Staying Sane: The holiday card that was never sent, and some M&Ms

I was struggling a bit for a topic for this Sunday’s Staying Sane piece. Not that there isn’t something to write about… just the contrary. The end of 2011… a year of new beginnings with 2012, goals, commitments we are all making to make ourselves and our families happier…. yes, there is a lot going through my mind and I have a lot to write about. But in due course.

What I decided to do is focus on some fun and folly. And also me dropping the ball on cards this year.  For friends who receive cards from us faithfully year after year, you will notice, or maybe you have not noticed, that our card this year did not make it out.  We tried.  Honestly we did.   We were lucky to have a calendar put together this year.  In fact, I still have some gifts I need to get together.   So, don’t take it personally.  It’s not you, or your family, we love all of you and we did receive your card, and my how the kids are growing and everyone looks so happy.

OK.   Now that that is done, let’s get back to our card that was never sent out.  Well, we like to put a photo of the kids in it.  And that involves a photo-shoot and stiff garments.   So we need to bribe the kids.   It started with bribery of some animal house crackers before the photo shoot and the promise for more after the shoot. Now, just imagine trying to wrestle FOUR kids under 5.5 yrs old into itchy clothes, some of which make them look like guido mobsters.  And THEN ask them to look happy, look forward, get together, Big Bro you’re doing great, no don’t walk off Twin Husky, come on guys, Red please smile — why are you pouting, try to get together guys, look happy, OK everyone look over here, over HERE, OVER HERE GUYS, I promise we’ll get cookies, why don’t I just go behind the photo drop and you can sit on my lap, etc. And this is what you get:

After about 10 minutes of this, we called off the photo shoot and just hoped that we got something reasonable – didn’t have to be great, just reasonable. I took them all downstairs for their animal crackers. That’s when I came across the M&Ms…. and it hit me. I started to hand them out. The kids started to look energized. Their dark, sullen, tired eyes started to brighten up and they started to look like sweet little picture-book kids with leaps and bounds of energy — even the guidos…..

We turned around and I instructed all kids to get upstairs for Photo Shoot #2, pronto!!!  Now just see if you can envision the sight…. four kids in a parade back up the stairs with me following them with our jug of left-over Halloween candy, searching for more of those little M&M packets as I’m running up the stairs behind them.

And then we saw happy kids. Really. All four of them. And they were interacting. And smiling. And giggling. And acting goofy. And feeding off of each other’s energy. And glowing. And this is what we got:

And during this craziness, we got so many great pictures, with ALL of them looking forward, with ALL of them reasonably close to each other, with ALL of them smiling from ear to ear.   And in the stream of pictures we took, we captured IT:

So, I am going to keep this M&M thing in my back-pocket in the future. For big occasions. For times when I need cooperation with all four of them. And I think I’m going to keep a jar of them for me, out of sight for little hands to grab as their own.

Happy new year everyone – I hope you take 2012 by storm!

– Mama K

August 16: Powder fight!

First of all THANK YOU for everyone who reached out to me today; this means a lot.  My story is much more complicated than you know but nonetheless I really appreciate all the good vibes people are sending.  Thank you.   These are my notes from my morning commute and rest of the day….


I feel completely out of it this morning.   Woke up in the middle of the night crying – so as well as feeling down, I’m very sleepy.   My eyes are swollen this morning so with no make up I must look like a sight.   Anyway,

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I missed most of the morning with the kids.   Red came in to greet me all dressed and EXTREMELY proud of herself.  “I got dressed all by myself!!”.    She asked me to help her roll up her sleeves — the sleeves honestly did not need to be rolled up but I did it anyway and made a real big fuss about how great she did and how proud of her I was.  I think the rolling of the sleeves was her way of holding on to me… maybe knowing I was still there for her.   How sweet.
  • Big Bro was already downstairs — it is Chocolate Tuesday after all.
  • Twin Husky was busy saying “Hiiiiiiiiiiyyyyy” when I saw him.
  • Twin Crazy was acting anxious — I was not sure if she wanted some bread with Nutella too so I offered it but she looked at it like it was dirt and walked away.   Later she came up to me with bread crusts and I’m not sure if she wanted me to try again with Nutella or if she was just giving me garbage.   I did not have the energy to figure it out.
  • I made some coffee this AM
  • Got the kids their vitamins.
  • Hubby already loaded everyone in the car; I grabbed the bag and found the random shoes.
  • first drop off went very, very well.   I again made a big deal about Red picking out her clothes and putting them on all by herself.   She seemed happy and smug.   Daycare told us that ALL day yesterday Twin Crazy was singing to herself and moving her hands.    I’m wondering if she was singing Twinkle Twinkle or maybe Itsy Bitsy Spider???!??!?    How cute.   Twin Husky smiles when I bring him out of the car seat and says “Byyyyyyyyyyyye” to Big Bro.    He snuggles in for one last hug before I hand him over to Daycare.   They all seem happy there.
  • Drop off with Big Bro went well.   The teacher noticed that he did not bring in a game today – I wonder if the kids were too rough with his Uno cards yesterday.   He gets particular like that over his things.

Ferry ride is quiet; the water is still.  It is gray and foggy.   I just want to break down and cry some more but am holding it in.    Today at work I’ll likely work on a proposal and continue to do sales outreach for the meeting in October.   After departing the ferry me and hubby walk together and I finally let it loose; I am so unhappy – and he knows it.    We go our separate ways and I fall to pieces.   I grab some breakfast, coffee, and OJ and the stranger behind the counter pleads with me that she knows there is something terribly wrong but sometimes just putting on a smile gets you through the day…. little does she know that I’ve run out of smiles a long time ago and can’t find my smile unless I’m with my children.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • I spent most of the day working on the finishing touches of a proposal.   We shipped it off at the end of the day and it is very likely that we will start the work on Monday.   We do not think the client is going to any other consulting firm – I’ve been the day-to-day contact with him so this is my first true “lead” sale.   (he got to us through a random phone call from the website, but I answered the call…. lucky me!)
  • I also assisted with a big proposal that is due to the potential client by end of week.   Coordinated the “references” so we can begin to reach out to our previous clients to see if they would feel comfortable serving as references for our work.
  • I did some sales outreach for the meeting in October.   Sent materials to a client I sold into the membership – so again, I am the point person for a new client relationship here.


I had a pretty bad day.   I was crying a lot at work and it was very visible that I was distressed; “No, there’s nothing you can do, but thank you” was always my response.   I’m hoping things can change – my family is depending on it.


Dinner and Bedtime:

I had an EXCELLENT time with the kids tonight.   I missed them from last night and this morning so really they were such a joy to be around tonight.

  • We pick up Red and Twins and it was so cute, they were going for a walk along the cul-de-sac.   They are so sweet.  No more babies!   They are so big now!
  • At home, Twin Crazy and Twin Husky are extremely interested in Red going pee-pee on the little potty.    They both wave goodbye to it as I flush it down the toilet.   I clean out the potty and Twin Crazy sits on it (clothed) as does Twin Husky.   Then Twin Crazy flushes the toilet again.  So cute.
  • I don’t know all the details, but I do know that Twin Husky took a bite out of Red’s thigh somewhere near the bookshelf.  So maybe they were fighting over a book.   This is REALLY a first for us.  I promptly reprimanded him and put him in his first “time out” for about 1 1/2 minutes – he was screaming, then sulking, but he knew that what he did was wrong.    Poor Red has teeth mark bruises on her leg now.  She was brave putting ice on her leg.
  • Twin Crazy’s foot got caught in a tissue box
  • Twin Crazy opened the refrigerator and took out a juice… then all the rest of the kids requested juice, even Twin Husky “juice”.   We usually only give milk or water before bedtime so this was a real treat for them to have juice at dinner.   I guess this is a rule we abide to for now on?   All for one and one for all?    Hmmmm.   I don’t know about this.    I think I’m going to have to back down on this one.
  • After dinner, Twin Husky was still crawling around on the floor picking up left-overs.  We don’t even need a dog in this house because of him.  Red thought that this was EXTREMELY funny.
  • Big Bro said he could count to 100, to 1,000, to 10,000, 100,000.   I mentioned 900,000 and then he mentioned 1 million.  I asked him if he had ever seen anyone write out 900,000 and he said no, so I grabbed my notebook to show him.   He’s really interested in numbers and science and reading – I am so psyched about it.  He goes to Kindergarten in less than two weeks and I know that it will be a lot for ME.   I think I need to take him shopping for a new lunchbox or something.
  • I changed Twin Husky and put some powder on him.   We all proceeded to feel the powder, me put powder on their bellies, powder in their hands, and suddenly all five of us were covered in powder.   My shirt still is grey and stinks of it (at least it’s a good stink).
  • Off to bed!    Books and kisses.   I love all of them so much!
I had such a great time tonight – what a roller coaster of a day.   My eyes are still swollen and burning – hopefully tomorrow will be more consistent.
Till tomorrow,
– Mama K



%d bloggers like this: