July 26 and 27: Stabilizing


This is going out totally late, but I’ve been SUPER busy the past few days but still wanted to share some highlights:

Thursday, July 26:

  • Woke up to the kids each pattering into my room one by one and landing in my bed.  I love this time with them in the AM.   We ate a great breakfast, played with the chicken (she gave Twin Husky a peck/kiss through the screen door), and Red taught me how to dim the lights.  I never knew the lights could do that here.  She figured it out and taught me how she did it.   We got dressed and out the door.
  • There was no traffic and we talked about food shopping for the day and what kind of food we needed from Trader Joe’s.  Drop off for Big Bro and Red was fine; all kids looked at art from their art show.  I told them I would pick them up super-early – after lunch, but before nap.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and I hit the town and ran some errands in my old neighborhood.  I bought gas, and then we headed to the Main Library, which was new to us.  I needed to work a bit so the kids “read” some books, played, colored… while I sent out numerous emails for work.   This trip was essentially a disaster.  I know we won’t be going back there again.  They were at first very well-behaved.  And then I’m not sure what happened.  Maybe the snack kicked in, but they were running, scrambling on the seats, and causing a huge scene because they were laughing so hard.  All of this happening of course while I was working.   We (me and Librarian) tried to divert their attention to coloring, which lasted for about 5 minutes, but then there were back on the scrambling seats again but this time with crayons in their hands, running around in circles and drawing on the seats.  I gave them a time-out while I frantically cleaned up the crayon from the cushions.   We then fled.
  • Afterwards, we went shopping at Trader Joe’s.   We talked about the list of what we needed.  I am amazed at the memory of these 2 1/2 year olds.  They recited the entire list and even reminded me of some things I missed!    I had fun shopping with them.
  • We then went to pick up Big Bro and Red.  We headed back in no traffic.
  • At home, me and Red did our fingernails.  All kids played with bubbles.   We then took a stroll around the corner from the house where there are wild blackberries; we picked a bunch but poor Twin Husky kept walking on top of the thorned vines and hurting himself.  After a lot of other complaints it was time to go home.
  • Dinner was uneventful – except that I’m getting the kids to load up on fruits and vegetables.   Do you know that you’re supposed to have that be like 50% of your daily intake of food??!??!!?
  • We experimented with the Twins with spitting out toothpaste.  They both know how to spit so we’re graduating to the flouride-kind used by Big Bro and Red.

Friday, July 27:

  • I had to wake up super-early.  I had a court date for child custody and child support.  Therefore, kids had to be up and ready too, and all of them were going to daycare.  The kids put up a fight at first, but after they got started they were actually in great moods when we got into the car.  The ride was not bad; early enough in the summertime so the traffic was manageable.  We talked about fog.
  • Drop offs were all fine.  I hugged the kids a bit harder that morning.
  • Went off to the courthouse and met up with my new lawyer.  This will be the day that I will see what she is made of.   She had great ideas to protect me in certain areas and we showed up very well prepared.  I presented co-parent with several options that would be acceptable for me for child support decisions.  So essentially it was left to him.  We struck an agreement that is reasonable and fair.   My lawyer is great.  I wish I found her sooner.  I burned up too much money with my old lawyer and all he wanted to do was go to court.  What a waste.
  • I picked up the kids immediately afterwards.  We headed back to my house even though I had to drop the kids off at co-parent’s later that night.  I wanted to be with them and relax at my home.
  • It was hot so we did water-play.  It was fun.  I loved it actually.   I honestly needed to sit back, relax, and feel the sun on my body.  I needed to lay down and hear the kids laugh and play.   I needed to sit and not think.   I felt so much better after just 10 minutes being outside in the warm air.
  • Big Bro was a bit of a “teaser” so I sent him inside.  I then noticed that the blankets were torn off of my bed and the girl’s bed and I talked to Big Bro about it.  He claimed it wasn’t him.  I didn’t believe him since the acts would have required muscle.   I left him alone to sulk inside and was hoping he would just tell me the truth that he was mad at me.  But he wouldn’t.  He kept his story straight the whole time.  So then I asked Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and they admitted it.  They were a pair acting together and ripped the sheets off the bed.  I felt so bad.  I apologized to Big Bro.  I said that he must have felt so frustrated at me, when he was telling me the truth and I was not listening to him.  I felt so bad for the kid.  He did so good though, staying inside and not putting up a fight with me.  I was actually very proud of him.  He told me his side of the story, and then accepted my apology with grace.
  • The ride back was fine.   Friday’s are good since I know I’m going to see them on Saturday afternoon.

