July 18: Teeth


Wednesday, working 1/2 day from home, then I get the kids.  We had a big day today.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I woke up super early.  Did some laundry.  Set up for work.  It was chilly so I put the fire on.   I love this house.
  • I was very productive today.  I arranged speakers for two forums and talked with an ex-colleague.   Sent out some emails regarding a media interview.  I may be interviewed on Monday; I’ll find out over the next day or two.
  • I wrapped up at 12:30 to get the kids.

Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • Picked up all kids; went to the Dentist!  All kids were great.  Red got x-rays.   Kids played before hand.  Big kids were amazingly still and calm during their checkup so Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were completely OK with their check up.  They all did great.  Big Bro picked mint toothpaste, Red picked Orange, Twin Husky picked Grape, and Twin Crazy picked Strawberry.
  • We went to Home Depot to return some dead plants and I picked up some others that will thrive around the house.  I pulled the divorced mom of four kids story and got 50% of my new plants, after returning the dead ones with tags still on them (but no receipt).   I was pumped.
  • Got back to the house and the Legos arrived from Amazon.  All kids were busy with their Legos.
  • We ate fast – Twin Husky cut up his hot dog.  
  • The grandkids next door (other next door – the house with the chickens) came over to play.  We played ball in the backyard.  So I had 7 kids on my hands.
  • I picked some weeds and fed the chickens.
  • Bedtime was rough.  The kids are taking a long time to get used to this transition at this house.  I talked with the girls for awhile.   Twin Crazy is a parrot to Red.  She repeats EVERYTHING.  Questions and all.   “Do foxes walk on two or four legs?  Do foxes eat chickens?  Do foxes eat guinnea pigs?  Do foxes eat fish?   What do dogs eat?  How do dogs eat?  I love the sound of crickets.   Is the guinnea pig safe because he’s in his cage?”
  • I told Twin Crazy that I loved her and kissed her forehead.  She said I love you right back.  I did the same for Red.  I told them that I’m so happy that they are here.

I had a great day.  I felt super-productive at work, and had a really long and diverse time with the kids.  Dentists, plant shopping, Legos, playing ball…. it was great.

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May 30: Wagons of Weeds


Wednesday!   My day to work from home and work 1/2 a day.  I love these days.  I actually get A LOT done!  Some highlights, that I remember:

Highlights of the Morning:

  • I read a book to Twin Husky, Twin Crazy, and Big Bro.  I started with Twin Husky since he needed some cuddle time and then came Twin Crazy, and then Big Bro…  Red was having a problem so she did not join us.
  • Co-parent left Red sulking so I went over to see what the problem was.  She wanted a containter of cereal to take to school with her.  While I was at it, she said she wanted a bowl of cereal to eat now.   Then before I knew it I had the others back at the breakfast bar eating a second breakfast with me.  Their bellies were good and full.
  • I kissed Big Bro before he left on his bike and did the drop offs – no problems.  Red was a bit clingy.

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Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I finished up a discussion / sales document for a forum we are launching and also crafted the email communication.
  • I confirmed with members from the other forums that the potential dates for October will work with them and that there are no conflicts.
  • I did some administrative items and then called it a day at 12:45pm

The Rest of the Day:

  • I packed up the minivan with more stuff from my room.   The room is looking VERY bare – no decorations… hardly any clothes… just my bed, my dresser, Batman’s cage, and piles of books and papers.
  • I headed to Home Depot and bought a drill, a cherry tree (Yeah!  It was on our list!), some tools, grass seed, weeding tools, some houseplants, and other stuff.  I feel like I’m on a learning curve and the drill intimidates me a bit.  But I think I need one.
  • I got to the house and unloaded, organized a bit inside, organized more trash/trimmings, and WEEDED more…. yes more…. unbelievable.  But it is getting respectable again.  It actually feels good since I feel like I accomplished alot of weeding in a relatively short amount of time… I concentrated on the EASY to pull weeds (now I know the difference and can spot the easy ones very quickly).  Ha!  I loaded up my dumpster and also a huge box, which I packed back in the minivan to throw away at the “old” house. 
  • I picked up the kids; Red was happy.  Twin Husky and Twin Crazy wanted to show me how they ride their tricycles.  Twin Husky can actually use the peddles.  He was so determined… his face was so serious as he was “driving” his tricycle.  He also had all three of his animals in his hand (“Tiger”, “Other Tiger”, and “Zebra”) which was hysterical.  Twin Crazy is using her feet on the ground to get around but she’s quick.  She was also very proud of herself and I encouraged her along with her brother.
  • I had Twins for bedtime; bedtime was rough tonight.  Red was crying non-stop; co-parent let her cry it out.  Eventually he went to her.  Her knee was hurting.  She came to my room.  She just wanted a bandaid.   She became happy as soon as I got them for her.  How is he going to do this on his own?   How long are the children going to cry with him not listening to them?????!?!?!?
  • I finished the evening with more work.  I sent out the “sales” document to the potential clients over a series of emails.  I also reviewed our Final deliverable for our client and I’m hoping it will get sent out tomorrow.

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I’m looking forward to tomorrow with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.  I am going to focus on getting my room organized since there are boxes everywhere.  If I can bring over my dresser by myself, I’ll be able to cover a lot of ground. 

Til tomorrow,

– Mama K

December 14: A lllllloooooonnnnnnngggggg Day


Wednesday. I usually work a 1/2 day from home. This was not one of those days. A meeting with a potential client could only be scheduled for today at 4 PM (we’ve been trying to schedule it unsuccessfully up til this point) so since I had to have the meeting at 4 PM, I decided to keep all kids in daycare/after-care and simply put my head down and get work done. But it started early, and it ended late – it’s 9:30 PM right now as I try to pull this post together.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Woke up extremely early since I had a 8 AM conference call scheduled with a client. I ran to the shower and tried to boogie to get myself together.
  • Red came into my room and was so cute how she was playing with her Christmas confetti from yesterday. She was treating each piece like it was gold. She spread all of the pieces out and then sorted them by color, then by shape, then made shapes out of the pieces…. all the while treating each piece carefully and not losing track of any of her treasure. It was so sweet how meticulous she was and how enraptured she became of the pieces and the games she was creating with the pieces. She’s getting savvy with me and my phone camera so refused to smile for a picture so I decided to capture her only her treasure in a photo, alone.
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  • I tried gently to get Big Bro up. He is not a morning person. The poor guy is always so tired in the morning; I’m convinced that this kid still needs an afternoon nap. In fact on weekends, he can nap for 4 hours without a problem (except getting him to fall asleep) on a Sat or Sun. The poor guy. I gathered clothes for Big Bro and Red, and then asked him to come downstairs with me and hold my hand. That seemed to work. I’m trying to be extra-sensitive to the “mommy-time” I give to each kid.
  • Once downstairs, the concept of a child’s “treasure” intrigued me. So I wanted to capture Twin Crazy’s treasure of thumb-sucking blankets and her bears that she needs for comfort, as well as Twin Husky’s “tiger” (he has two, one tiger and one white leopard). I was successful at capturing Twin Crazy, but she figured out her zippers so she is 1/2 clothed. As for Twin Husky, he started to unzip his PJs too but you can’t see it – the picture is awful because he was playing hard-to-get with me. But nonetheless, here are the Twins with their “treasures”.
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  • For Big Bro, I really didn’t capture any of his treasures but I can talk to them. He is very particular and an extremely opinionated and loyal child to his treasures. His Hess line of toy trucks, airplanes, race-car and digger are some of his favorites. He also treasures his scooter and the freedom it gives him to ride to school with him up ahead of me, but me close-by and following his lead. He likes to collect things and organize them. He also is into beads lately. He keeps his smaller treasures in an old diaper wipe container, the plastic kind with the push-top lid. He needs to sleep with a big pink teddy bear (that was given to us when Red was born) and Bullseye, the trusted horse in Toy Story (I call him “that horsie-guy). And now I know what images I can share with you:
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  • We were very rushed this morning. Running around like mad trying to get kids fed, dressed, and out of the door in a reasonable time so Hubby could do the three drop offs, I could make my 8 AM call, and he could get to the ferry by 8:30. Thankfully my phone was on and I noticed that my 8 AM call was pushed to 8:30; So I gathered Red, and Hubby gathered Big Bro and the Twins, and we were off. There was no way Hubby would have ever made it if my call was not pushed back. Tension was high particularly between Hubby and Big Bro — being rushed while tired is not a good combination for the little guy.
  • Red’s drop-off went great. Her performance at pre-school is tomorrow where they sing songs for the parents. I encouraged her to sing real loudly so that the back wall can hear her. I told her I was proud that she knows all of the words and am so excited for her – it will be a fun game for her and her friends to sing real loud and let the words just come out of their bodies. I hope she does OK….. this will be the first time for her in this sort of thing…..
  • I raced home and refilled my coffee, booted up my computer, and started to dial-in to the conference call that I was leading – hoping that my computer would get going already so I could access the key document that I need to have on hand….

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • 8:30 conference call with a client to get feedback from our meetings; again, he offered good, practical suggestions to provide more value to him and likely the group at large.
  • 9:00 conference call with a potential partner who we may be working with to develop a new forum which we are pretty excited about. If it succeeds, it can be a game-changer in the industry. This person called me so we could talk about what the day could look like and what story needs to be communicated to get these potential participants to agree to collaborate and work together — if so, we create another forum for our firm, one which could actually get a lot of visibility in the market…. I really want and need this to happen. So will work hard to make this first meeting (hopefully in the Spring, aligned with our other forums) a success.
  • 10:30 conference call with a Director about logistics, hotel deposits, and how much we are willing to “invest” in the above mentioned effort should our participation rate be lower than expected. Sounds like we have a good plan.
  • In between meetings I started pulling meeting minutes together from our last forums – these really should have been done much, much earlier but I got side-tracked on the one-on-one debrief sessions with our clients. I get much more charged out of speaking with clients and getting frank feedback to make things better, versus putting boring meeting minutes together. But they are important. And must be done. Soon. So I started on them.
  • Had breakfast/lunch. Soup and leftover cous-cous from the night before.
  • 1:30 conference call with a client; he wants more specifics and detail in the deliverable I sent to him, which will require more time – I thought about the extra time and decided to make him happy. I’d rather have a happy client versus one that is disgruntled, especially if it is only going to take me 4-6 extra hours of work. I can deal with that. I mobilized an Analyst to help me with some of the tactical things of converting PowerPoint content to Excel and then I started fleshing out one area of the deliverable to send to the client to see if the further detail was what he was expecting. Hopefully he won’t require much more. If he is OK with it then I will finish of the work with him next week.
  • 2:30 conference call with a Director and an Analyst to talk about a proposal we are completing. We got the Analyst to start pulling the proposal together based upon prior work that we did for the client 2 years ago. Essentially they want the same work but “refreshed” so she can leverage that first proposal as a starting point for us to review early next week.
  • 4:00 conference call with a prospective member of one of our forums. So it was a debrief session as well as a “sales” meeting. He cannot commit just yet, but needs more information from us; I invited him to come to our next meeting again as a guest to hopefully push him over the line. I need to convert these “guests” into real clients!!!
  • I was tired from the day. I didn’t eat much. I was tired and starving. I got the kitchen ready for cooking for when I came home with the kids. A pot of water was sitting on the stove, chicken nuggets were waiting in the toaster oven, the frozen veggies were sitting in a bowl in the microwave. All ready to go for when I arrived with four little ones…

    Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Red. She was busy with her friends and they were “reading” books. She was holding a book like a teacher with the pages facing outward and “reading” to her friends. I heard her little, loud voice from across the room. I couldn’t get my camera ready in time to take a picture though… pity – it was too cute.
  • The ride with Red was beautiful since the sun was setting. We pulled over to enjoy the view.
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  • Pick ups for the rest of the kids went fine; we looked at the holiday lights on the houses. I gathered all the kids inside and powered up the stove, microwave, and toaster oven. I was solo tonight since Hubby was out after work and I wanted things to go smoothly. All kids ate an enormous amount of food – I couldn’t believe it. I had to tell them to listen to their bodies and stop eating when you feel full. They were just going nuts. They started eating off of my plate – Twin Crazy, Big Bro, and Red as a joke but they kept going. It was seriously out of control.
  • After dinner they played around a bit while I started clean up; I also started to put together a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda for chemical-free cleaning. The problem was that I didn’t know the correct measurement. So the bottle seriously started to expand and almost explode. The tension inside of the bottle was fierce. I loosened up the cap and it was a volcano. The stuff was exploding through every single crevice of the bottle. I thought a small piece like a nozzle or something was going to fly off. Me and Big Bro were mesmerized by it. He thought of the volcano experiments we did in the summertime and both of us started laughing. We had a few squirts left of the cleaning mixture when all was said and done, and we had a good time explaining the story to our mother’s helper when she (finally) arrived.
  • I played with the kids. We did horsie-back rides. The kids were waiting in line on a chair waiting for their turn. This is the only exercise I get. Running around the house with kids on my back. They were really cute though all screaming for horsie-back rides (even the Twins, saying all three words) and waiting their turn.
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  • We then cleaned up all of the toys – I put each kid on a “job”. Twin Crazy was on balls, Big Bro was on folding blanket, Red was on kitchen toys, and Twin Husky was just wandering and trying to help but taking things out instead. The “responsibility boards” are working REALLY well – “pick up toys” is one of the things that we are tracking so all kids were eager to do this activity, with my guidance and encouragement….
  • Bedtime was a breeze with everyone. I felt like I really spent good, quality of time with each of the kids which helps out a lot. I took my time with them, read stories and kept the routine on track. Twins were asleep in no time. Bigger kids were completely cooperating with me – no tantrums, no power-plays. Teeth brushed, PJs on, responsibility board discussed and magnets given out, and books being read when Hubby came in. I spent extra time with Big Bro’s book talking about the characters and situations and their feelings. I asked him to talk about situations when he had those same feelings. This is hard for him to do, as his teacher discussed in our parent/teacher conference. I need to pull more out of him through story-time so that he can practice more and build his self-confidence so he can better participate at school. I’m really working on this with him and am hoping that he’s not “on” to me too much; I don’t want to pressure him.
  • After the kids were all in bed I ran to a neighbors house and grabbed some clothes for Big Bro and Red (thanks Mama L!!!). By the time I was home it was 9 PM. And I started this at 9:30 PM. And now I’m off to sleep!

    So it was a very busy day, but I really enjoyed getting work done while at home, and also enjoyed my alone time with the kids tonight. They were great – ate like champs, listened, and we had minimal fights tonight. I think I’ll get a good night’s sleep, which I will need for tomorrow….. a big day. Red’s performance. Yikes!

    Until tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    October 31: I never knew there could be days like this for me


    This is obviously a unique day because of Halloween – but it is also unique to me because I managed to steal time from a work-day to do activities with each of the kids and actually feel like a Mom.

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    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Big Bro woke up and was in our room first.  This is because I mentioned to him the night before that if he was able to get ready quickly this morning, we would RIDE HIS BIKE to school today.    Apparently there is a crowd of kids his age that get to school this way each day and I learned of this from my neighbor over the weekend.   I was going to work from home anyway today because of Halloween so I figured we would try out the bike ride thing.  Big Bro was soooooooooooo excited that he was up first.
    • The morning was typical – breakfast for four and getting everyone ready and out of the house.   I had Halloween shirts out for everyone.   I love Halloween.
    • Then the out-of-the-ordinary began.  I got the Twins dressed and ready and in the stroller.  Big Bro got his helmet on.    The three of us were ready to go!   Red went with Hubby today.
    • We met the gang of kids and literally there were 10 kids in total, including the Twins.    Everyone was on big bikes.  Big Bro was the only one in training wheels but these kids are 1-2 years older than him.  I could sense that he was a bit shy about going but still excited.  Off we went.   The kids were really well-trained.   They zoomed ahead but all knew the spots where to stop and wait for the adults (me and my neighbor).   I was so proud and yes a bit anxious for Big Bro.   He was new to this scene and he was trying real hard to keep up with them.   I was so proud of my little kindergartener.   And I couldn’t believe that I was strolling him (and the Twins) to school — with a coffee in hand.   There was a few times that he lagged behind the group – but there were also a few times when he had a good start off the blocks and swerved around a kid or two to get in a good position.    They all beat us to the school and parked their bikes.   Big Bro came running up to me through the playground and I could not believe the look of joy on his face.  I couldn’t snap a picture fast enough but I’ll remember that face for a lifetime (I hope).    We headed to the yard line up and I gave him a HUGE hug and we made plans for me to be there later that day and also for me to pick him up with his bike.
    • I then strolled the Twins to their daycare.   They enjoyed the drop off and were proud of their Halloween shirts.    I then walked home to work.   I enjoyed the walk.  The quiet.  The dew on the grass.  The look of the leaves on the trees.   Knowing that today was Halloween.   And feeling privileged to have had the opportunity to drop the kids off the way I did this morning.    I always saw all the kids on bikes/scooters, etc.   It’s like a parade around here each morning.   I just never dreamed that I would ever actually take part in any of it.  I just always assumed that I was doomed to the mini-van drop off and the ferry commute to work.    I consciously took a lot of deep breadths on the walk home this morning – taking it all in.   I saw many lone parents walking back to their homes too.   I felt like a mom.
    Highlights of My Working Day:
    • I essentially worked a 1/2 day today and will take the other 1/2 off as personal time.
    • I got home at 9 AM and got another coffee and set up.   I immediately started working on a proposal that we need to submit by Thursday.   This is the proposal for the lead I cultivated so I feel a sense of ownership for this one.
    • After an hour I took a break since I wanted to participate in Big Bro’s Halloween festivities at school.   They spent an hour decorating cupcakes and doing other arts and crafts in the class.   Once again, I felt like a Mom.  There were other parents there too, volunteering.   I was on cupcake duty.   I had so much fun with the kids helping them ice and decorate their cupcakes.   Tyler was doing great too – he did not seem anxious at all.  They sent 4-5 kids at a time to the cupcake table and I saw him about halfway through.   He seemed to be doing great with the other activities and did not seem upset or anxious that I was there.   I loved having him at the table during cupcake time.   I loved having the kids laugh with me.   I loved hearing them call me “[Big Bro]’s mommy”.   It was interesting to see the very different personalities of all the kids.   One child came to the table in tears because she was scared we were going to run out of cupcakes…. I spent some extra time with her and towards the end she was laughing.   Towards the end of the hour she was even following me around and taking my hand – I connected with her.   And Big Bro was still busy with all the different crafts.    I loved being there.   The other moms couldn’t believe I was actually going back to work afterwards….
    • I then walked over to the Twins daycare since I left my car keys in the stroller!     I had the GREAT opportunity to see them in action during the day.   Playing with the daycare toys.   We went for a quick walk to the corner where I said goodbye to them.    I just can’t take it they are so cute.   As they were walking they were busy saying words and looking around.   And then I had my second walk home today.    Again the breathing.   Again taking it all in.   Again feeling good that I am a mom and so closeby to all of my kids today.   Knowing that I was able to have special time with each of them today.    Knowing that there is a life outside of the haggard 3-drop off race to the ferry race to the office race back home routine.    I never knew I could have a day like this.
    • Back at home, I finished what I had to do for proposal #1, and then started to re-work a separate proposal.    What happens if we win all of this work?    I cannot deliver against it….. I have fun selling it but I want to pass it off to others to deliver……   we’ll see what happens….
    • I also did admin-related items like set up some meetings and also get my timesheet together.
    • Then it was time for Red.   She is having a Halloween parade today.    I picked up Big Bro and he was so excited to show me his bag of arts and crafts – and his favorite prize was his Halloween pencil.   I was actually taken a bit back by how thrilled he was over a pencil.  Then together we gathered his bike into the van (his request was that he wanted to do that with me).   We head over to Red’s pre-school to see her parade and hand out candy.
    • Red was a little princess dressed as Snow White and proudly holding her teacher’s hand as she made her way around the parade and getting candy from the parent volunteers.   I had Big Bro hand out our candy.    The sun was shining and my kids were happy.

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    Dinner and Bedtime:
    • I picked up some rotissarie chicken at the grocery store with my Batman and Snow White.   We picked up the Twins.   We ate quickly and dressed quickly.
    • We made it out without too much trouble.   Twin Crazy was a little princess/fairy and Twin Husky was a skeleton.   Kids were great trick or treating – Red kept holding Twin Crazy’s hand; Big Bro would run ahead but wait for the rest of us at each house; Twin Crazy would keep taking candy until the bowl was pulled back from her; Twin Husky wanted NO PART of candy, however he couldn’t stop touching the decorations, pulling at the lanterns, or picking up and throwing pumpkins.   He really was too much.   The kid was seriously running from house to house destroying the decorations and busting pumpkins.   I drank beer.  It was great.   At home the kids again had more fun giving candy to the trick-or-treaters.   All ate lots of candy tonight and the Twins had their first lollipops.
    Everyone had so much fun today; I feel elated since I was able to steal away special time with each child during the day.   This was a day that I didn’t want to end – there were too many special moments.   I’m glad I’m able to capture this here but honestly this really only describes a small sense of how I’m feeling.   There is nothing like seeing your child’s face as he runs up to you to see if you are proud of him, nothing like consoling a child who is scared at the plastic monster with smoke coming out of its mouth, laughing at your toddler as he runs through the neighbors’ yards throwing pumpkins, or seeing your child smile as she sees that you made the trip to see her in her parade.   This was the Twins’ first REAL Halloween where they were able to experience the fun – and the four of them were amazing at staying together and looking out for each other.
    Although I don’t want this day to end, my body is aching and I am exhausted; I’m looking forward to winding down and getting ready for tomorrow.
    Til tomorrow –
    Mama K

    September 23: The end of an era


    This will probably be the last day where I have to work from home, while caring for Twin Crazy and Twin Husky.   It is a bittersweet moment.   We have all gotten used to each other, a new routine, and I’ve figured out how to manage work while having them around.  
     
    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:
    • I don’t remember much different happening this morning, with the exception of Hubby springing on me (at the last minute) that he had to drive to Sacramento for work.  That meant that I had to take all kids to all drop offs, which normally wouldn’t be a problem except that the Twins didn’t HAVE  a drop off.   So this meant that I had to gather all of the kids together and drop of Big Bro at Kindergarten with EVERYONE.    That also meant that I actually had to dress the Twins in clothes.   It would be a little to much to walk around with kids in PJs.   So, we were running late.   We miraculously made it to his line-up before the last bell, and I can’t even begin to tell you all of the looks that we were getting from people.  “Are they ALL siblings??!??!?!??!”  “Yes, they are….”.     Big Bro and Red were AMAZING big siblings.   They were so proud.  Big Bro was actually excited to have everyone in line with him — and he was the leader with our gaggle.   We were all following him.   He was so proud.
    Four kids
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    • Then we dropped of Red.   Daycare was giving us alot of attention becuase the Twins were dressed in “real” clothes.   When I said it was time to go to the Twins, Twin Husky promptly left the room and wandered into the lobby of the daycare center.   They are well known there so folks knew where to bring him back.
    • We then headed back for my day at “work”

    Highlights of My Working Day:

    • In terms of work, I arranged and re-arranged several meetings, followed up to secure some presentations, and then was wounded when a Director said that several of our forums were “light” on speakers.   How do I secure speakers for a meeting that will happen in less than 2 weeks?    Ugggh!!!!    So we talked a bit and brainstormed some options.  I quickly had to jump on this to set ourselves up for Plan B, C, D to fill out our Agendas.
    • In terms of kids, we had fun.  We had snacks, played with cars, played with musical instruments, walked outside and talked about the flowers, the birds singing, and also picked some apples.   We had lots of apples for snacks, and bananas.  Kids took a long nap in the late morning which gave me time to work.   Lunch was cute.  Hot dogs, broccoli, and tortillas.  Then I took out some peaches and the kids went nuts.   I gave Twin Husky a haircut (he was so good…. he just sat there eating a graham cracker…. no problem at all).   They played with scooters, I read them books, we colored (finally I have some art to save for them).   Twin Crazy hurt her foot a couple of times and I kissed it to make it feel better.   I tried a pony-tail with her and it drove her mad.   Twin Husky climbed on top of the coffee table and stood up and laughed.   We sat on the rocking chair together and rested.   I loved this time with them.
    • Hubby arrived from Sacramento and he offered to pick up Big Bro and Red – and also pick up food.   🙂

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • Dinner was outrageously good — BBQ.  Everyone ate well.  Everyone wanted more mac-n-cheese but they needed to eat meat first.   All kids understood including the Twins.  Hubby and I drank wine.
    • Big Bro kept mentioning a puppet show.   He said it was happening tonight.  I called “after care” and they were closed.  I said I would check the website.  “Yeah mommy, check the website.” (weird how these kids know that kindof stuff).   Low and behold, there was a puppet show happening at the elementary school at 6:45.    But it was 7:00!!!!    QUICK GET YOUR SHOES AND SOCKS ON LET’S GO TO THE PUPPET SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    I ran with Big Bro and Red, while Hubby stayed back with the Twins.  We caught the last 10 minutes of the show but at least we got to see the puppeteer and her demonstration on how the puppets work.  That was an interesting and out-of-the-ordinary event for us.   Just to be cool, Big Bro said that the show was “boring”.   Does he have to become such a tough-guy so soon??!??!?!
    • All kids went to sleep easily.   Big Bro is so tired these days because of no nap.  Red gives me a HUGE hug and grabs my arms so tight.

    Today was a great day, and this week was a great week.   I do hope though that our daycare provider is OK and that her husband is doing OK.   I feel bad for feeling so happy for being with the kids because of the circumstances.  This was a great week for us.   And next week will be a BEAR of a week — the last week that things need to be pulled together since the following week will be a trip to the East Coast for two big meetings.   Ones that I will be responsible for and need to facilitate, present, and make sure that everyone is happy.    Oh, and also try to scout out consulting opportunities too.   The reason why I took on this role was that it seemed like less stress, but also provided me the opportunity to be client facing and sell work.   So I need to make that happen or else this will make me bored after awhile.

    Have a great weekend everyone; Till next week –

    – Mama K

    September 20: Working from home with TWO energetic toddlers???!?!?!? What???????


    Today was odd.   Very odd.   I decided to work from home again today since the boys were still both on the sick side – thankfully I made this choice, since the Twins’ daycare provider called me as I was headed home since her husband had a heart attack.  I quickly had to pick up the kids and give her a hug as she gathered her things for the hospital, where her husband was already taken.  So, I had to work from home but with two toddlers in tow.   So as you can imagine, today was just odd.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • The girls are generally cooperative and in good moods however the boys are struggling.  I give them medicine at 7:30,  hoping they snap out of it.  They do, thank goodness.
    • The morning routine is really quite ordinary – kids eat, bags are packed, kids get buckeled in, and are excited for school.   One funny thing that happened was that the Twins must have eaten at least 5 mini-muffins each and while in the van Twin Husky accidently stepped on Twin Crazy’s muffin that dropped on the floor.  He says “Uhhhh ohhhhhh”.  Twin Crazy still eats the decrepid muffin after I smash it back together.
    • 1st drop off:   Twins.   Twin Husky goes inside without a problem even though he is subdued.  He is still excited to go inside and play.
    • 2nd drop off:  Big Bro.  Hubby walks him in while me and Red wait in the van.
    • 3rd drop off:  Hubby at the Ferry station
    • 4th drop off:  Red.  So cute.  I play with her a bit and then leave.  Today there are no tears from her.
    • 1st pick up:   Twins.   I can’t believe it.  I feel so bad for our daycare provider.    And I also feel bad for me.  How am I going to work today?   Thank goodness I decided to work from home!

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • By the time we returned, the Twins were cranky and it was getting to be time for a snack.   Peaches!   What a treat.
    • I started with emails, going through and addressing what needed to be answered, and also trying to set up conference calls for guest speakers at some of the conferences.   I also had to look through some menu choices that our administrative assistant was working – which was fun but also rushed since I had two toddlers running around and getting themselves in trouble.
    • In between work emails, I had to work with the Twins.   This consisted of:   looking at a cat crawling through our yard and chasing it and pulling Twin Husky out of some rose bushes while doing so, seeing the kids covered in blue marker and also seeing that Twin Husky had a BITEMARK from Twin Crazy over said blue marker, making train tracks, playing with felt and saying the colors and putting them on our heads as hats, and doing just normal trouble shooting that is required with two 18 month old twins (which is A LOT).
    Blue marker wins, Twin Husky loses

    Blue marker wins, Twin Husky loses

    • 11:30!   Time for lunch!   They ate a tremendous amount of food.  I pulled back Twin Crazy’s hair in a hairclip and then Twin Husky started playing with HIS hair so I put a hairclip in for him as well.
    Toddlers in bows over lunch

    Toddlers in bows over lunch

    • I mentioned that after lunch we were going to have milk and then get ready for nap.  I gave them milk and then I lost them!!!    They had actually pushed back the gate on the stairs and were already headed upstairs for their naps.   I thought this was unbelievable.  I thought they would at least play first for a bit.
    • I sat down to get prepared for a conference call I had to lead at 1 PM.  While doing this I heard the window blinds upstairs banging and laughing children – Twin Crazy was standing up in her crib playing with the blinds and both her and Twin Husky were laughing hysterically.   I proceed to push back the chest of drawers and push her crib in a spot where she can’t reach the blinds.  I make sure she can’t reach out to anything on top of the chest of drawers in its new location.   She gives me a sly look as I leave the room.  She is trying to hold back a giggle.
    • I send out materials for my 1 PM call and we are finished it by 1:20.   I make some updates and send out to the team so we are all aware of next steps.   The call went very well.
    • I again attacked emails for as long as I could.  Setting up meetings, going over menus, trying to solicit guest speakers, etc.
    • Then the Twins woke up from their 2 hour naps.   I got them ready, had a cracker snack, and then we picked up Big Bro and then Red.  Everyone at Red’s pre-school (Big Bro’s old pre-school) went nuts over the Twins.   It was so cute seeing them all walk together holding hands.  I love seeing them do this.  Twin Husky always reaches out for Big Bro.  Male bonding is so sweet with your kids.
    • Twin Crazy said “I did it” a lot today.   She is wonderful.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • We head home and kids are either on the  couch resting or outside, or playing with trains, or fighting, or chasing each other.
    • I think about dinner; we will do home-made pizza tonight.
    • The kids eat all the sliced olives even before I’m able to put them on a pizza.  I have about 5 slices of mangled olives for myself.  Big Bro and Red roll out their own doughs for their own pizzas.
    • Everyone eats well.  Hubby and I each have a beer.
    • After dinner, Twin Crazy is acting crazy.  She continuously holds her sippy cup over her head and her hair and clothes are soaked.  I chase her around.
    • Hubby plays with Big Bro with sticks.
    • Big Bro says he didn’t have a lot of “mommy time” today… not even in the morning.  My heart sinks.
    • We give the boys medicine and prepare everyone for bed.  Again, both Twins start their way up the stairs, unprompted.
    • Big Bro gets ready quickly since he feels tired and just wants to go to bed.  Red is being her sassy self.   We read a book and both of them are almost out by the time I leave their room.  So easy tonight.

    So now I may have to do something about back-up childcare — I wish I had a list of names already organized, but I don’t.   Why am I not prepared for this situation?   Or I’ll have to work again like this tomorrow (which was tremendously enjoyable for me, but still….).  Or I’ll need to take the day off.

    I had such a great day today.   I lead a good call to orchestrate sales efforts and I also had so much time with the Twins.   I am usually terrible at combining my worlds of work and home, but for some reason it just worked out fine today and I was not stressed about it.  I think it’s because my calls were few and my day was generally open.   Plus, the Twins had each other.  I could do emails while they entertained themselves (or fought).   This makes a huge difference – but still the day was not as productive on the work front as it should have been.   I also feel bad that Big Bro felt neglected today — I think he got spoiled from all of the one on one time during vacation and also yesterday.   But still…. 😦

    Tomorrow I have a client call that I’ll need to think about; maybe I can put them down for an early, short nap during that time??!??!?!     Uggh!

    I’m thinking of my daycare provider’s husband and their whole family and really feel for them; I also don’t know what implication this will have on her ability to care for the kids – especially if she is caring for a sick husband….

    Til tomorrow,

    – Mama K

    August 25: Special day working at home with my son


    Big Bro’s pre-school is closed today and tomorrow – so I am working from home today and will take tomorrow off. Big Bro and I are right now sitting together on the couch to talk about the highlights of the morning.

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • All kids woke up at the same time. Red wanted her hair wet but with no pony-tail. Twins were a bit cranky. I think it’s because they maybe didn’t eat enough last night? Maybe they are both very hungry. Big Bro went into a tantrum because he wanted me to find the toy scoop of “chocolate ice cream”…. NOW. I said I first needed to take a shower, but Big Bro didn’t like that answer. He decided to go back to bed.
    • During my shower Red was putting her hand against the shower glass door and I played the game with her where I meet her had with my own on the other side.   When I got out and got ready, Red wanted to help me with my face lotions.
    • Red and I check on Big Bro. He’s still in bed sulking.
    • While Red and I walk downstairs, we see Twin Crazy moving her body and swaying to the music in the kitchen. She loves music. And she loves to dance. Ever since she was a little baby. When she sees us, she gets embarrassed and runs over to the stairs to greet us with a HUGE hug and kisses.
    • Twin Husky is walking around with a red balloon.
    • I gather clothes, eventually Big Bro comes downstairs. Red requests pink shirt, pink pants, pink underwear, and orange (Halloween) socks.
    • Twin Husky proceeds to throw all the little tiny cereals from the small kid table all over the kitchen floor. We pick them up.
    • TIME TO GO – we drop off Red and Twins. No problems.  Big Bro and I drop off Hubby at the ferry station.
    • Big Bro and I decide to go to the “new school” to look around and see what it’s all about. We peek into the kindergarten classes but they are all locked up. We might go back later today or tomorrow in the afternoon to see if we can walk inside the rooms and get him more comfortable.
    • Now we’re sitting on the couch while I’m typing away on my iPad, and Big Bro is anxious to play puzzles and games. “When is it going to be my turn???”. I’m thinking about what to do today for work, and also what to make for dinner tonight, and also where we can go to lunch together.
    Big Bro "working"

