Gig tip: Remember

I’ve been dreading this day; it honestly feels like the tragedy has just happened each time this day rolls around.    And it makes me feel farther away from my family and friends; here on the West Coast I’ve felt that attitudes and feelings are not as raw as they are on the East coast.  This is just my feeling, I know a large generalization.

I left this morning feeling subdued.  I did not put the radio on.   And then I passed by an overpass, literally 1/4 mile away from my house.  I pass this overpass everyday, several times a day.  And there was a parked van, and a man walking along the overpass with a flag, and the overpass completely decorated with flags.    And cars underneath honking.  And honking.  And honking.  Let me tell you, people do not normally blow their car horns in California.    But today they did as they went under those flags.

We will never forget, even out here on the West Coast.   But I miss everyone back East, more so today than ever.

I guess what I want to say is there are tragedies in this world.   The shuttle explosion, the shooting of JFK, the shooting of MLK, the war, 9/11.   But the 9/11 tragedy feels so different.   It is the blending of tragedy and workplace on such a large scale.   It is something that somehow we can personally relate to… we each go to an office each day.  We each start off our day with our own simple routines.   It almost feels like we can put ourselves in that position – if we try to use our imagination.  I do not know what it was like.   But I can imagine.  And it touched normal, American families.   This we can relate to.   Maybe this is why it hurts so much when we think back.   And scares us so much when we look forward.  For us, for our children.

And when we go to work each day, we need to be aware that our co-workers can be suffering with their own tragedies in silence.   So on this day, Remember.  And be sensitive.  And remember to be sensitive going forward to those around you who may be suffering in their own way.

– Mama K

October 5: Moshing

As you may know, I am out of town on a work trip.  This is the second set of meetings that I am facilitating and I had the first half of the day working with one group/forum, and the second half of the day working with a new set of people/group/forum.   You should have seen the 1 hour in-between – the rush to pack up the old, and get ready for the new.  What a swift shift in mindset —  completely new set of products, completely new group of people.

I am already doing things differently with these meetings.   I am asking for frank feedback and am getting good responses (at least face-to-face).  I guess we’ll see the REAL feedback after folks leave and they complete their conference evaluations.

I ate my third filet mignon tonight after 3 nights here and it was by far the best.

I corralled the group to go out to a dive bar afterwards and moshed to Nirvana.  I miss being in my 20’s without a care in the world.  I felt free when I was dancing / jumping tonight.  I want that feeling back.  I need that feeling back.   I am in my forties and cannot believe how time is passing.  I want to feel free with my children.  I don’t want to worry about adult issues like finances or affordabilty or the state of the economy.  I just want to live and be connected with my kids and FEEL like a person and FEEL like I am LIVING.

This work trip is good in that the reunion with my children will be sweet.  I hope it is making all of us recognize the distance and the feeling of being back together again.  I plan to take off most of Friday.  I plan to keep my kids home with me on that day.  I plan to be a Mom on that day, after being away from them for so long. 

The meeting today was a success.   I think we/ I might have sold more members to the forum.  Tonight I had most of the guests with me.  I hope to see them again as members of our forum.  And I want to feel responsible for the sale of the membership, the value, and being responsible for the cultivation of the relationships and  business development.

OK, I’m going to go to bed tonight after 4 wines and 2 beers and 1 mosh song – Nirvana is still in my head.

And a sorrowful goodbye to Steve Jobs, who was suffering and fighting the past few years.   We have just lost one of the greatest innovators of our time.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

September 28: Feeling valued in all directions

New seasons. New beginnings. New starts.

This morning was about reconnecting with my eldest children since I did not spend much time with them last night. They even said that they didn’t get enough “mommy time” that night so I promised them if they woke up early, got dressed, and ate breakfast that I PROMISED that each of them would have special “mommy time” in the morning. They agreed and started to think about what activities they wanted to do with me. They also agreed that it was OK for the other to take part in each other’s selected “mommy time”. How cute.

Highlights of my Morning and Commute:

  • Surprisingly, BIG BRO is the first one awake. Unbelievable. He starts talking about how he wants me to read the book he has in his hands for his mommy time. I say, OK. We go in to get Red. She is excited about “mommy time” too.
  • Both kids get dressed SO FAST and the three of us head downstairs. The Twins are not even up yet!!
  • We have a guest bedroom downstairs so each of us cuddle in the bed and I read the book to the two of them.
  • Red decides that she wants me to put her kid make up on her for her “mommy time”. I suggest that we eat breakfast first. She agrees.
  • Twins are busy eating cereal with Hubby. They are so cute. Twin Husky is busy pointing at things and saying words. Twin Crazy is just busy trying to balance the cereal on her spoon. Both seem very happy. I can’t believe how big they are getting.
  • I fix Big Bro and Red their breakfast; Big Bro gets a trio of jelly on his bagel and Red eats TWO packages of oatmeal. “Oatmeal, oatmeal” repeat both Twins. So they get some oatmeal too.
  • Diaper changes with the Twins gives me a chance to connect with them too, albeit too briefly. Twin Husky is in such a good mood this morning. Crouching and jumping, crouching and jumping. So active. Twin Crazy is a bit cranky this morning for some reason.
  • I get changed, pack up the daycare bag, and we pack up the kids. Hubby and I are dividing and conquering again today. He’ll take Red, I take the Twins and Big Bro.
  • OK time to go!!!!!!!! Again, I feel like we’re running late, so I’m blasting music and hauling ass. The Doors are on. I’m feeling good. Twin drop off was great; Twin Crazy felt compelled to bring in ALL her stuffed animals from the van into daycare. She is needy today. Twin Husky is all smiles.
  • Drop off for Big Bro is so sweet. He is so big. He towers over most kids in his Kindergarten class – but I know he is so sensitive, reflective. He isn’t a “bully” kind of big boy.
  • I make the ferry in time.

Today for work I have more to do about the conferences for next week.   It’s coming up!

Highlights of my Working Day:
I was so busy today!!!! It was great – got lots done and getting ready for next week.

  • Reworked some agendas, reviewed presentations, provided presenter feedback, finalized one agenda and sent it out to all meeting attendees, etc. etc. etc.
  • Also started refining the two other meetings we will have; finalized presenters, set up meetings to refine content topics
  • Set up “sales” meeting for another initiative we were launching
  • Held an “off the cuff” strategy meeting over lunch with 2 Directors; thinking through who on our team could provide leadership capability and decided on a core group to create and drive strategy. I’m on that team!!!
  • I was in a relatively great mood; I actually belly laughed several times — one time so loudly that even though my office door was shut, and a Director’s office door was shut, the sound of my laughter found its way into his office.    It felt wonderful to laugh like that.

I’m coming from today’s work feeling very valued and appreciated. Folks internally are pulling together to work with me to make the meetings next week a success; I am the go-to person but we’re all pulling together and I feel very energized.

I’m on the ferry back and thinking of my children. I love coming home early to pick them up. I’ve discussed here on this blog over the last several weeks/months about going on a reduced work-week; well this will happen after I get through next week’s meetings. I am very much looking forward to that.

My kids really enjoyed their “mommy time” this morning. I want to think of more “mommy time” stuff for the evenings as well. I want to show them that they each matter individually. I can’t wait to see them now. Now more than ever. I can’t wait to see their faces and I HOPE I see smiles. I need smiles from them today. I want to help create those smiles. Smiles will keep me going.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up Big Bro and he immediately said that he wanted more mommy-time.   Both of us drove over to pick up Red.
  • In the parking lot, I felt like I had a bug bite or something on my butt.   So of course I make a big deal of it – “I think I have a bug bite on my butt.  How silly.  Why on earth would a bug want to bite a butt?????”  Big Bro replies:   “I can check for you when we get home Mommy.”   How cute.
  • Red wanted to hold Big Bro’s hand across the parking lot (one of our rules is that to cross a street or in a parking lot, EVERYONE must hold a hand).
  • Both of them decide that they want us to go home first for a mommy-time activity before going to get the Twins.   How cute.   It was 5:30 so I gave in to them.
  • At home, they decided that their mommy-time activity would be water-color painting.   I really didn’t do much, so I’m not sure how they saw it as mommy-time, but I did help them with paper (Me:  “I’m on paper duty”.  Big Bro:  “I’m on color duty”).  I also helped them with the water changes, and encouraged their art.   They really are creative and I always make a big deal out of the stuff they make.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • We then go to pick up Twins.   I make it fun by saying they can get in the van WITHOUT ANY SHOES ON!!  How fun!!!!
  • Twins squeal when they see me – open arms, laughs, and “mommy!  mommy!  mommy!”
  • At home we have to trouble-shoot a bit with the kids.   Red is having a hard time; Big Bro is also teasing her a bit.  Twins are great.  I ask our mother’s helper to help entertain the Twins so Hubby and I can focus on the bigger ones; they seem more needy today.
  • Dinner is a hit; so much so that everyone had vanilla pudding afterwards.
  • All kids went completely crazy next.  There was a lot of jumping, falling on the floor, jumping over the Elmo chair…. I think this was prompted by me asking Twin Crazy to do his “crouch and jump”.   It just cracked me up so much.  Belly-laughs.    This little toddler doing crouch and jump and falling backwards and saying “crouch and jump” the whole time… and then the rest of the kids jumping and running and falling on the floor.   There was “look-it mommy!” going all over the place and I had to make sure I was watching everyone and making my laughs seem like they were for everyone too.
  • At bedtime we changed the Twins and talked about some pictures in a book and sang some songs and did kisses all around.   They go out like a charm.
  • Big Bro and Red were fast tonight too.   I think all the running around wore them out.  Red wanted me to help her with her PJs; she wanted me to look in backpacks to find her favorite yellow shirt; Big Bro wanted me to read the story to them, and he had his head on my lap the entire time.
I had a very, very, full day.   It was a good day.    Filled with people around me who showed their appreciation and how much I’m needed — both at work and with my little ones.   Honestly a working mother couldn’t ask for much more.
Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

September 12: The shortest work-week EVER

I took a few days off from writing and it feels good to be behind this keyboard. We had a great weekend with the children. On Saturday Hubby discovered a problem with his passport (expired!) so he needed to research a way to get that updated before Tuesday, when we go on vacation. So that gave me and the kids time to be together. Not doing much of anything, just talking, playing, eating. I brought out colored “sticks” (like the tongue sticks from doctors offices) and that kept all four occupied. After naps we went to a music festival on one of the town streets and I busted out to a Who cover band. Even the toddlers were running around crazy, dancing, having fun (they probably ate too much kettle corn). I had lots of beers. It was great.

On Sunday we took a walk over to our local fire station and the kids dropped of “thank you” bags to them — puzzles, dominos, cards, etc. It is cute in the eyes of a child what they think the firefighters would like. Red’s favorite present was the Cinderella puzzle and Big Bro really liked the 3-D Darth Vader puzzle. The firefighters would kind enough to give us an entire tour of their station (I think they were starving for attention – our neighborhood is very quiet).

FDNY in Memory

FDNY in Memory -- Red in a fire truck

Big Bro had a playdate and I sewed some jeans (pretty funny, the topic of another post to come).

Highlights of our Morning and Commute:

  • Red wakes up early and eats up the attention I give her with her pony-tail. She wants me to wear the same color so we can match.
  • All of the sudden Big Bro AND Twin Crazy come in too. THey are all circling me now singing Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! All grabbing me and I am LOVING IT. It is so easy to give them morning kisses when they are right down in front of you.
  • Then Twin Husky comes running in to join the fun. they are all laughing and having a great time. We realized that the Twins are now saying Twin Crazy’s name (a bit botched up) and Red is now also able to enunciate it perfectly. So all kids are chanting her name and laughing up a storm.
  • Big Bro says he needs my help and if I can “work on him first”. I say yes. He needs to find the firefighter eraser tops for the pencils that the fireman gave to him. We go through several loads of wash in varying stages of cleaning until we find them. He is happy. WHile I’m in the laundry room I throw in some loads since I’ll need to pack for the trip tonight
  • All kids are fed except Big Bro. Sliced peaches and toast. Done.
  • Red is dressed, Twins are diapered. Big Bro has his clothes waiting for him in a pile on the floor. Done.
  • More chants with Twin Crazy’s name. Too funny.
  • I pack the bag for daycare (why do I always wait until the morning of?). She needed pants for both kids, diapers. Shoes.
  • Twin Crazy is having a hard time this morning. She apparently put yogurt all over her head to her hair is now soaked. Too bad, she had a bath last night.
  • Red gets ready to leave with Hubby. She almost leaves without her shoes. The Twins and I scurry to find her shoes. She’s off!
  • I pack up the rest of the kids. Twin Crazy still crying until I bring her a stuffed animal.
  • 1st drop off: Twins. Fast. Easy. I let her know that they are having a hard time.
  • 2nd drop off: Big Bro. We play on the swings. Then its time to line up. I tell him I need to leave. I ask him if its OK to hug and kiss him now or if I should wait until later today. He smiles at me, bashful, and gives me a hug. I’ll gladly take that from him.

So now on the ferry, looking forward to vacation but still lots to do (everything). I hope packing won’t be too tough. I don’t think it will be. I hope Hubby is able to get his passport today. Otherwise it will be me and the 2 kids alone (which is OK, I ‘ve done that before) but its a 13 hour flight with a 6 hour layover. I have NOT done that before. I am wearing new drawstring pants that keep uniting themselves. How annoying. The last thing I need is to be running around at work with my pants falling off my ass.

I’ll be doing “forum” work today. Also talking with my brother to get ready for the trip. I am sooooo looking forward to this for so many reasons.

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Got to the office, got myself settled with make-up, tea, water, graham crackers.
  • Spent 2 hours reviewing a presentation deck for a forum meeting in October. I suggested some ways to bring out the drivers of the data and ways to facilitate discussion with the group; so not only did I learn about the reporting, but I feel like I added a fresh perspective to the way the meeting could be facilitated and ways to create more value for our firm.
  • I spent some time putting to paper some criteria/thinking about how to “qualify” sales leads and then also whether or not as a team we should pursue certain opportunities – the way we make money in our business is through our time – so we need to make sure our time is optimized so we can be as profitable as we can be. Sometimes we chase business opportunities when we have little chance of winning. I think this is mentality left over from the recession; business has picked up since then but I think we still have a gut reaction to spend time with proposals where we are not well positioned to win.
  • I spent the rest of the day doing administrative items – time sheets, expense reports, etc.
  • I’M OUT OF HERE!   By the way, when I go on vacation or take a day off, I AM COMPLETELY OFF.   No email, no voicemail, no quick conference calls.   They all know this about me.