Afterwards, I drove back and went to the Apple store.  I bought a new computer.  I went home.  I proceeded to put together the IKEA desk furniture.  I drank one beer and ate 1/2 box of Life cereal.  I worked until midnight.  I fell into my bed, exhausted but strangely at peace.

There are now quite a bit of the divorce process behind us.   We’ve physically separated, the kids now have two homes, I bought a house and have managed to furnish it and put it together as best I can, we battled on child custody, mediated child custody, and had a child custody evaluation for the next school year.   We mediated child support and came to an agreement.  I had one lawyer, and then another (and am much happier now).   Although it would have been nice to have an extra stream of money over to me, I think the arrangement that we came up with is good.  The money is going to childcare.  And we’re now getting the best childcare for the kids.   And I still get to feel like I’m doing this on my own.  I am fiercely independent and the thought of child support paid over to me honestly felt funny.   I don’t think I like that arrangement.   With this, we each are invented to optimize what we can earn to do the best for the kids.   And I get my autonomy.   And independence.  And ability to work the way I need to, so I can be there for the kids and take care of myself in the process.

Have a great weekend everyone

– Mama K

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May 21: What a difference 7 years makes


Monday… a first day of the work-week after an AMAZING weekend with the kids at my new house. And May 21. The anniversary of my marriage that is currently being dissolved…

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy went nuts when she saw me. Hugs and slaps on the back. “Mommy!!! Mommy!!! Mommy!!!!”. She kept slapping away and dancing and jumping in my arms. How sweet.
  • Twin Husky pointed on his head for me to kiss him. I remember him pointing and touching Red’s chair with his foot – like he was teasing her but not really. When I asked him to do it some more so I could take a picture, he gave me a dirty look. Too cute. Then he started making faces at me – puckering up his lips and acting silly. We were all laughing.
  • Red woke up cranky – likely due to two days with no naps. We are short on her favorite breakfast foods so that was also a problem today. I need to go food shopping.
  • The kids tried Rice Krispies (my favorite cereal – I love it on top of ice-cream) and they were interested in the snap crackle pop but not that interested in the actual cereal.
  • Big Bro was EXCELLENT. He got changed, ate breakfast, and was ready to ride with the Motley Crew.
  • Twin Crazy became very cranky since she was never changed out of her diaper this morning… it was all wet and I took it off and then she ran away from me with her pajamas and underwear down by her knees… walking around naked and laughing.
  • I helped Big Bro with his shoes, and Red with her clothes.
  • I dropped off Red and let them know that she missed her naps this weekend so might be tired. I also let them know that she saw Mommy’s house and the CHICKENS so they could have something to talk about.
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    I sat on the ferry and talked with a neighbor the whole way. Talked about the weekend, his BBQ, his kids, my house, the kids’ reactions to the house. The fact that I would love to see him and his family come out for a visit. They are my only real connection in my current neighborhood and I will miss them. They’ve really done a lot for me over the past year and I appreciate them so much.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

  • As soon as I walked in, I was hit with a client deliverable that needed to be reviewed first thing in the AM for delivery to the client ASAP. I spent about 2 hours on it and we sent it off by noon.
  • I grabbed an amazing won-ton and noodle soup. It was freezing today.
  • I crafted a letter to close out a separate project. I’ll be glad when both of these client projects are over.
  • I did a lot of administrative items – also mapping out what I need to do with my “real” job now that my client work is finally [almost] over.
  • I had to leave a bit early to catch my doctor appointment tonight. Time went by so fast… I was talking about so much. There is a lot for me to talk about and I really don’t have anyone out here to talk to – it’s amazing how my mutual friends have just gone silent – they are keeping their distance. I have few friends out here from my past and they are supportive. I talk to my family daily but they get so frustrated at the situation and they are a bit behind the acceptance curve that I am on. I have already accepted so much and they are not quite there with me yet. This whole process is so unbelievably frustrating and such a waste of time/money. And it does NO good for the families or the children involved. I hate the way this divorce is going and I would have done things so differently if possible.
  • Dinner and Bedtime:
    My ferry is coming in now, it is 8 PM. I am going to go straight to Trader Joe’s to pick up food for the kids. I will likely miss the kids tonight since the older ones are REALLY wiped out. I have a lot of work to do tonight related to the divorce. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! HA. What a joke.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    p.s., I bought bags of breakfast stuff at Trader Joes. That will likely be my last trip at Trader Joes for food at this house. Co-parent will have to do it from here on out while they are his house.

