February 9: A hard day’s work

I was not working today as a management consultant. Today I was working as a mom. So, the day just evolved and the hours blended into one another. It was a great, but tiring day. Some highlights:

  • I strolled Twin Crazy and Twin Husky while Big Bro rode his bike to school. We were a bit on the late side but he made it there just in time. He was out of breath when we got there.
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  • I took Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to the park with sand. They climbed on the structure and slid down the slide. They got dirty. They got wet. They ate graham crackers. They looked at dogs. Twin Husky scaled a part of the structure I never thought he would. Twin Crazy held back a smile as she walked across the bridge.
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  • We went back home and had a bath since they were wet and covered in sand.
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  • Afterwards I did some laundry (they helped) and we decided to also clean Twin Husky’s Tigers. The problem was that they are battery-operated and I couldn’t rip out the mechanical parts so we decided to scrub-brush them clean. We had a great time doing that and of course the kids got soaking wet again so that just meant another change of clothes. We put the Tigers in the dryer and Big Bro was fine with that. They came out all fluffy and clean and we were talking about them for the rest of the day.
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  • We had a quick snack, and then decided to pick up Big Bro early – right after his Kindergarten – no aftercare. So we gathered ourselves back into the stroller with our clean Tigers and strolled to his school. We spied on him a bit in the playground and I chatted with some moms. They asked me how I’m loving my work schedule and they mentioned how they are seeing the difference in my kids. Some have also taken steps back to spend more time with their kids and the changes and impact on the children is noticeable almost immediately. We often talk about why we didn’t do this sooner.
  • Recess was over and the kids were lining up so I hid with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky elsewhere – Big Bro gets too anxious when he sees us and we were on the early side. So we ran around in a field while we were waiting for his classroom to let out. We had a great time – I was chasing the kids and they were loving running around in the grass at their brother’s school. I’m glad we got there too early so we could have this special running time in the field together.
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  • Big Bro was surprised to see us so early. He was excited to ride his bike home. Our back door neighbor was also there so they rode home together. It was really cute watching Big Bro with his friend. Just the two of them. He does much better in smaller settings. It takes him awhile to get comfortable with someone and this child is so sweet and easy going. It was great seeing them ride and talking and laughing with each other.
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  • At home, we had lunch. Big Bro had lunch with us too so that was his 2nd lunch. Then Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were happily ready for their naps.
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  • They nap for 2 hours so I grabbed the monitor and Big Bro and I went behind the house to the cul-de-sac where the other kids live. They rode bikes and ran through their houses for at least 2 hours. I kept checking on Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and they eventually were ready to get up.
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  • I went with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to pick up Red. The kids were playing in the playground when I got there. The kids love the Twins and the Twins loved their playground. It was so cute seeing how all of the kids were caring for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky…. showing them around, helping them up their structure, holding their hands. Red was a proud big sister.
  • When we got back I started to make dinner and the neighbors sent Big Bro over at 5 PM. I made some flat meat pork with a marinade and dinner was on the table really quickly. That is when the problems started. Big Bro just did not want to stop riding his bike. He rejected the backyard while I was making dinner and kept defying me when I told him not to go out front. He refused to sit at dinner, and also took out the toy bins and started dumping the toys on the ground. I’m not used to this kind of defiance so I just told him to leave the room. That we didn’t want him in the room anymore. We went back and forth and he spent some time in his room but he eventually just sat on the floor while we ate dinner. He ate nothing in defiance. I held my ground.
  • Afterwards he whined that he was hungry for close to 2 hours afterwards and I would not give in. He decided to boycott dinner so I wanted him to feel the consequences. I only offer the kids milk when they decide not to eat dinner (when I know they do like something that has been offered to them). So I offered him milk, he refused, and he went to bed hungry.
  • He was reasonably good at bedtime. He brushed his teeth, read his books, and cuddled up to me when I read some other books. The poor guy was just exhausted. I think he was riding his bike for close to 4 hours so his body must have really been tired.
  • So I’m sitting in bed, very tired, but it’s a happy tired. I feel good that I was able to spend the day with the littlest ones the way I did. And I had a lot of time with Big Bro (some great, some not so great) and was thrilled to surprise Big Bro the way that I did. It was interesting to see him interact in a way with his friends that I have not seen previously. Whizzing by on bikes, circling each other, sharing food, saying “that’s cool”. How did he grow up so quickly? I know he’s not even six and there’s so much more to come but my god it just hits you so fast and all of the sudden he’s talking and using reason and laughing at complex situations and just being such a person. I almost can’t wait for a house full of “real” people and the kind of interactions we will have… but yet I am ready and happy to wait… the time will come fast enough and I want this time while they are little and still want me close.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    December 9: Tantrums, sickness, lack of sleep X FOUR

    Happy Friday! Today is a “stay-at-home” day with me and the Twins. It has been a bit of a rough day so far…

    Highlights of the Morning and Early Afternoon:

  • I woke up a big hungover to three kids in my bed – Red, and the Twins. What was absolutely adorable was Red was reading to each of them.
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  • Big Bro put on a t-shirt and shorts. Mind you, it’s 37 degrees outside. I pleaded with him to think about the cold outside and think about pants. The problem is that it does actually warm up during the day, and he is very hot-blooded. So my pleading went ignored – but I left it up to him to make his own decision.
  • Everyone was a bit cranky this morning. The Twins both are sick. Sneezing and big red rashes all over the place. Roseola? Not sure. But they are cranky and clingy. Big Bro is whining about everything. Red starts her whining when it came to her socks. By the time we were on her jacket, she was in full-fledged tantrum. I think the Twins’ bad moods for being sick kindof rubbed off on the older two who maybe didn’t get enough sleep last night. Anyway, all four of them were not very enjoyable this morning. Or, maybe was it the wine I drank last night??!?!?!?
  • Big Bro scootered to school while I strollered the Twins. We were extremely late. By the time we got there he was the last one in but at least we caught up with the group. He then runs outside to me in tears because he forgot his library book. I said I would go back and get it. I looked into his eyes and he looked terrible. I’m putting these kids to bed early tonight.
  • On the stroller ride home with the Twins, I took it slow. We talked about things that we saw. I miss this with them. When Big Bro and later Red were small and we were living in the city, I would stroller them to daycare which was in my office building. So at that time, I had the opportunity to talk about so many things with them – it was city living so there was just a lot to look at and teach. Water fountains, big buildings, lights (and counting the lights), going into building lobbies and talking about the holiday decorations, pointing out the flags, etc. Now with the Twins, we commute primarily by mini-van. On days that I stroll with them, particularly on Thursday and Fridays when we are coming back home, I really want to take it slow with them. I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do with these two. We talked about the crows and how they fly away and how big their wings are. We saw two dogs playing so we pulled over to watch them play and we talked about how funny it is to see dogs and how they play and wrestle and run around in circles. We talked about the holiday decorations that we saw. Twin Husky initiated conversation about the playground and the slides. Twin Husky is still pointing out all of the basketball nets. We talked about the busier road and how cars drive fast on that road. We talked about flowers and spent some time looking at them. I talked with them the whole way home and felt better that I am doing more now to teach them about the world around them.
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  • I started looking for Big Bro’s library book and found it. I threw 2 diapers and a small package of wipes in my handbag. Also two little cars to keep the kids entertained. I’m taking them out to breakfast! I went to drop off the book, and Big Bro’s class was not there – so I left a present for him….
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  • Then we headed out for breakfast. I parked and decided NOT to stroller them, but to walk the two blocks. The kids had a great time and Twin Crazy almost looked proud to be walking with me, holding my hand, and crossing the street like a big girl. While at breakfast, our table was close to all of these holiday decorations and the board underneath a HUGE penguin kept getting pushed in by Twin Husky, therefore leading the penguin to almost coming crashing down on us twice. He is such a boy. He needs to touch everything. The penguin incident happened TWO times so he didn’t even learn from the first time. We had a good breakfast nonetheless, and the twins had lots of fun things to look at in this greasy spoon of a diner.
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  • Once we got back I had to care for sick twins. Both were extremely cranky. I had snot to deal with, red skin to deal with, sore noses to deal with, and medicine to give. It took about 15 minutes for the caregiving to kick in and after that they were much more pleasant.
  • We headed upstairs and I read them books. I love how they get so excited over the books. They each run for a book for me to read. Sometimes I read to them, and sometimes they read picture books to me. They love it. They love turning the pages. They love making the sounds that animals make. They love talking with me about what they see on the page. Once I say that the books are done and its time for their nap, they don’t even fight it. They welcome it. I kiss them and they grab hold of their stuffed animals and blankets and begin to doze.
  • They’re down for a nap now and I am getting some things done around the house. I enjoy this quiet time where I can focus on things that I normally would not be able to. The sun is out and I’m feeling good. The twins are quiet so it seems like they are busy sleeping.
    • The Rest of the Day:

    • The twins both woke up in foul moods. Twin Crazy was having a hard time sleeping the entire time because of her stuffed up nose. They’re both sick and struggling. I packed them up, picked up Big Bro, and headed out to a friends house who had a HUGE hand-me-down dollhouse and lots of hand-me-down clothes for all of the kids.
    • The dollhouse was bigger than expected. I thought I’d be able to slip it in the back and cover it up quickly before Big Bro would see it, that way it could be from Santa. No such luck. This thing was HUGE. Four feet tall, at least. I think 4 floors. It wouldn’t fit in the trunk of the mini-van. I tried over and over to shove it in. Of course Big Bro saw it. So I tried to get one of the seats to fold under to give more room. It was stuck. Me and Big Bro were trying to figure it out. He noticed that his car seat was in the way. I eventually got it. Both of us were excited and proud. What a team!!! The thing took up a big part of the van on the way home. Too funny.
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    • Hubby picked up Red while I cooked dinner; Flat Meat with chicken and I did a marinade with mango jelly and basil. Big Bro was throwing tantrums left and right. He was really, really difficult to deal with tonight. The dinner was very good. The kids ate well but it took them awhile to get started — again, their crankiness was a bit too much to bear. I started to drink a Guinness..
    • After dinner we brought out the dollhouse and Big Bro, Red, and Twin Crazy had fun cleaning it. The three of them seem really excited about it. I would have loved it if I had it when I was a kid. Maybe Santa can get Red some proper dolls to play with it, and maybe some more furniture.
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    • There were huge tantrums tonight with the older kids about graham crackers, going to the potty, etc. I just think that both of them were way too tired.
    • So, today was great in that we have all of this new “loot” in the house – clothes, dollhouse, etc. But honestly ALL of the kids were so hard today. All the result of too little sleep and being sick. I really need for Big Bro to nap this weekend. And I hope the kids sleep in a bit tomorrow. Because I know I’ll be moving slowly…

      Have a great weekend everyone –
      Til next week –
      – Mama K

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