I am on the ferry right now and I am OFFICIALLY ON VACATION!!! We are headed to the Dominican Republic (Hubby, Big Bro, Red, and I). I still need to pack! So, I of course am drinking a beer. I can’t wait to see the kids. I need to see my toddlers. I will miss them while away. They are so much fun right now. It doesn’t feel right taking a trip with only a subset of our family.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I picked up all kids, 3 pick ups. Red LOVES her new school. She was running and smiling and bursting with energy when I got there. Big Bro was playing with his friends. Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were in shorts enjoying the warm weather and running up to the van when I pulled up.
  • I was busy cooking dinner while on a 4-way conference call with my brother, mom, and dad to talk about last-minute logistics. We’re excited!
  • After dinner I did not spend much time with the kids – I had to pack!
  • I kissed the Twins goodnight and was there for the singing (my favorite part).
  • Big Bro and Red were SOOOOOOOOOO excited for the trip. They know it will be a long travel day and that we will wake them up in the middle of the night before the sun comes up. Red helped to pick out her clothes, as did Big Bro. He, in turn, decided against some of my selections and wound up hiding them somewhere (I still don’t know where).
  • So, I’m finishing up this post so I can get my act together and go to sleep!!!

I may not post for a while – it depends on what I feel like doing on my days off with my kids!  🙂

Till later,

– Mama K

September 9: Getting ready for the weekend…

I decided to work from home today since I worked in the office the rest of the week.  So this morning was less hectic, until we realized we were running really late for Big Bro’s school:

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red winds up in our bed at 6:30 and asks me to fix her pony-tail.   We don’t get up until after 7 for some reason.   So we start a bit late.
  • Big Bro hides under his blanket and goes into the Twins’ room to make them laugh.  They laugh hysterically, over and over again.  In fact they are jumping in their cribs laughing.
  • I diaper the Twins but both REALLY want Hubby this AM.  He takes everyone downstairs for breakfast.  I head down too – no shower, no make up.  An easy work day for me physically.
  • Everyone eats well except for Big Bro.
  • I’m not sure what I’m doing but I guess I’m talking with the kids and holding them and cutting apples and drinking coffee.  For some reason, and I don’t know why, we are suddenly extremely late.   I guess I was too relaxed thinking we had all of this time but I looked at the clock and it was 8:10!!!   That’s usually when we are dropping off Big Bro in the school yard!    OH SHIT WE ARE MAJORLY LATE BIG TIME!!!!!!!   LET’S GO!!!!!
  • I do all drop offs, Hubby takes the car for another meeting.
  • 1st drop off:   Twins.   Fast.  Easy shmeasy.
  • 2nd drop off:   Big Bro.  All of the kids are on their way from the yard (in a line up) into the classroom.  We quickly make the last of the last line in.   I dance around with Big Bro and Red that “we’re in the back of the parade, we’re in the back of the parade.”  Seriously, we’re (I’m) singing and swinging their arms and dancing around saying this over and over again.  The kids are laughing.  I think they think I’m a bit silly sometimes.   But I have so much fun with them.
  • 3rd drop off:  Red.  I like taking her into pre-school slowly.  Not rushing.  She gets set up with an activity and she is so sweet.   She makes a comment to me that “after we drop off [Twin Crazy], there are TWO girls in the car.   And then when we drop me off, there will be ONE girl in the car – but when we go in together, there will be NO girls in the car”.    How cute.   I didn’t realize she could grasp those concepts.   I feel like I’m not in tune with them as much as I should be.    How cute of her.   My little mathematician.
  • I stop by the fire-station and talk to a fireman.  I want to bring the kids over here on 9/11 and bring the firefighters “gifts” that the kids get/make for them to show our appreciation.   The kids are excited about this.   I just wanted to confirm with him that it is OK and also what kinds of things they would like to have.   I’m going with the kids today to do some shopping and will steer them towards:  playing cards, dominoes, other games, fruit, etc.   I also mentioned that the kids might pick out toys or stickers for them (cute) and he said that’s great, they could give to Toys for Tots or even take them home for their own kids.   Great!!!
  • I head home and get my space set up for work.   Coffee is on.  Phones are charged.   I turn my computer on.
Highlights of my Working Day:
  • I spent about two hours on the phone working with my colleague who is transferring over responsibilities.  There is a lot of coordination that needs to be done across 4 big events that are coming up that I will be responsible for.   I get the latest status from her and feel good about my understanding of what needs to be done.    I know this is probably a  false sense of security since one day she will be gone and I’ll suddenly have 100 questions.   🙂
  • I finished up my sales efforts for one new initiative; and coordinated with the team to get them going and organized.
  • I finished up other sales efforts for another initiative – nothing more for me to do here.
  • I prepared an invoice for a project and sent; I’m setting up a meeting with the client and our leadership to see how are firms can continue to work together
  • I did some admin-related items and then called it a day.
  • I showered and then ran to my children.  I picked up Big Bro first, and then Red.  Both were excited about the shopping we were going to do this afternoon.  We went shopping to buy “thank you” gifts for the fire-fighters in our neighborhood.  The kids picked out puzzles (princess, bears, cars) and I helped them pick out playing cards, UNO, Yahtzee, and dominos.   They had a great time shopping for what the firefighters would like.  We passed by a lot of candy and snacks and I said that kind of food is not healthy for the body so the kids did NOT want to get that for the firefighters.  How cute.
  • I am alone tonight.  Hubby is at a sporting event for work.
Dinner and Bedtime:
  • I ordered a pizza on the way to pick up the Twins.  They were squealing as usual.  She mentioned that they were both singing “Happy Birthday” today.   They were excited to see their big brother and sister.
  • We were home literally for 5 minutes when the pizza man came!   Perfect timing.  He asked me if I’m a daycare provider.  Seriously.  I guess our place looks over-run with toys?  I guess we have too many children?  I guess I look like I’m 20-something and too fit to have had 4 kids?  🙂  Seriously.   I couldn’t believe it.  I never thought my life would look like this.
  • Twins were cranky so I took them up for a “cat nap”.   This really just turned into them laughing with each other in their room — squealing, singing, screaming, laughing…..  so I brought them back down after we were done eating pizza.
  • I set the Twins up with their pizza at the little table while Big Bro, Red and I were in the living room.  Friday is “movie night” and Big Bro was excited.   So we watched movies until Twins finished eating.   Then I made popcorn and everybody went nuts.
  • I really don’t know where the time went…. because by 5:30 we were fed and I started the bedtime routine at 7:30.   So I had TWO HOURS with them and I can’t remember what we did!!!   I remember lots of tickling and hugging Twin Husky.  LOTS of it.   He had so much fun.   I remember Red having an ENORMOUS poop and everyone running in the bathroom to look at it.   I remember dressing the Twins in their PJs and talking about the “balls” on Twin Husky’s pants.    I remember reading the Twins books downstairs.   And how Twin Husky is sooooooooooooooo curious about everything and asking what everything is.   I remember Twin Husky climbing on a big box (new sewing machine, I’ll explain another time) and me looking at him in the corner of my eye to make sure he was OK.  I remember Twin Husky and Twin Crazy running around and stealing toys from each other and crying/trying to bite.  I remember Big Bro asking me if I could spend some time with him watching his movie.    I was in bliss.   The time just flew by.   And I enjoyed so much of it with them.
Red "reading" to Twin Husky

Red "reading" to Twin Husky

  • 7:30 – time to go up!    I went up with the Twins and I asked Red and Big Bro to come up in a few minutes.  I also asked Red to straighten up the toys and seriously – when I came down EVERYTHING was put away and organized.   It’s like she had OCD.   Everything was perfectly lined up and there was not a toy out of place.  She was very proud of herself and I hugged her and wouldn’t let go.
  • I told a story for Big Bro and Red with all 3 of us laying in his bed.   It was a story about my travels in the past.  A time when I was in Morocco and I had to take a long bus-ride to the outskirts of the Sahara desert and we rode camels for hours and had a picnic in the Sahara.  I told them that my butt hurt after the camel ride.
I’m feeling REALLY good about today; I had a later morning with the kids, got a lot of work done, and had an amazing evening with all of them.  So relaxed, the kids were so good.   It just feels so right.   All I need now is maybe a glass of wine and maybe some adults to share a drink with.  In the meantime, I’m gearing up for a big weekend, a likely emotional weekend.   It’s days like this when I want to hold my children closer, hug them a bit longer, and caress them a bit gentler.   I don’t know what I’d ever do without them.   I can’t bear to think about it.
Great weekend to all –  particularly this Sunday.    So much has changed since then.
Til next week –
– Mama K

September 8: Mommy!!!! I ate all my lunch today!!!!

This was a pretty good morning. Good mix of fun and tears.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red winds up in our bed at 6:30 AM as usual. She is completely dressed for pre-school.
  • Hubby takes shower while I grab the Twins. Each are up, laughing, while Big Bro is in their room hiding under his blanket. He loves entertaining them. I diaper the twins and they are busy talking to me while I do this. So cute.
  • Big Bro hangs out with me while I shower; the rest are downstairs eating breakfast with Hubby.
  • When I get downstairs, Big Bro has already headed to the train set and set up some tracks. BIG NO NO. NO TOYS BEFORE BREAKFAST AND GETTING DRESSED!!!! He should know better than this. I am not happy. We need these kids “on” for food and clothes in the AM or else we really run the risk of being late.
  • Twins want up out of their seats. Twin Crazy is clingy. Wants to be held so she can see what’s going on. I have Red help me make my instant coffee and we talk about each step with Twin Crazy. She loves that.
  • I get bag ready. Wow. We are early. All kids are getting their shoes on and getting ready for the van but it is only 7:30.
  • We decide to do all 3 drop offs together since we have time on our side. While I’m upstairs getting my jacket, I hear MASSIVE screaming from multiple kids downstairs… even Big Bro is calling up for me to come downstairs QUICK. Apparently Red and Twin Crazy were both in the double stroller (probably standing up) and the thing tipped over. They were both fine but very scared. Poor things. I sat there hugging them for awhile and saying it was OK but it was probably really scary for them. I gathered all kids out of the garage until we were REALLY ready to leave.
  • OK! 7:45!!! Time to go!
  • 1st drop off: REd. Big Bro wants to go too so we tell them it has to be QUICK. Twins are talking on the way over there. “Boat.” I am starting to put on my make up (9 AM meeting that I will be late for.. .so need to be ready in advance). Drop off is fast, but we are there so early that the routine is a little different – all kids are dropped off in the middle of the center until 8 AM when their “real” teachers arrive. REd is hesitant at first but doesn’t skip a beat. She does fine playing with pegs as Big Bro and I leave.
  • 2nd drop off: Twins. No problem. We tell her that Twin Crazy has had a hard morning.
  • 3rd drop off: Big Bro. We all get out of the car and play in the playground until 8:10 when the kids line up with their teachers. In the meantime I push Big Bro on a swing REAL high and he (and I) have a blast.
  • Hubby drops me off at Ferry station – plenty of time. Our entire drop off routine lasted 35 minutes this morning. He has another meeting so will not be taking the ferry today.

Now I’m on the ferry, with make up on and a coffee. The sky looks hazy and it looks colder today. Today at work we have a 3 hour strategy session for our team; I will be presenting on two topics. I’ve been there for 7 years now and am viewed as a valued contributor, which makes me feel good. We tend to hear the same things over and over through the years at these meetings, but our team now looks so different than we had in the past. We are poised for change and may actually have an appetite to do things differently than we have before. I’m excited to hear if that will be the attitude and direction that we take….

Highlights of my Working Day:

  • Had a 4 hour strategy meeting with our team; gave two presentations on areas to grow our revenues
  • did follow up sales efforts for a meeting in October
  • did other miscellaneous admin work, including setting up final meetings with the colleague who is transferring her responsibilities to me

I’m on the ferry home now. I remembered to bring the fruit I bought yesterday. I will likely work from home tomorrow so I also have my work computer. I have a heavy load today.

I’m also carrying a heavy load in my heart. I’ve been trying to advocate change for my family for over a year and it feels like we’re still in status quo. This is so unacceptable and frustrating for me. I feel helpless and trapped and I’m so tired of having the same one-way conversations over and over and over and over again. My throat hurts I’ve been talking so much. My head hurts. Sometimes I just want to go to sleep to keep from thinking. So, I guess I’m not in a good mood. I’m not sure if seeing my kids will swing me out of it either.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I am surprised to get picked up by our mini-van while I’m walking home from the ferry.
  • Red: “Mommy I ate all my lunch today!!!” She is so proud.
  • We put together an EASY quick dinner – mac-n-cheese and hot dogs. Hubby makes dinner while I play with kids. Today Big Bro and Red are interested in cars so Red takes out the “car mat” with all of the roads where they can pretend to drive.
  • The Twins are interested in the trains and also the cars, going back and forth, and Twin Crazy is even sitting on the car mat with her choo-choo train tracks and trains.
  • We eat quickly. Fruit for dessert (I almost broke an arm carrying it all back). I wind up with 3 kids on my lap and then at one point all of the kids are laughing and babbling at full throttle, on purpose. It was really funny. I wish I grabbed a movie of it.
  • Red: “Mommy I ate all my lunch today!!!” She is so proud.
  • I talk to Big Bro and REd about doing something nice for the fire-fighters this Sunday (9/11). We think about what would be nice to get them ask presents — card games, cross word puzzles, snacks. Big Bro goes to our cabinet and picks out a pudding box. He wants to wrap it NOW to be part of the basket. He is excited about this project. I mention that I will pick Big Bro and Red up early tomorrow and we can go shopping together for other things for the basket – and on Sunday we can walk over to the fire station and deliver it to them, and say thank-you to them. This is something that I would like to do each year, and Hubby agrees that it would be nice to do. Once Big Bro gets a bit older and he loses his innocence the tone of the tradition will obviously change – I can wait for that.
  • OK! Time to go up! We are moving bedtime up a bit these days since Big Bro is always so tired. I change the Twins into PJs – I love doing this with them. That’s when I get to focus on them.
  • Red: “Mommy I ate all my lunch today!!!” She is so proud.
  • Upstairs singing and reading to the Twins is just so sweet. Twin Husky is focused on colors in a book. Twin Crazy loves singing and using her hands for Twinkle, Twinkle, etc. They are so sweet. Their worlds are opening up in front of my eyes.
  • Big Bro and Red are already brushed, peed, and changed by the time we get to them. They are making it easier and easier for us each night. We pick out their clothes for tomorrow. Books went great.
  • Red: “Mommy I ate all my lunch today!!!” She is so proud.

I wonder what we will pack for lunch tomorrow…. the pressure is on.

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

September 7: “Happy Wednesday Mommy!”

This morning was rough. I don’t usually say that, but it was. We were still coordinating the fact that there is no parking at the ferry station, and we’re still getting used to three separate drop offs for the kids. Here it goes:

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red wakes up first and I wake up to her wanting me to help her with her pony-tail. She wanted a green band today. She then gets dressed by herself (I love you I love you I love you thank you thank you thank you!!!)
  • We forgot that yesterday was Tuesday because of the holiday weekend so we forgot about the Chocolate Tuesday nutella breakfast. We make it up to them this morning and both Red and Big Bro are quietly eating their Nutella breakfasts when I come down.
  • Twin Husky and Twin Crazy are busy sitting at the dinning room table eating cereal and spilling milk. It now also looks like Hubby is trying the cereal with yogurt on top to reduce the mess. This seems to be working well.
  • We figure out that I will take Red and then go to the ferry. Hubby will take Big Bro and Twins and he will not take the ferry since he has a meeting that he must drive to. Sounds good.
  • I diaper Twin Husky and kiss his feet and his toes. He really likes this. He keeps motioning with his feet for me to do it again and again and again. So of course I give in.
  • Twin Crazy is cranky this AM. She is in a stage where she likes being held to see what’s going on. I don’t like that stage very much since we have four children. I try to give her some “up” time and talk about the things around us, but then I quickly tell her that I need to put her down, OK?
  • I run upstairs to get Big Bro’s clothes (he’s very particular and we are running out of clean stuff). While doing this the Twins have figured out how to break through the stair “gate” (essentially a board we put across the bottom of the stairs). This is the second “gate” they’ve figured out. So now both are running around upstairs getting themselves into trouble and laughing. Twin Husky in Red’s bed (Red HATES this), Twin Crazy in the bathroom on the stool playing with cups of water and straws. I need to bring each down individually which throws both of them into tantrums.
  • We all look at Big Bro’s booster seat that we got for the 2nd car for when we have to divide and conquer. He loves it. Red also loves her pink booster – this will be her 2nd day driving with it.
  • OK time to go!!! I kiss all the kids in the van goodbye. I tell them to have fun and learn a lot.
  • I drop off Red and she is the first one there. Her teacher is setting up 3 different activities (pegs, number pegs, rubber band boards). I am so happy that she is in this environment now. It was an easy goodbye. Red is also happy that I’ve picked out a green pony-tail holder for myself. We both match.
  • I have time to drop the car off at the house to make it easier for Hubby. I walk to the ferry and get there in plenty of time. I enjoy the walk since it is sunny out and not windy.

So, on the ferry by myself. No make up, no breakfast. Thinking about today and what I will do. Probably get myself started on the new role with all the forums. We have a busy few weeks of conferences that I will need to continue to organize and facilitate. I guess I better get started and ready for that.

Highlights of My Working Day:

I had a reasonably good day today. I left the office feeling valued and not too stressed. WE are having a Strategy planning session tomorrow and I will be speaking on two agenda items (that I just found out today) so that should be fun.

  • I started the day getting ready with make up etc. in ladies room. I picked up a HUGE Starbucks coffee and a cheese danish. I hope this does not become a habit or else I won’t be able to fit into all the new clothes I just bought.
  • I fixed a billing issue with accounting and prepared an invoice for a project we completed
  • I did some outreach to confirm attendance at a key meeting we are having in October
  • At lunchtime I stopped at the Farmers Market and bought freshly picked apples, prunes, and grapes.
  • I crafted two presentations for our planning session for tomorrow; one is a featured case study from a recent project I lead, the other is our thinking about the forums our firm conducts and the go-forward strategy — this would be my new proposed role going forward
  • I talked to a friend/colleague about the new role and she thinks it is a great opportunity for me; she also thinks the firm would agree to a reduced workweek
  • We had a planning meeting for the meeting in October – key participants, speakers, and next steps

I am on the ferry now; I just realized I forgot all the fruit I just bought; it is actually hot outside. I can’t believe it. Hubby is home picking up the kids so I didn’t need to take the earlier ferry. I am really looking forward to seeing the kids tonight. Particularly the Twins. They are becoming little people so quickly that I just can’t wait to see how they play tonight, how they interact, and what new words I can pick up from their “conversations”. With a first child, you are so in tune with each new word they say…. I have a feeling with the Twins that they’ve probably been saying so many words for so long but we’ve just been too busy to focus on each child and their development. Pity. But I see how they are developing into strong, independent people and it makes me smile.

Dinner and Bedtime:

  • I arrive home and Hubby already has all kids sitting down eating. Mommy!!!! Even the Twins are now able to say Mommy. I love it. What a warm welcome.
  • After dinner Big Bro helps Hubby wash the car, while Red and the Twins help me wash the clothes. I show them the water, how it fills up in the basin, and how the machine goes around and around to clean the clothes. Twin Husky is curious. Twin Crazy is scared. Red helps to explain it to them too. From here on I love being a mom to these kids. I love teaching them new things. I love stopping what I’m doing to sit down and explain how things work and why we use them the way we do. It is just so sweet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • We run outside for a little bit; the kids are good and not going into the street; they are generally following directions which is encouraging.
  • I try to get them inside which works, sort of. Twin Husky was having too much fun and he tried to bite me. That didn’t go over very well.
  • OK! Time to go up! We work together to clean up the train tracks that are everywhere. We read to Twins; Big Bro and Twin Crazy are playing though which is so cute how they are interacting but so frustrating at the same time. Big Bro can’t stop himself and Twin Crazy is just acting crazy and not settling down. Twin Husky is pointing to pages of books and saying words. This is so surprising to me, I just assumed Twin Crazy would be talking first – she might be but she mumbles everything. He says things in one word…. but his words are very well-formed already. “Sun”. “Tree.” “Shoes” “Circle”. It is amazing. I love this age.
  • Red and Big Bro get banished from the Twins’ room but they brush teeth, do PJs, and pee all by themselves without ANY direction from us. We read books to them (I’ve read “Pinkalicious” now about 100 times) and commend them for being so independent and making it so much easier on us.
  • Kisses goodnight — I play the game:  Did I tell you how much I love you??? Red asks what day it is. I say Wednesday. She says “Happy Wednesday Mommy!” and I want to melt into her arms.

