August 2: Haircuts and sibling solidarity

Today was a full, great day… we did A LOT and also had some mishaps along the way.   My daughter looks trendier than I (not really that hard to do) because of this awesome haircut that one of her siblings gave her… but she keeps changing her story to protect their identity.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I woke up to Twin Crazy, and then Red, and then Twin Husky… he is so sweet.  He climbs in smiling and cuddling and quiet.
  • Red wanted to “do something with me”.  Your kidding me.  I haven’t even been out of bed and my bladder is ready to burst and my breath stinks.  Plus I’m half asleep.  I suggested drawing/coloring something together and that worked.  She wanted a princess, prince, and castle.   She helped me draw it and then colored some of it in.
  • The kids talked me into making Thursdays “chocolate day” at mommy’s house.   I suggested Sundays, but Big Bro was violently against that since he likes the pancake routine on Sundays.  I suggested Friday, and he said that movie night is Friday night and that Thursday has nothing special.  This little guy should be a lawyer when he grows up.  The art of negotiation.  He can argue anything with sound logic.  Very persuasive.  So I broke out the Nutella and the kids went nuts.
  • I was getting the kids ready and in between one of the children changes Twin Crazy decided to give herself a haircut.   No, this is NOT the haircut that I referred to in the title of this post… it was just a few strands but still.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I took the kid scissors out of the office since the little ones “do not know how to properly use them yet”
  • The ride to their daycare was fine.  We talked about some funny things but I can’t remember what.   We talked about a food shopping list, and also played a spelling game.
  • On the way in we drove by a field that used to have wild rabbits but now is infested with moles.  They are so cute (when they are not in YOUR yard).   We saw so many… standing up, running, scurrying, jumping into the ground.  I stopped for a bit, and also drove very slowly down the side street so we could look at them.
  • Big Bro did not want to be dropped off with the siblings around.  So I left them in the front office of the daycare center so Big Bro could have his privacy.
  • Red’s drop off was great.  She knew I was going to pick her up early and was all smiles.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky drank some water and Twin Crazy went to the potty.  And then we hit the road for our errands.
  • I had a work conference call so got to a playground just in time for me to take that call.  The kids were great – playing on the play structure, little tiny merry-go-round, playing in the sand.  I had a great call.
  • Afterwards we went food shopping.  They were in a “car cart” and they had a blast.  We did our shopping quickly.
  • We picked up the older siblings, got gas, and then headed home.  I had another conference call while on the road – this was a big “sell” meeting for a new member to the “established” forum that I manage.  This was a BIG win for me.   It was awesome.  I felt great.    Here I have four kids in a car (the majority of them sleeping) and am able to also land a deal.   On my day off.   And headed home to play with the kids.   It was great.



The Rest of the Day:

  •  Big Bro, Red and I went “hunting” for several spiders in the house.  I have to remember to close the screen door and front door in this place.   We have lots of cobwebs in here and I’m not a fan of bugs in general.  The kids examined the spider in the “bug vacuum” which was cute.
  • It was hot outside.  WATER PLAY!
  • That is when I noticed that there was a lock of red hair floating in the pool.  And it had a curl in it.   So I asked about this hair.  And I looked at Red’s head.  And couldn’t believe what I saw.  The back of her head is cut really short, but the sides are long and curly.  It almost looks cute, like it’s supposed to be like that…. but still… how did it get this way????   She kept changing her story.  Big Bro…. Twin Crazy… .then everything always gets blamed on Twin Husky.   I have no idea what to believe but I do not believe her.  And she is protecting her sibling.  Most likely an OLDER sibling.   Most likely the sibling who could get to scissors on his own since everything was taken away earlier in the day.  I asked where the missing hair was.  She said in the backyard.  Yes, she was right.  Various locks of red curls.   In my dead grass.  I was pissed, to say the least.
  • This put a damper on my mood.   I kept the older kids inside and let the younger ones play outside.   The older kids said they wished they were at daddy’s.  I wished they were too at that very moment.
  • We ate an amazing dinner and they all ate like champs.   I love how they know to expect vegetables and tonight we had sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and fresh broccoli.  Along with chicken and rice.    Lots of fruit for dessert.  My belly is still full.
  • After dinner I boycotted Big Bro’s request for a movie.  We went outside, I picked some weeds while talking to my mom, there were several kid breakdowns over shoes.
  • Big Bro and Red broke out the sidewalk chalk and that gave them all something to do while I cleaned up from dinner and also swept the outside.   It felt sooooooooo good to be doing that.  Sweeping in the evening after dinner while the kids were right there with me playing on their own, together.   I loved it.   I fed my compost bin and commented on the chalk “dust” that they were busy making.
  • Bedtime was fine.
  • After the kids went to bed I had some more work to do, following up and sending information to the folks I had on the calls today.

My day was really busy and extremely diverse.   Hunting for moles and spiders — two different haircuts — playground — shopping — driving and working and making money for the company — being tricked by the kids and witnessing fierce protection between them — and enjoying a suburban summer evening with the kids and the crickets.

I’m feeling really good now.   I loved today.   And the crickets are singing loud right now and I feel so happy to hear their song.

Til tomorrow –

– 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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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

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