    The older kids were still awake when I got home. I got lots of hugs and Red sat on my lap. Both wanted me to spend time with them and scratch their backs. Big Bro told me that I smelled bad. Was it the fish tacos with onions? I asked him if it was my breath or my body. He didn’t know. I asked if I should brush my teeth or take a shower. He said “both”. Great.

    The twins were also talking in their rooms so I said hello to them. Twin Husky was lifting his arms to hug me. Twin Crazy was standing up swinging her head from side to side. I asked them if they wanted me to sing and they of course said Yes. I got them out of their cribs and they each sat in my lap, one head to each of my shoulders. I said I would sing “Twinkle Twinkle” three times and then it was back to their cribs. I rocked and sang with them and enjoyed my brief time with them. They are so good. They went off to their cribs with smiles. “I…… love….. you…..” in whispers. Sweet dreams my babies.

    December 28: Working with Big Bro


    Wednesday – a work from home day. Big Bro’s school is closed so I decided to keep him home with me instead of pay for “camp” – especially since I am home, and only working 4 hours today. He was looking forward to the day. Red – well, not so much. I think she was jealous.

    Highlights of the Morning and “Commute”:

  • I got up extra early, showered, started a big pot of coffee. I did not get much sleep last night. So I needed the extra caffeine and would be home to drink it. I got Twin Crazy and Twin Husky up – they are always already up, but just hanging out in their cribs at 7 AM. So I went to their room, they jumped up and were excited about starting their day. I did quick changes for them while they were in the room so they were contained and that task would be done with.
  • Red was up, Big Bro was still slumbering. I let him sleep. There was no need to get him up; as long as he was up by 8 AM for us to drop folks off.
  • Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Red were busy eating cereal and oatmeal. Twins are talking and repeating words non-stop. I love it. Absolutely love it.
  • The morning went smoothly. Except for when Red heard that Big Bro was staying home and she was not. That threw her into a fit, I rocked her, and then asked her if she wanted to help me with my coffee. That worked. She put sugar and cream in my cup – and all kids looked at it. Then I poured the coffee and talked about how the coffee was first dark, but when you put cream in it, it turns light. Of course the Twins were repeating all of this in their own way.
  • We headed out; I dropped off Hubby at the ferry and we talked about the boat. I dropped off Twin Crazy and Twin Husky, and then we dropped off Red. She was pretending to be mad at me, but just couldn’t play the part consistently. She kept laughing at me – couldn’t hold it back.
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    Highlights of the Working Day:
    Remember… I’m working from home, for 4 hours, and I have my son with me. And its a slow week. During the holidays…

  • While back at home, Big Bro and I ate pancakes and the cutest thing was said: “Mommy, can you eat these pancakes with me because I have a TON of whipped cream on this plate.” How cute. He is a guy that feels loved by doing things together – and this comes out so strongly now that I am aware of it.
  • I filled out administrative forms and benefits while Big Bro played with his new LeapPad and watched some Dora. He got anxious and played a bit outside.
  • In the middle of work I decided to use the leftover ham from Christmas and made split pea soup. In typical fashion for me, I overdid it. I just wanted to use all of the dried split peas we had. So I wound up making I think 2 gallons of split pea soup. It’s actually a bit ridiculous. I don’t think I have enough containers to hold it all to freeze. I may have to give some away to neighbors. Too funny. Some people give cookies, I may give soup. Note: My holiday cards are STILL not sent out.
  • I finished up the forms and needed to fax them in. So me and Big Bro head out to Office Max to fax and FedEx. It took a lot longer than expected. Poor Big Bro. While going to the store he said he was too tired to put his shoes on (jokingly). He was doing and saying a lot today to make me laugh. He is becoming a simple and funny guy – with a smart sense of humor – one that makes me laugh at a drop of a hat (OK, I’m biased. Maybe he’s not that funny after all).
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    The Rest of the Day:

  • We went to lunch together. We talked. I blogged a bit while he LeapPaded. He made a comment that we were both doing computers together. Again, his mention of togetherness. It means so much to him.
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  • We got some food from Trader Joe’s. Again, he was my buddy. We talked during the shopping trip about the stuff we needed or would like to get. He was great company and sooooo well behaved.
  • We made it home and I packaged up the soup – ridiculous, I know.
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  • I cleaned up and got ready for the arrival of the rest of the kids. In doing so, I sat with Big Bro and together we completed his Lego space shuttle together. I had fun doing that with him. I’m amazed at how quickly he has mastered this thing. He follows all of the pages and puts this thing together effortlessly. I think his request for “help” again was a ploy for together, Mommy time. I happily caved.
  • Pick up for Red was fine; on the way to pick up the twins, Red asked if she could stay home tomorrow with me, all by herself. I reminded her that NEXT Wednesday would be her day. I reminded her that I have Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Big Bro tomorrow at home, and asked her if she would want to stay home too. She immediately said “YES!!!” and then they both started talking about how everyone wants to stay home with mommy tomorrow. It melted my heart. I asked if they liked it better with extra time with me and less time for me at work and they agreed – they like it better. I know, this was a “leading” question, but hey, I needed an emotional boost. 🙂
  • Getting everyone home was fine. We saw an amazing sunset and I pulled over with them to talk about it and the colors. The kids still saw lots of lights on the houses so we drove around talking about lights. By the way, I don’t know if I mentioned Twin Crazy’s new skill – buckles. She MUST buckle her top buckle on her car seat. I love her intensity and the fact that we can communicate with each other.
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  • While at home, I cooked Tandoori Chicken with yogurt sauce (Amazing!!! Thanks again Mama S!) while the kids went a little bit nuts I must confess. They were VERY loud and VERY physical and teasing each other and being bratty kids. Poor Twin Husky was being battered on. He spent most of this time crying, or being held by me while resting his head on my shoulder and sucking his thumb.
  • Dinner was amazing; half the kids ate well. Red was tired and pouty. The rest were running around the house at least not thrashing each other. I’m OK with running around the big circle of our house as long as they are keeping their hands to themselves and not screaming. Tonight after dinner they were cracking up and I loved to see Big Bro interact with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky (a four year difference). Big Bro asked me to see how fast he could run and of course I applauded him and then Twin Crazy the rest of the night asked me to see how fast she could run. How cute. Each time they ran around they stopped where I was and laughed, rested, or I tickled them. It was fun and they had me laughing.
  • Then suddenly one of the kids mentioned chocolate ice-cream and then ALL of them started whining for chocolate ice-cream. I couldn’t take it. It was early but I sent everyone upstairs to bed. The older ones were really putting up a fuss about the ice-cream thing which just ticked me off. Big Bro and Red were both hysterical about it; Red was being carried up by Hubby and she was kicking and screaming. I rarely see anything like this from her. We talked about how they felt, and how sad/mad/unhappy/disappointed they must feel. And I said how I used to feel the same way when I was a kid and my parents didn’t give me dessert when I thought I was going to get some… how I would be thinking about it and expecting it and then my mom or dad wouldn’t let me have it, how it made me mad/sad/disappointed. And how it is OK to have those feelings. THEY SETTLED DOWN SO QUICKLY I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I then commended them on how they pulled themselves together and how they moved on. How they calmed their bodies down and started to accept it – they still feel mad, but at least they are calm about it. I love connecting with them this way – I find though that you really need to be patient with them; it is easier for me to do this when I have days like today – versus days when I am stressed and/or tired from long or complex day at work. Or, even after a long day with all of the kids. I really only had Big Bro today and he was a breeze, solo.
  • Big Bro and Red and I wrote down a list of things we are DEFINITELY going to do tomorrow (e.g., eat breakfast, vitamins, etc.) and some fun things we COULD do (beach, museum, library, etc.). I’m looking forward with my time with all of them tomorrow but hope I get more sleep tonight!!!
  • I had a bizarre work day, and do not feel so good about my productivity, but I toss it up to the week between the holidays…. right??!?! Am I the only one out there?

    I’m feeling happy and much more comfortable in my own skin today – thanks for those who reached out to me yesterday and today to send me cyber-strength. It means so much, seriously.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

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