s — one decade totally selfish while the next totally self-less. And now. How I revel in moments with my children whereas before it was a good dinner out, or dancing with friends, or doing shots in Hoboken, or… … … … I know that these days when my kids are very young will fly by. I’ve heard it soooo many times before. That’s why I’m choosing to be with them now and soak them in now while I have this time. While I can make them laugh. While three can sit in my lap. I’m soaking it in and smiling – knowing that I’m lucky.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    November 21: A day of pure silliness


    I’m feeling very relaxed from the four days with the kids. We had an active and lazy weekend which was nice balance. This will be an out-of-the-ordinary week for work because of Thanksgiving – one where I feel a bit under-the-gun to complete certain things at work.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • We all woke up very early this morning. Big Bro and Red set up their clothes the night before – many of which were “new”. We get a lot of hand-me-downs from other families and I took the time to bring out some of the bigger stuff for both Big Bro and Red. I made a big deal out of their “new clothes” and we looked at everything together as it all came out of the wash. Both kids were pumped. Both kids put piles together of things that they liked and didn’t like (the didn’t likes went back into the bin for the next generation of kids, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky). So, they were completely excited about picking out their outfits for today, laying them out on the floor, and getting dressed by themselves before we even went downstairs. It was great. I made a REALLY big deal out of it.
  • While I was getting ready I heard Twin Husky calling for “Mommy. Mommy.” All of the sudden he was upstairs and said “Hiya” and then there was Twin Crazy right behind him. Then I think Red came in. It is too funny. I love how they seek me out – even though sometimes it is nice for the quiet and my time alone. But then there is always a child, a set of hands reaching out to me, a conversation that must be started, or some tears that need to be attended to. I really can’t complain.
  • The rest of the morning was pretty standard – Twins climbing up on chairs to reach the counter, all kids eating, some fighting over toys, some tears. The only thing that was reasonably funny was when I gagged on my coffee (full mouthful) and tried to keep it in, but found it impossible and wound up spitting all of it all over Big Bro’s drawing. I laughed, told the kids about it, apologized to Big Bro, and they laughed about it. Thank goodness.
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  • We had only TWO drop offs today. We dropped the Twins off without a problem. They had fun looking at a garbage truck and saying goodbye to the garbage truck.
  • Our only other drop off was for Big Bro and Red, together. This is because Big Bro’s public school is CLOSED all week. We had to sign him up for “camp” for two days at Red’s school, Big Bro’s old school. I think he was nervous about a different routine / day, but excited at the same time. THey did great at drop off. I could tell that Big Bro was a bit anxious because of the different teacher and he didn’t know the only other kid there, but he quickly sat down and started playing dominos with them. No tears, no apprehension, no prolonged hugs or grasps at the hands. He’s really doing better at new experiences such as this.
  • I’m on the ferry now into the city, wearing some new courdoroy pants that are too long at the leg. They were on the pile at my new sewing machine [link] but I have not gotten to them yet. It is a short week and it is cold outside and I felt like wearing cords. So I just cuffed them and they look ridiculous. I will try to work on that over the upcoming break. So besides me feeling a bit self consious about the look of my pants, I am thinking about what I have to do today. I have too many meetings scheduled for me to feel like I’m going to get much done for the client deliverable I need to get done this week. I am over-booked for one hour with two different meetings so I need to get that fixed. I’m a bit nervous about getting this first draft of the client deliverable done. I find though that when I feel like this I focus beyond belief and I somehow plow through it. I’m hoping that kicks in for me today that way tomorrow and Wednesday I can scale back a bit.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I started the day with my Admin to help me work through two conference calls that were booked at the same time. She handled it well, thank goodness.
  • I had a conference call for my client project where we interviewed a key market player. The call was EXTREMELY short, but extremely informative. They also pointed us to other sources of information which was helpful.
  • I had a follow up one-on-one phone call with a participant from one of our forums from our last meeting; we received good feedback and ideas for our next meeting.
  • I lead another staff meeting where we talked about what we are working on, the proposals we are working, and if there were any issues we needed to discuss as a team. I think these meetings are going really well and bringing our people together more.
  • Immediately afterward, we had a client conference call and organized a face to face meeting for early December. I think I’ll have my shit together before then — HOPEFULLY.
  • The rest of the day was devoted to my deliverable but somehow I didn’t make any progress on anything. I organized myself for meetings for the next day and did some admin items. It would have been great to get some of the client deliveralbe finished, but again I’m procrastinating for some reason……
  • Now I’m on the ferry home – the sun is still out and I’m looking forward to only two pickups for the kids. I miss them on Mondays. I wonder about their days. I always ask them if 1) they learned anything new today; 2) how did they excercise their bodies today; and 3) what they laughed about during the day…. laughing so hard where their bellies hurt. I mostly just like to catch up with them on Monday nights after being away from them during the day.

    Dinner and Bedtime:
    The kids were acting EXTREMELY silly tonight. There were lots of laughs and interactions between all of them. It was an unusual Monday since Monday’s they are usually cranky. That was not the case tonight. They were lively, adventurous, playful, interactive, and full of giggles… completely egging the others on…

  • While I was cooking our “real” dinner, I quickly warmed up some leftovers from the weekend to get them started on something. I’m not sure exactly what they were doing in there, but there was lots of laughter, and at one point Twin Husky was on top of the table and all of the plates were all over the place. I think there was some food consumed, but it was minimal.
  • At the “real” dinner, all kids ate really well. Carrots are a big hit in our house lately. And everyone for some reason wanted to drink from MY waterglass instead of getting their own water.
  • After dinner Hubby gave the kids cookies and ice-cream; that may explain some of the silliness from tonight.
  • There was puzzle time with Red, tickles with the Twins and Big Bro. Big Bro knows that the secret to get me to STOP tickling him is to say “You’re GREAT mommy!!!. So I started to teach the Twins that to get me to stop tickling them they have to say “I love you Mommy”. They caught on really quickly but after I was winded with tickling laughter.
  • Red I and bumped heads while doing puzzles. We also bumped heads when I got her in her car seat earlier in the evening, and later at night when I was reading her a book. My head hurts now.
  • I repremanded Twin Husky for hitting Red and he did the silliest, cutest thing. He stood there, then blew air through his pursed lips real fast, clapped his hands real wide once or twice, and then threw himself on the floor and started to roll around. This got everyone in hysterics. I started to mimic him and he was cracking up.
  • For bedtime, Big Bro and Red wanted to read to the Twins. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” is a favorite of theirs. Big Bro read the whole book through, but when it came for Red’s turn, the Twins were already bored so it was hard to keep them in the same spot. This again got everyone in hysterics and the kids were basically running all over the place and poor Red was trying real hard to get the kids back to her. The look on her face when the Twins were running away was too cute. It was kindof like, “What are they doing? I’m ready to give up here” kind of look. She is so sweet and she just started giggling with everyone too.
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  • Bedtime for Red and Big Bro was fine. Big Bro started talking about the words he knows how to spell — and then he started to string them into sentences. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted him to show me. The below is his attempt to write “I like my school.”. I am really looking forward to this next stage of his development. You can tell that he’s thinking and trying with his words and really gets into putting the words to paper. I love that about him. His energy at figuring it out.
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  • Another thing that impressed me tonight was when we were reading “No David.” There is a part of the story where David is in a time out and the kid does look sad with a tear going down his face. Big Bro went back to that page and said he gets sad too. I probed and wanted to know if he gets sad when he gets in a time out, or if he meant that he feels sad for David. He said the latter. I breathed a sigh of relief. He explained that looking at the picture, and looking at his face, and the tear on his face, makes David sad and Big Bro gets sad for David when he sees it. Big Bro is VERY tall for his age but he is very gentle. And I am soooooooo thankful and happy that I see so much empathy in him – how he looks out for his siblings and how he also expresses his feelings to books that are meaningful to him. It was a great way for me to end the day with the kids.
  • So, I’m a bit tired today, feeling a bit behind at work, but feeling very satisfied with the kids, their happiness, and personalities. And I truly believe its going to get better from here.

    Til tomorrow,
    – Mama K

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