    Big Bro "working"

    I’m looking forward to working at home today with my eldest child, Big Bro.

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • I set up my working space in the living room alongside of Big Bro. I got Big Bro set up with my iPad to play games. I started to work on go-to-market efforts for the partnering opportunity. This did not last long because…
    • He played games for about 45 minutes and then got extremely bored and frustrated and cranky. I decided it was time to put the games away and suggested a movie instead. He whined, I reminded him about him trying harder not to whine, then he whined a little more, then I pulled his toes to make him laugh. I offered a snack. That worked.
    • Big Bro then started to watch “Chicken Little” which is a cute movie with actually some reasonably good music. I was busy with go-to-market stuff so I was having a great time.
    • We went to lunch at 12:30 — right on a golf course. He polished off a huge adult plate of french toast. He can put it away. During lunch we made a list of things he needed to get for kindergarten (lunch bag, haircut) and also a list for Red (lunchbox, hair clips) for her first day at pre-school.
    • On the way home we stopped at the food store to pick up dinner for tonight – a roast, since I have the time.
    • Back at home I asked him to “rest quietly” for 30 minutes. He was doing great, following directions, being quiet, AND THEN HE FELL ASLEEP FOR THREE HOURS.  🙂
    • During this time I got more work done and also started dinner.
    • He’s up now, finishing the movie, while our dinner finishes cooking. We’re going to pick up Red and Twins and then go to the ferry station to pick up Hubby.

    It was a great working day. I loved spending time with Big Bro.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I threw the cauliflower on top of the potatoes, on top of the roast and then Big Bro and I jumped in the mini-van to get the rest of the kids.
    • Pick up with Red and Twins went well. Twin Husky was still scrambling into the front seat to drive but I caught him this time. He grabbed my keys, started playing with the buttons, and then the alarm went off. 🙂
    • Off to ferry station to watch the boat come in and get hubby. We looked at flags, saw dogs, and talked about the boat coming in and the people coming off the boat. There’s daddy!!!
    • At home we quickly have dinner thrown on the table. Twins are very hungry. All actually ate tonight, even Red. “Listen to your body. If you are still hungry, then keep eating.” Hubby and I split one beer.
    • Red gets changed by herself into PJs because she is hot.
    • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy both want to spoon the meat juice on our plates. So cute.
    • After dinner Big Bro continued his Chicken Little movie.
    • Twins and Red were playing kitchen with me and Hubby.
    • Then we all move to living room to watch movie. All of us were on the couch together which was really cute.
    • Red requested peaches and all kids went nuts. They ate peaches like there was no tomorrow.
    • Twin Crazy and Red then started acting silly. Downward dog positions, downward dog with leg in air, then Twin Husky started it too.
    My silly "downward dogs"

    My silly "downward dogs"

    • Then lots of running around – this is what sugar does to my kids.
    • Diaper changes – Twin Crazy was fun, kissed her toes and feet and got her in PJs. Twin Husky was atrocious. It was a very, very, bad diaper. So bad I had to get him naked and throw the diaper OUTSIDE in the garbage bin. I got him in the laundry room and washed him down. He didn’t even cry – he had to know that it was terrible.
    • MILK! TIME TO GO UPSTAIRS!!
    • All kids are up – Twin Husky and Twin Crazy “brush” their teeth on stools. We read, sing songs, kiss. Good night!!
    Our big little kids brushing by themselves

    Our big little kids brushing by themselves

    • Big Bro and Red decide they want their nails trimmed. “Oh my goodness they are so long they’re almost singing!!! Look at THIS guy!!!” I always make a big deal about their nails. I have to make a game out of it. Then I start a new game by saying how they have “stinky toes”. Both were giggling uncontrollably with that.

    Everyone is in bed and I had an amazing day. TRULY AMAZING. Working from home really makes a difference – and the injection of kid time today was unusual but I needed it. I think Big Bro did too – he’s anxious about Kindergarten. My dad is coming in for the weekend and he’ll be here tomorrow in the late AM. Big Bro is excited and Red is thrilled. I’m looking forward to his short visit.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K

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