Til tomorrow –
– Mama K

August 31: Away from my children

I am on the east coast on a work trip, so this daily journal will be brief. At a high level, I think some separation is good when it comes to my work trips – it almost is win/win for me and hubby since I get a break, he gets to be in the driver seat, and the kids get to experience him as a full fledged provider and I get the sweet reunions with my little ones. I think the travel poses a problem if it becomes unpredictable, too long of a duration, too frequent, or if the trip carries along with it slot of stress. I can happily say that this trip is a good one. I am also fortunate to catch up with some friends while I’m here.

My morning consisted of room service and a long hot shower. I got ready quickly and my walk to the office was across the street. Not too bad.

I spent all day working with a colleague to transition her responsibilities. I do not think the job will be difficult. I could make more of it if I want to. I could probably also twist it into more of a sales role, and also work from home. But deep down inside I know that these are just “tweaks” to my situation – not the major change that I envisioned or was driving towards. It is unclear if I could do these new duties on a reduced workload basis -say at 50% or 60%. So I don’t know what to do. I will need to probe on this topic with my colleague tomorrow. I want/need more time with my children.

I met friends at their house and I fell in love with the work they did with their yard. Their house is wonderful. Their neighborhood is awesome – they are right down the street in walking distance to the town square with tons of restaurants and bars. We walked to dinner. I loved the feel of the air. The sound of the crickets. The tree lined streets with old homes. The sense of community. I feel homesick on so many levels now that it’s hard for me to describe. Missing my children, and longing for a life that feels so out of reach. I feel at home out here but my house and my family are so far away – on the wrong coast.

We had a great dinner and it was great to catch up with them. However I’m feeling so confused now and just want to lay down to sleep. I feel so misplaced and am trying so hard to find my way back. I’m still not there yet but the hard part is not knowing how far or near I am or if I’ll ever get there….. Work, family, relationships, community. What I do know though is that I do have some control now over the job so I need to focus on that and see if there is something that could work while still allowing me to achieve a better semblance of living day to day with a much better quality of life for me and my children.

That will be my goal for tomorrow – to see what may be possible.

Til tomorrow,

– Mama K

August 30: Taking a short trip away for work

Today is the 2nd day of the new Kindergarten and pre-school; and it is also a day when I will be leaving for a business trip. So again, this is a bit of an unusual day for us – we are out of our normal routine and I think it will take a week or so to adjust to the timing, new drop off routine (three drop-offs!!!!) and have the kids settled into their new worlds.

Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

  • Red winds up in our room at 6:30 AM crying about something but we can’t figure out what the issue was. I ask her if she wants to come in bed with us for 10 minutes or so but she refuses. She then holds my hand, hugs my arm, and eventually lays down on the floor next to our bed with my finger in her hand.
  • Hubby jumps in shower at 6:40 AM. I get up about 10 minutes later. I did not have a good night sleep so I feel a bit wobbly.
  • The twins are up (actually they were up since 6:30 AM, busy “talking” with each other). I decide to go and get them. They are so amazingly wonderful right now – I mean the intensity of who they are is at maximum right now. We are at full fledged “toddlerdom” with both of them. They are like little people now with their wants and desires, but they just can’t communicate it just yet. So EVERYTHING we say they understand – the choices we give them, the discipline, the teachings, EVERYTHING. It is such a wonderful yet strange stage. I remember thinking when I was pregnant with twin that THIS was the stage that frightened me most. I could not imagine going through the toddler years and associated tantrums with TWO individuals. Well, we are in it now. And it is wonderful yet nerve-wracking at the same time.
  • The twins come hopping into our room along with Red, and I diaper both of them. I love this time with them. Hugging them in the morning, telling them that I missed them and that I love them, tickling their bellies, etc.
  • Big Bro walks in next so the whole family is in our (big) bathroom. The kids start to play the game of blowing “fart” sounds into the Twins bellies. Everyone is laughing. And the toddlers are also trying to do those same sounds but without the bellies against their lips. It is so cute and entertaining.
  • Hubby starts to show Twin Crazy, Twin Husky, and Red pictures of them that he recently put up in our room. One is a picture of them in the bathtub. Then both Twins decide they want to take a bath NOW!!! They run over to the bathtub and demanded “in”. Then they start to cry, in unison. I hear Hubby telling them that it isn’t time for a bath yet. (refer to Toddler comment, above).
  • We head downstairs and it is chocolate Tuesday. So Red and Big Bro are at the counter loving life. Twins are walking around eating bananas and cereal. Twin Crazy is even saying “nana” over and over again. They are both getting so good with their words. We all encourage them with this.
  • Big Bro is so excited about his Kindergarten that he is completely dressed, finished eating, has his shoes on, and is trying to get in the van at 7:30 (about 30 minutes too early). What a difference a day makes. I am so happy that he is so excited and anxious about getting to his new school.
  • Red is excited about the extra clothes we need to pack for her. She picks out shirts and pants that she likes, and also A LOT of underwear since she had a minor accident yesterday. We also have to bring a blanket (the first one we picked up smelled like urine thanks to Twin Crazy so we had to put that one in the hamper) for her naptime and some sunscreen that is NOT spray. So Red and I gather all of these things along with her lunch and pack them in a bag. She is excited.
  • I make some instant coffee. I am still unshowered.
  • OK! Time to go! All kids are in the car; I bring a bag with diapers and twin shoes. And also gather all the lunchboxes and extra bags for everyone.
  • 1st drop off: Twins. They are dropped off quickly but I linger a bit since I will be flying today and away from them for several days. I give them lots of hugs and kisses. The daycare provider is used to these kinds of trips from me and used to my reactions to the kids when I am about to leave. She is patient with us as a family.
  • 2nd drop off: Big bro at Kindergarten. The only problem here is that we cannot drop him off before 8:10 AM. So I think we will need to adjust our routine once Hubby and I are BOTH commuting to the city. We park the mini-van and the four of us drop Big Bro off. In the mornings the kids play in the playground until 8:10 and then the classroom lines form. Big Bro gets in his line and seems a little anxious but he holds it together (I think). The teacher also says that he was wonderful yesterday. He was just upset the first part of the morning but once she gave him the clipboard as her “helper” he was fine. Whew!
  • I track down the after-care people and wrote an authorization for an alternative pick up person for Big-Bro. They close at 6 PM and it will be impossible for Hubby to make that time. We arranged for the mother of one of Big Bro’s friends (also in the same after care) to also take Big Bro with her at pick up. Hubby will pick up Big Bro at their house at the end of the working day.
  • Red and I drop off Hubby at the Ferry station. Hubby gives me a huge hug goodbye. I need that from him. I later tell him that from the plane before I take off.   Red wants to wait in the parking lot until she sees Hubby get on the ferry.
  • 3rd kid drop off: Red. We go in together and set her stuff up in her room. She talks about her clothes. We forgot her jacket from yesterday so now she has two there. We laugh about that together. I help her put her lunch on the lunch shelf. We see that they have set up “potatoe heads” and also these strange peg pieces. She gravitates to the peg pieces. She starts collecting all of the orange ones and starts to connect them. The teacher says that yesterday she was very organized about her colors and she was the only kid that started to separate the pieces into their different colors – the teacher thought that was interesting. I think it’s very aligned with her need to be “particular” about things. Her blankets need to be laid out perfectly for her to sleep, her animals/dolls need to be in the right position at the foot of her bed, her jackets need to be stacked the right way on her bedpost. She is our little perfectionist but yet so simple, so spunky, so playful, and so “off the cuff” in so many other ways. She is a very interesting child.
  • I head home, park the minivan in the parking lot for Hubby. I walk home from there. Feeling happy that the kids are happy but yet wishing that we were experiencing these “new things” in a different place. I different city. I less expensive city. I am so disappointed about this. I know in my heart that we can give more to ourselves and our family elsewhere. It is so hard to feel like you are stuck. At least the kids are happy I think to myself.
  • At home I call for a cab pickup. I drink coffee and eat breakfast. I check email. I run upstairs to shower. I pack. I do all of this in 30 minutes. I hope I didn’t forget anything.
  • I leave my house for the taxi which will take me to the airport, to a city on the east coast so I can work with colleagues there. I will be gone until Thursday night. I miss my children already.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I check email before leaving the house
  • I talk to our east coast office in-transit to the airport. There is something waiting for me that I need to address before I get on the flight
  • I go to the gate and check email. I send off materials that were requested of me.
  • I am now on the plane after having some food and a glass of wine. I’m looking forward to some time away, but also need to feel and smell my kids. I feel so different without them. I don’t know if I am a better or worse person without them. I feel more like a “normal” person, but yet I also feel so empty. I feel like I’m missing something. It’s a constant feeling like I’m missing one of my shoes, or that I forgot to pack something important. But I know that’s not the case. I want to smell Twin Husky’s hair and listen to his growl tonight. I want to see Twin Crazy’s smile and hear her cackle and reprimand her for spitting her milk down her face. I want to hear of Red’s day at school, and hear about her choices and how she explains her thought process now and says “maybe” a lot as she is thinking out loud. I want to give a high-five to Big Bro for another successful day at Kindergarten. I want to tell him how brave he is and how proud I am of him. And how I’m so happy to be his mom.
  • So this is what I’m thinking of at the moment. I’m getting farther and farther away from them with each passing minute on this airplane. And it is so wonderful to know that they are happy. That they have their own little lives and are so different from each other. I am so amazed at how we created this family. And I am so happy that I received that huge hug from Hubby before he left for his ferry.    Although I will miss the kids a break will be good.  I can sit and eat a dinner and focus on myself.  I can sleep.  I can shower and throw the towels all over the place.  I’m looking forward to that.

That’s all for today. I’ll post this once I get settled at the hotel. And then either go out to dinner or hit a hot-tub (or both).

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

August 29: The first days of school

The weekend with my father was wonderful – it was filled with playground visits and preparation for back-to-school.  We got all the “necessary” gear to make Big Bro’s first day of Kindergarten and Red’s first day of pre-school successful – new lunch boxes, backpacks, sneakers….   We also went to a birthday party yesterday and all four kids had a blast.    The parents still don’t know how we’re doing it, and to be honest, I don’t know how we’re doing it either…

Highlights of our Morning and Commute:

Again, because of the first days of Kindergarten and pre-school, this morning was very unusual:

  • Wake up at 6:30 so I can enroll Big Bro in an “after care” program since Kindergarten ends at 11:30.   Leave it to us to wait until the last-minute.   I also have to look for Red’s immunization records so we could hand in her completed application form for pre-school (again, last-minute).
  • I want to get to “after care” at 7 AM since we were concerned spots would fill up.   As I start to leave, Red is already walking downstairs, after gotten dressed by herself in her first day of pre-school clothes that she picked out by herself the night before.   She said she wants to come with me.
  • We get to the “after care” and they tell us that there are spaces, but they needed more families to sign up before hiring a teacher.   So we are on the waiting list and nothing is confirmed for us for today.  SHIT!!!!  Now what are we going to do?  Good thing I’m working from home today.  I might have to cancel my business trip this week.
  • At home, Big Bro is eating a special “chocolate bagel” since he is nervous for his first day.  I guess Hubby feels bad and is trying to help him through this.
  • Red gets ready for oatmeal.
  • Twins are walking around talking and playing with books and eating.
  • I pack Red’s lunch; Hubby packs for Big Bro
  • Red and I pack her bag with some extra clothes and sunscreen, and some small toys.  She is ready and organizing all of her stuff.  So cute.   She asks for a pony-tail so we go into the bathroom to wet and comb her hair back.  She is gorgeous.
Red packing for her first day of pre-school

Red packing for her first day of pre-school

  • OK!!! Time to go!!!!!
  • First drop off:   Twins are dropped off very quickly.  No problems.
  • 2nd Drop off:  Big Bro is acting very nervous about school.  There are people everywhere.  It really is over-whelming even for us.   Me, Hubby, and Red are there during Big Bro’s drop off.   We find his name by his hook and hung his jacket and backpack there.  His lunch goes on the above shelf.  Inside, his spot is near a friend from pre-school (thank goodness).  We play with play dough that is provided at his seat.   He is very clingy.  This is going to be rough.  As we start to leave he runs after us – we go up to the teacher and mention that Tyler is VERY shy.   She asks him if he could be her helper.   He agrees.  My heart aches.  We take a few (but not many) pictures but honestly it breaks my heart to think back on the morning.  He is so painfully shy.
Big Bro being very nervous on his first day of Kindergarten

Big Bro is very nervous on his 1st day of Kindergarten -- look at how he's sucking in his lips

  • We drop Hubby off at the Ferry
  • 3rd Kid drop off:   The front desk is very welcoming since they know Red through Big Bro.  I drop off all the paperwork and sign the (BIG) check.   We go to her new room and she is a bit cautious.  I help her find her name on her cubby and put her things away.  We try to do “pegs” which was the activity set up but she is not that interested.   We go for a walk around the room so she can soak it in.  Most of the kids there already know each other from the earlier classroom and she is the “new kid” but the people there are so nice and she is so spunky that I’m not worried about her.   We wind up at the pegs, she becomes occupied, and I hug and kiss her goodbye.  She looks down engrossed in the pegs and ignores me as I leave.  This is always how she was at the older daycare center – she had her routine.  Sit down at the activity for the morning and don’t say goodbye to us…. She is so sassy.  I think she’ll be OK.  From what I know, she did not shed a tear.
Red is READY for pre-school

Red is READY for pre-school - no tears at drop off

  • I then go back to after-care to sign up Big Bro.  There was a misunderstanding and they called us back.  They will take him starting today.  The problem is that they close at 6 PM which is impossible ffor us to do if we are taking the ferry.  If I work from home it will be OK, but days I work in the city I will just have to take the earliest ferry home so I can pick him up in time.
  • I am home now, trying to work.  It has been an emotional day today but I held it together.  Hopefully big Bro is doing OK.  I worry about him.

Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I set myself up in the living room; answer emails since I was off on Friday and there were a bunch in there.
  • I start to organize meetings for the Best Practices discussions as a result of our last project.  Hopefully we can turn these into business development meetings and identify other opportunities for consulting work at these other organizations.
  • I organize sales outreach for some of our firm forums
  • I go out for lunch – sushi, head to Trader Joe’s for food for the week – Hubby will be on his own with the kids and I want to do my part so that he has what he needs.   While at Trader Joe’s I buy little mini ice-cream cones so we can celebrate the first days of school together.
  • I do more sales outreach for a separate forum our firm is leading.
  • I put a chicken in the oven.
  • I pick up Hubby early at the Ferry station.  We are going together to pick up all of our kids
  • I will need to pack up for my trip but I’ll do that tonight after the kids are in bed.

Dinner and Commute:

  • I pick Hubby up from the Ferry at 5  PM.  We go to pick up Red first.  We arrive and she, as expected, is a sassy little diva.  She stands there and tries to hold back a smile.  We try to talk to her about her day but she is silent.  She wants to hold each of our hands.   We see her seat with her name tag and she looks so cute.  She had a pee-pee accident today (small one) and had to change underwear.  She tells us about this and said we have to bring in lots of underwear for her at school.  We also need to bring in a blanket for her naps.  She had a great day.   After leaving the classroom and walking through the lobby, she holds each of our hands and her smile is literally ear to ear.  She can’t hold it back.  She is so happy.  I make a BIG fuss about the first day of school and how proud of her I am. She skips and laughs and giggles and says “stop it  mommy!!!”.   I just want to squeeze her.  She is leaping with happiness.
  • 2nd Stop:   Big bro.  The three of us pick him up at the after-care center.  He is playing in the back with some cars and some boys.  He stands up and gives me a HUGE hug.  He is proud when he says to me “Mommy… I only cried for a little bit and that was only in the morning.”.  I tell him how proud of him I am, how I can’t wait to hear about his first day, and how it was probably scary for him  but hopefully he had fun.
  • Outside, they are both playing like monkeys on the bars leading up to the building.  The reunion of the two is so sweet.  They are both laughing and giggling.   I am on top of the world.
  • 3rd stop was the Twins.  On the way over there Red says that we didn’t pack any spoons for her applesauce.  I say that I was sorry that I forgot but did they have some at school?   She says no and started to smile.  Big Bro says, “Yes there are.  There are spoons at school.”.   The twin pick up was easy shmeasy.   It seemed like the daycare provider missed Red?  She goes over to the car and mades a big deal about Red’s first day of school.
  • At home, the chicken is cooking.  The twins are running around.  The big kids are well behaved.   Big Bro is unpacking his backpack and somehow he goes outside and takes off his jeans.   I’m not sure why he did that.   He grabs his new pencils and starts to sharpen them.  He plans to vacuum up the wood shavings with the dustbuster.
  • We look at their lunchboxes.   Both ate only ½ their sandwiches but ate all the fruit and applesauce.  Seemed OK.
  • OK!!!  Time to eat!   The chicken was cooking while we were doing pick ups; I sliced bread and heated up some veggies.  It was very easy.
  • I am shocked and amazed at how much food Big Bro and Red eat.  Red eats so much we ran out of chicken and she shoves all the plates aside and starts picking at the carcass.   I’ve never seen that before of a 3 year old.  Both kids eat their vegetables.  I am astounded.
  • We receive a call from our mother’s helper – she can’t make it because her car broke down but I pleaded with her to find an alternate car for tomorrow and Wednesday night since I will be out of town and Hubby will be on his own.
  • Twin Crazy is in a strange mood – I think full fledge toddler moods are with us now.  She knows what she wants, and she wants to do everything her big brother and sister does.  Tonight she is obsessed with using a kid knife to put butter on bread.   She is so upset she eventually pukes all over Hubby.  At this point it is a signal to me to put her down for a “cat nap”.
  • She goes down, but angrily.  I grab Twin Husky, who is in an excellent mood, and ask him to take a catnap too (otherwise Twin Crazy would never go down).  They stay there for about 20 minutes; Twin Crazy crying, Twin Husky talking.
  • I bring out Trader Joe’s ice-cream cones as a celebration.  The older kids get quiet so fast.
  • I bring down the Twins for their ice-cream.  And tell them that we have this treat because Red and Big Bro did so good on their first days of school.
  • After ice-cream we have chocolate all over the kitchen so we make a  game out of finding the chocolate and me picking it up
  • OK!!! TIME FOR MILK!!! TIME TO GO UPSTAIRS!!!!   All kids start their shuffle upstairs.  It is amazing to watch.
  • I change the Twins in their room and Big Bro and Red are there.  I love having all four around me at the same time.   Kids are playing in the closet and I am changing each kid.  We read books, made fart sounds in each others bellies.   Twin Crazy is spitting milk all over the place.  Twin Husky is just a barrel full of laughs.  Twin Husky looks like he is doing exercises – reaching up to the sky and then touching his toes, over and over again.  Big Bro and I are laughing.  They are all in such a great mood.
  • I grab Twin Husky and kiss him and tell him that I feel like I didn’t spend a lot of time with him today.  Then Big Bro says that I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him either.  My heart breaks.  But I say “sure I did’ — we spent a lot of time together at your school and talking about your day.”  “Yes but I didn’t get ‘mommy time‘”.  Oh how I sunk.  It’s not even the amount of quality time I can give them… but it’s also about ALONE time.  I need to get better at this if I possibly can.  This is important to him.
  • Twins go down without a hitch – Twin Crazy acts anxious from her crib and I think of the toothbrush – I bring her one and she smiles at me and she quickly uses it, I then give it to Twin Husky, and they are fine.
  • Teeth, pee-pee, and books are so easy with the older kids tonight.  I read a few pages of each book for them.  Red changes  her mind about pajamas, and about how much the window should be open.
  • I look into each of their eyes and tell them how much I love them and how happy I am today about them… about listening to their bodies and eating so well and also for going through a scary but fun day.   I ask them if it is OK if I kiss them in the middle of the night while they are sleeping and Big Bro agrees  but Red says “No” in a sassy little way with a laugh.  I make a face at her as I close the door to their giggles.

I feel like today was so amazing – I just couldn’t get enough of the kids.   I was so proud of them and so happy — for the people that they are becoming.  For the way all of them get along and laugh the way they do.   For the way they respond to me and run into my arms and laugh and squeal and show their emotions.   For the way they try to make me laugh.   I just can’t get enough.   I am addicted to these children.  At least these ages.  I know this will change.  They will grow older and not need me in this way as much.   I hopefully will be ready for that when that day comes — but for now, I want to soak this in.  Every kiss, every hug, every laugh, even the emotional outbursts.  So much feeling – so much passion with everything they do.   I love it.  Days like this are too good to put into words.

Tomorrow I will be leaving them for a business trip so this was a great way to ease into the trip.   I will be with them again tomorrow AM but will leave for the airport after all the drop offs.  Hubby will be on his own tomorrow night, all day Wednesday, and also Thursday AM.  Wish him luck.

Til tomorrow –

–          Mama K

%d bloggers like this: