August 1: Getting a boost from the kids


Let me tell you I woke up with a terrible hangover this morning.   I did not have the kids last night and met up with a long-time friend and laughed and cried the night away.   Anyway, I was not in good shape this morning but thankfully became energized in the afternoon as I picked up the kids.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Woke up late to the sound of a garbage truck.  Shit!   I did’t have the cans out.  I ran outside and down the driveway in my pajamas lugging garbage bins.
  • Took Advil.  Drank lots of water.  Went back to bed.
  • Woke up again 15 minutes before a conference call.   I had several calls this morning with potential speakers for the meeting I am planning in September.  All three calls went well.  The agenda is almost completely set.
  • I set up some meetings for next week.
  • I took a break between calls to go outside in the sun and water my garden.   And drink water myself.   I forced myself to eat something and felt a bit better.
  • I took a short nap.

The Rest of the Day:

  • I jumped out of bed at 2 PM and felt invigorated.   I did the dishes.  I did some laundry.  I packed up some snacks.  I went to pick up the kids!
  • I picked up Big Bro and Red at daycare and it felt so good to talk to them and also look into their eyes and talk to them.
  • We picked up Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and the daycare provider handed out balloons to them.  I started to blow them up and as I blew them up I bonked each kid in the nose with the balloon.  They were cracking up and totally anticipating the next balloon, the next bonk in the nose.  This took awhile with four balloons.
  • We then looked at the workers outside with the blue wheel barrel.  Twin Husky said we have one at my house that is red and I agreed.   He is so talkative now.  I love it.
  • Twin Crazy apparently bit Twin Husky on the face today.  I’m not sure exactly what happened.   They are totally bored there and they fight like a married couple.  I can’t wait to see them in Red’s daycare program.
  • On the ride home I told everyone that I missed them.  Twin Husky replies “I miss du too Mommy.”  My heart melts and I reached back to grab his foot.  He smiles at me.
  • At home the neighbors came over – really nice kids.  We all went over to their house since they have two new kittens.  So the kids were having a great time watching the kittens pounce and were very gentle with them.
  • I cooked some dinner and Big Bro immediately asked what kind of vegetable were we having.  The new regimen of “lots of fruits and vegetables” is going over very well with these kids.   We ate our entire dinner and then had papaya for dessert.
  • We went outside to play.  I started to plant some remaining plants outside.  Twin Husky was helping me with the mulch.  The kids were playing with balls.  And scissors.   I went to water a new plant that I planted several nights ago and found that it was given a good “cut” by Twin Crazy.   I was not that happy about that.  So the kids know now NOT to cut the plants, only the grass or the weeds.
  • Big Bro asked me to chase them and tickle them.  So I did.  Big Bro asked me not to tickle him so hard that he farts.  I agreed.  Red was laughing so hard during a tickle that she almost threw up.  That got her smiling and running for me – glad she can bounce back so quickly.
  • The boys were playing with drip hoses gone awry.  I need to figure out how to get the spouts on the end to stay on.  Maybe some special tape.
  • I picked weeds and then we fed the chickens.
  • Twin Husky helped me gather the balls when it was time to go in, and also helped me bring up the garbage cans from the street.  I thanked him and told him he had strong muscles.  He commented that the garbage bins were very heavy.  I agreed.
  • We quickly got ready for bed.  I read 3 books I think.   They took awhile to go to sleep and were wired up and playing with each other.

 

 

I’m happy that they are here with me.  I feel so tired now and looking back am actually surprised at how much we did after dinner.   I feel reasonably good with what I did for work today.  We are way ahead of the game in terms of scheduling and setting up speakers.   I may actually need to slow down a bit at work or else I will run out of things to do.   🙂

Feeling good, feeling much better than this morning, and ready to go to bed.

Til tomorrow –

– Mama K

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May 16: The chair


I worked a 1/2 day and from home today. I then spent an hour or so at my NEW home and made it back in enough time to pick all of the kids up early. I was solo tonight and looking forward to spending this time with them.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • The Twins were ready to stroller to Big Bro’s school. We talked about grass-seed and new grass growing as we were waiting for the other kids to get ready. Big Bro was in the pack and enjoying his new bike. I went in to talk to his teacher and tell her about our discussion from last weekend about “Two Homes”. She looked upset/concerned. She was glad that I told her. I said there were no tears but lots of questions so he really doesn’t “get it” yet. I let her know that we were going to take the kids to see the house this weekend and that it might start to sink in more then. She said she would be on the lookout for any issues. She said that he mentioned two houses this week so I know it is on his mind.
  • I dropped the Twins off at their daycare and both looked good. Even Twin Crazy. They both have a routine where they take off their shoes in a certain spot. I helped Twin Husky unzipper his jacket [sortof] by himself. I walked back home with the empty stroller feeling a bit empty myself.
  • As soon as I got home I loaded up the van with as many boxes as I could fit. I need to get to the house today since I have a TON of stuff arriving and don’t want the things sitting outside for too many days.
  • My doorbell rang and it was my neighbor with an AWESOME wooden rocking chair that she wanted to get rid of. I was completely looking for something like this — I’ve always loved front porches — the kinds in the south that are sweeping around the houses… well, my front porch is REALLY small but I do have flat yard that runs along the front. And in the afternoon, the shade kind of hits the house in a way that it feels like there is a front porch. So I put the rocking chair right out front in the mulch. It may look silly to some, but I love it. It is completely overlooking the view of the front yard – and I imagine myself sitting there while the kids are playing in the front. I hope we spend time out there – it makes the house inviting to the neighbors and helps me to transform the house into a home.
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I had a conference call with a previous client to “really” close out the work this time.
  • I started to re-work the discussion document from our big meeting yesterday — adding in some content and highlighting things that were discussed on the call.
  • I had an internal call related to the forums that I help to manage. We have a lot of sales efforts going on through these forums that I feel good about. We have some work to do but all is manageable. I took the call on the road and also had some of the call as I was unpacking the shipping boxes from Amazon.
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I pulled up to the house and OMG there are WEEDS EVERYWHERE. The multiple terraces of mulch are now over-run by weeds. OMG. How long is it going to take me to pull these suckers? And how fast will they grow back? Will it be like plucking those pesky hairs from my chin, face, and eyebrows? A never-ending project? Will I need to go to Amazon now and find a wide brimmed hat, super heavy-duty gloves, and a wheelbarrel????????
  • I unpacked lots of shipping boxes: one bunkbed (in parts), 4 mattresses, 4 barstools, a Blue-Ray DVR plus sound system, a landline telephone system. I’m excited. I filled up my NEW recycling bin. Pickup days are Wednesdays so I just missed it!!!
  • I unpacked some moving boxes with some pictures – I put them up but unfortunately they are only of Big Bro and Red… and they are old. They were all packed up from when we moved to our “temporary” house two years ago. So I feel the need to get some pictures up of Twin Husky and Twin Crazy so that they can see themselves too when they first visit the house.
  • I disassembled the bunk bed box in my driveway and brought the bed inside in parts. Otherwise I never would have been able to drag the whole box inside. I thought of Big Bro as I was carrying in the pieces labeled “A”, “M”, etc. I thought it’s just like a Lego set. I wonder if he would be interested in helping me put the beds together….
  • I decided to start on a bar-stool project. I opened up a box to discover that you don’t need any “real” tools…. its the hand tool/wrench thing that it comes with so I had what I needed to get started. Assembling these will be easy. It’s important for me to have SOMETHING ready and set up for the kids when they see the house for the first time. I figured the four bar stools would be a good thing for them to see… to relate to. I made it through 1/2 way of my first stool when I received a phone call…
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  • Twin Crazy still had a fever and was upset. She needed me. I quickly locked up the house and headed straight for daycare. I held her for a bit and she calmed down immediately. She said she was sick in a meek voice. Twin Husky looked fine. I took them to the drug store to buy more Ibuprophen and Tylenol. I asked them if they wanted to go right home or get the rest of the kids. They wanted their siblings. So we picked up Red and Big Bro too.
  • It was like a chinese fire-drill with everyone in different seats. It was cute. I looked back and Twin Crazy was holding hands across the van with Big Bro. I love seeing things like this. Big Bro and Red used to do this several years ago when Red was a baby/toddler. I’ve always thought it amazingly cute. Big Bro is such a proud Big brother and although he does have his occasions of being mean, he really is good to them the majority of the time.
  • At home we played a bit. I was waiting to cook dinner for co-parent. Then the kids told me that he was leaving for the airport straight from work. So I started the dinner. There was a request for mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, and carrots. I obliged since Twin Crazy seemed interested in that. Big Bro and Red helped me make dinner. They all ate EXTREMELY well – even Twin Crazy, considering.
  • After dinner I played “wall ball” with Big Bro while the 3 others were upstairs playing quietly. Suddenly, they came downstairs and apparently they were playing “dress up” — the twins were in matching frilly dresses (pink and blue) and Red came down laughing her ass off. They were all loving the attention and Twin Husky was SERIOUSLY liking the dress. It did feel great. Not crinkly/itchy at all. It felt soft and frilly. He loved it.
  • Then the little ones played some games together while I sat with Big Bro watching a movie.
  • I started bed routine with the Twins. They love the book “The Hairy Toe”. Each knows the words. They were both reciting the book to me as I read it. I make it scary which they love. I tried to get them down but they did not want to go to bed earlier than Big Bro/Red. So we had some ups and downs and at one point I had two twins in my lap, Big Bro laying across my feet, and Red taking care of Twin Crazy as I was singing “Twinkle Twinkle”. The Twins wanted “more” singing and the bigger kids wanted me to STOP singing (I don’t blame them). Red put her hand over my mouth and I was over-garbling the words on purpose and they were all cracking up. Then I had 4 kids with hands on my mouth and they were all smiles. They eventually went to their beds. They are now all sleeping and there is no crying from upstairs at all.
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    I had a good night. I’m looking forward to my own space but am concerned about the kids and am hoping this weekend goes well. I’m hoping they will grow to be comfortable there even though it is new to them. I’m going to try my best to make it their space too and help them integrate into the neighborhood.

    We were talking tonight about Red joining us on our bike-ride to school tomorrow. I asked Big Bro first if he thought it was OK and if he would want her to join. He said yes. So I asked her about it and she’s excited. I’m looking forward to the morning with them.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    April 11: Sweet reunions


    What a day. I’ve been going non-stop. I have more left to do. So this will be short.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy was clingy. I held her and rocked her for a bit.
  • Twin Crazy wanted her rainboots. We put them on and she seemed much happier.
  • Big Bro went riding again with the Motley Crew. He was excited to be doing that again.
  • We dropped off the Twins, and then Red. One of her teachers was back from vacation and Red and her friend ran to the teacher with open arms. It was so sweet. How they loved to see her return and how pure their excitement was. I was thinking that the teacher has a VERY difficult job dealing with 3-4 year olds…. but the emotions — both bad and good — must make her job very fulfilling; to receive those hugs so freely and with such intensity. She was missed.
  • I dropped of co-parent at the ferry and then drove home just in time for the beginning of my working day…
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    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • …. I had a conference call at 8:30 AM to introduce panel members to one another and also organize some “seed” questions just in case the forum is not engaged at first. It was a good call and I’m looking forward to their session next week.
  • I spent the rest of the day modifying agendas, confirming speakers, looking at presentations, modifying our own presentations, sending out pre-conference surveys, trying to find Plan B speakers, getting biographies and phone numbers for speakers, etc. etc. There is still a lot more to do.
  • I also spent time on our client project, reaching out to market leaders for us to interview. This process takes up so much time. I’ve been using LinkedIn with great success. It’s amazing how helpful that channel is to me and my work.
  • In between the above, I straightened up the kitchen, barely ate breakfast/lunch, did some laundry….
  • The Rest of the Day:

  • I called it a day later than I wanted to. I picked up Red first. Then the Twins – they were sitting on chairs waiting for me like two little bookends. So cute. And then Big Bro so he could ride his bike back home. He took the lagoon route home, and I met him at the end. Our house is on a street that is a circle, and he decided to go the other way around the circle and meet us at the house. He’s doing so well with being brave, being by himself, testing the waters, growing his independence, conquering his fear. He’s making me proud – and I like encouraging him to do more because I know he can do it.
  • I made dinner – I had Big Bro set the table. Red was busy cutting. Twins were busy going potty and playing.
  • After dinner we made banana-strawberry smoothies. The kids were all excited. I need to go out and buy more fruit for smoothies since this is becoming a ritual.
  • I was with the twins tonight for bedtime. It was fast and easy. They love reading books and I love asking them questions about what they see. We count the things together. They’re getting much better at counting.
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    Red is crying right now. Co-parent just says its time to go night-night. He doesn’t even try to understand what could be wrong, or talk to her about it. He just wants to push the problem away and pretend its not there. But meanwhile she is still up there now crying.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    March 28: Lots of A&D


    It is close to 10 PM now so I’m a bit rusty on what happened today. I worked a 1/2 day and from home; I feel like it was a good day, but am getting more and more itchy to get out of this house away from co-parent. It just is not healthy for any of us. Plus everyone is sick in the house with runny noses, snot, and crumpled tissues everywhere.

    Highlights of the Morning:

  • Twin Crazy woke up this AM and I brought her right into the bathroom to use the potty. HER DIAPER WAS DRY!!!! She was so excited and I was so proud.
  • Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were sitting together reading a book.
  • Red was AOK trying on different socks — for some reason I cannot find ANY of the 12 pairs of seamless socks that I recently bought. Somehow they mysteriously disappeared.
  • The Motley Crew were chancing it again today with the weather and were going to ride their bikes. Big Bro was excited as was I. He got ready, and I got Twin Crazy and Twin Husky ready in the stroller. I kissed Red goodbye and strolled along with the Motley Crew to Big Bro’s school. It has been awhile since I did this. It was good to be out again. Good to be strolling the twins in the AM. Good to see Big Bro on that bike with the kids. Then one of the kids came back to us and said that Big Bro fell. It was a small fall, but still, his bike and he was on the ground, a bit shaken up. All was OK. We got to school OK with no broken skin.
  • I then strolled Twin Crazy and Twin Husky to daycare. They seemed happy and started playing with balls right away. I told her how Twin Crazy’s diaper was dry this AM and both of us made a big deal out of it.
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    I walked home and was thinking about a lot of things. Thinking about how my life has changed so much over the past year, for the better. Thinking about how stuck I was last year, with a partner who proved over and over that I was not a priority and he chose not to listen. Unfortunately my children will suffer for this but I will come out stronger, happier. I know this.

    I passed my neighbor on the way back, swinging her daughter on a swing. Her daughter is the youngest of four kids – so very similar to our household. I know how important it is to grab those special times one-on-one and I made a big deal out of her “mommy time” and how lucky she is. And I also wanted to, but didn’t, say to my neighbor how lucky she was to have this time with her kids and to have a husband that supports and is aligned with the needs of the family. But I walk on, thinking about work…

    Highlights of My Working Day:

  • I get home, make another coffee, eat some breakfast, straighten up, load the dishwasher and run it, start some laundry, jump in the shower.
  • As I get out of the shower my phone is ringing. It is a potential prospect for one of our forums – a potential speaker and member. And here I am naked, trying to have a sales discussion with this person. Taking notes. Getting other contact names. Thinking on my (naked) feet on what I need to say to get this guy to want to come to this meeting. I should have told him I was naked.
  • I had a discussion with a Director about my goals for the future and the roles that I want to focus on going forward. I was frank and told him that project delivery with four children as a single mother will be difficult if not impossible. I want to focus on sales and conference planning/execution/data and delivery going forward. He agrees and we promise to think about the structure and metrics over the next several weeks as we get our collective thinking further defined.
  • I meet with my project team and go over quantitative analysis for 2 hours over the phone. It was rough. These kinds of working sessions remote are really tough.
  • I cleared out some email and addressed several things;
  • I reached out to other potential speakers for one of the forums
  • Highlights of the Rest of the Day:

  • I packed up at 3 PM and called it a day. I put everything away that was not kid-friendly such as computer, breakable cups, etc.
  • I picked up the twins first. I took my time with them. The weather was beautiful and they were riding tricycles.
  • We then picked up Big Bro and his bike. He rode his bike with us trailing with hazards on over to Red’s school.
  • While at Red’s school, Twin Crazy went to the potty on one of the small potties.
  • We then followed Big Bro back home. He loved riding the bike in the sunshine.
  • While at home I folded laundry and Big Bro helped. Twin Husky had fun throwing the folded piles in the air.
  • Red drew some pictures and then wanted to send them to Nana (along with some princess tattoos). So I helped her put them in an envelop, address the envelop, put on stamps, and then we went to the mailbox together to mail the letter. She was super excited.
  • Dinner was great; salmon.
  • Afterwards I did some exercising with Red and hung out with the kids. Both girls went to the potty together… Twin Crazy on the little potty and Red on the toilet. It was weird but very cute nonetheless. I accidentally scraped Red on her face with my fingernail and apologized. Poor thing. Another crying fit for her. I cleaned up from dinner a bit. Twin Husky started fussing so I grabbed the twins and headed upstairs.
  • Twins were both very tired – and sick. Both have really bad noses and I put A&D ointment on their faces. Both were extremely cranky. I read a book to them and we were searching for the color “yellow” on each page. Then Big Bro and also Red joined in the fun. I had all four kids around me, no longer cranky, trying to quickly find the color yellow with each page. It was awesome. Both Twin Husky and Twin Crazy wanted to touch and play with a “Hess” car before going to sleep.
  • Big Bro asked me if I was going to pick him up early again tomorrow. I said of course I could. I put A&D on his scraped arm from his bike accident this AM and then kissed his forehead.
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    I went downstairs and Big Bro asked me why I don’t go in to him and Red after I’m done with the twins? Good question Big Bro. I can’t stand it either.

    I was cleaning up and Red was having a tough time, crying and calling for me. I tried not to listen. But she kept crying. I cleaned up the table. She was crying. I loaded up the dishwasher. She was crying. I tried not to listen but couldn’t take it. Co-parent was just reading a book to Big Bro and ignoring the cries from Red. I went up to her and he came out when he saw I was coming up. I gave him a chance to handle it and finished cleaning up downstairs.

    Red came out screaming again so I went up to her. I held her. I hugged her. I said it was OK. I helped her brush her teeth. I put more A&D on her scraped face. I put her into bed. I asked her to relax. I told her she was doing great since I saw that her fingers were curled and therefore her hand was relaxed. I said for her to keep it up. I told her I was going to sit outside for a few minutes and come back to her. I did. I left again and then sat in her room for a while away from her bed, doing work on my iPhone. I said I would be outside of her room. I went outside and sat there, working on my iPhone for several minutes. I heard her heavy breathing. I went in and she was asleep. I kissed her forehead, turned off her light, and headed downstairs after verifying that the heat was turned on.

    So now I’m here, downstairs, hearing my kids through a child monitor. I have a lot on my mind. Things to do for work and things to do for the divorce. I’m also thinking of what I need to do to jump-start my life post-divorce. I am looking forward to a fresh start.

    Til tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    November 30: Stealing Red


    Half of a work day! From home! YES!!!!

    Highlights of My Morning and “Commute”:

    • Red woke me up proud that she was already dressed for the morning. However, she only changed her top. So she did great, 1/2 of the way.
    • The Twins came bounding into the room – lots of hugs and jumping. I love that part of the day when the kids are excited to see us. By the time they reach Big Bro’s age, I guess they lull in bed and you have to tear them out and ask if it’s OK to give them a morning hug and kiss. 🙂
    • Downstairs, all kids were at the kitchen counter on stools. It was so cute. They were all lined up and sharing space and eating. As Hubby made lunches, Twin Husky hurled himself on the counter to reach for sliced apples. So they really had a diverse breakfast this morning.

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    • The older kids knew that I was working from home today, and a 1/2 day. So Big Bro knew that I was going to walk the Twins to daycare and also have him scooter his way to school. He was thrilled, but Red was upset about this. But then Red also knew that I was going to “steal” her from pre-school today early, and spend some 1:1 time with her (since Big Bro had time with me 1:1 last week). She was thrilled, but Big Bro was upset about this. So there they were fighting about the time they were going to spend with me. Big Bro wants Wednesday afternoons to be “Big Bro and Red” time together with me, versus 1:1 time. I asked him if we could talk about it later since Red would also have to agree. For now, she is excited about potentially going on a choo-choo train ride, and at that point Big Bro threw himself on the floor in a tantrum.
    • The walk to school/daycare was great. We by chance met up with our neighbors who also walk/bike to the school. I call all the kids together the “Motley Crew” — I laugh about that, and of course the kids have no clue what I’m alluding to. So together we all walked/strolled/scootered/biked to school. Big Bro had a great time and felt grown up as he locked up his scooter to the chain-linked fence.
    • I then strolled the Twins to daycare and brought along a potty for Twin Crazy, just in case she feels brave enough to try the potty at daycare. The Twins love the stroller rides in the morning. I have a feeling they do not get the chance to be “really” outside during the day at daycare. We talked about the falling leaves, the leaves on the ground, the sound of barking dogs….
    • My walk back was great. It felt good to get out, walk the trail back home, see the leaves on the ground, know that the kids were all close-by. So that stroll back by myself was my “commute” home and to work for the day. I LOVE THIS NEW WORKING ARRANGEMENT….

    Highlights of my 1/2 Working Day:

    I had a great day at home working and I think that working 1/2 days at home are so much better than full days. On full days, I tended to get sluggish from the absence of people. But 4 hours at home is a breeze. It gives me just enough time to be productive and not waste time. It occurs to me that I have so many pictures posted of my kids but nothing related to my work. So here it goes — below is my working set up while at home. Comfy couch, wired computer, plenty of coffee and water. And my phones close by.

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    • I had to troubleshoot some reporting problems we have with one of the forums I am managing. There are data issues and report distribution issues that I was not aware of. I think the problem is being addressed, but it does not make our firm look good to our clients. I need to make sure this type of thing does not happen again in the future…
    • I am happy to report that I received the work in progress work for my client project from the consultant who is helping me, and it looked like a REALLY good first start. I therefore was happily and aggressively working on the deliverable – it is so much easier for me to pull something together when I have good, strong, smart people working with me and creating materials that I can simply review versus re-do. So I had a very productive morning and sent off a first draft of the deliverable to my Directors for their first review. I will need to focus on content early next week and we will meet with the client at the end of next week. I think we are in good shape so I feel great about that.
    • I then submitted my timesheet and signed off for the day. 🙂

    The Rest of the Day:

    • I went to lunch at 1:15 and ate at a great sushi place while typing on my iPad. I called Red’s pre-school to see when they wake up from nap. 2:30. Great. That gave me time to go food shopping before I stole her for our 1:1 time….
    • Red was so excited to see me. She was smiling and jumping up and down. She was literally speechless.

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    • I asked her what she wanted to do and she wanted to go shopping for new underwear for Twin Crazy. So cute. I suggested feeding the ducks first. We had a great time. She sat on my lap. There were four different kinds of ducks there all with different looks and different quacks. Some were meek and some were aggressive. We talked about the different kinds of ducks and tried to throw the bread to the meeker ducks.

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    • We then went shopping. On our way we made a list. I never walk into a store until I make a verbal list with the kids. This prevents melt-downs when I say we cannot buy random stuff at the store that they happen to fall in love with. So on our list was 1) underwear for Twin Crazy, and 2) sneakers for Red. When we walked in there I was sidetracked by blankets and Red quickly remarked “No Mommy. That’s not on our list.” I couldn’t believe it. “Thank you [Red] for keeping me on track.” So cute. Then she got sidetracked with the Christmas ornaments but she did not break down in a tantrum when we moved on because they were not on the list. We shopped for sneakers. She needed a pair with lights. We went shopping for small underwear for Twin Crazy. She picked out a package that she thought Twin Crazy would like. We stopped at a drug store for pull-ups for Twin Crazy. I found the right size and gender, and Red picked out a package that she wanted us to buy. She is so sweet. Shopping for Twin Crazy was the first thing she wanted to do with her alone time with me. I am so lucky that these kids are so empathetic with each other.

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    • We then picked up Big Bro and the Twins; I cooked a quick dinner; we tried more potty time with Twin Crazy without luck – but she loved the pull-ups (so much so that she had on about 4 or 5 pairs all over her legs). I felt like I didn’t have enough time with Twin Husky but I’ll make it up to him tomorrow.

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    I had a great day. I felt like I contributed to our family finances and then had the opportunity to steal my child for 1:1 time. Dinner and after dinner was a blur with kids and a flurry of activity but I enjoyed it; and am enjoying my couch now even more than earlier today! Wait a minute…. I hear some stifled laughing at the steps…. I better go now and be a tough-ass so these kids respect me and go to bed.

    Till tomorrow –
    – Mama K

    Random Thought: What type of Mama In Motion are you?


    I’ve recently made a HUGE transition in my working arrangement at my company.   I’ve realized (and have been tortured over the decision, to be blunt) over the past several years and months that although I like contributing to the financial security of our family and like the challenges of having a job/career, I wanted to make some changes to the time committment that I make to my work compared to the time committment I make to my family.  So, I’ve essentially went from a Full Time worker, to a Full time with some flex time (e.g., working from home), to a Part-time worker also leveraging flex-time.   Quite a change!!!

    I’m curious to hear from you — what type of Mama In Motion are you?

    Thanks for sharing – more on this topic over the next several weeks.

    – Mama K

    September 22: A gift with my Twins while working from home


    So another day without a daycare provider for the Twins…. another day working from home while multi-tasking with two toddlers.   At least I don’t have any client conference calls scheduled…

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • Red needs mommy time this AM.  She sees what I’m wearing (blue leggings, white shirt) and she wants to match me.  She heads downstairs for breakfast.
    • I grab clothes for Big Bro and Red.  I try to match her outfit as best I can but it doesn’t match perfectly.  Big Bro is still in bed so I climb in there with him since I know he needs mommy time too.   We talk about the cut on his finger and if it feels better.  It does.  He wants a band-aid for it now.   We spend time together putting a band-aid on his finger.  He seems happy.   I gather his clothes but he is not happy with the shorts selection (they are too long).  We’ll see if there are shorts somewhere downstairs.  I ask for his hand and say that I am doing a “special delivery” of Big Bro to downstairs.  This makes him laugh.  We walk slowly down the stairs together, holding hands, so I can stretch out this time with him.
    • Twins are covered in milk and cereal.   There is milk all over the place.  They are soaked.   They then move on to applesauce.  What a mess.  These kids need to take some serious baths. 
    • Red and Big Bro eat a little.   We have some problems getting changed this AM.  Big Bro REALLY does not like his shorts, and Red completely rejects her outfit I picked out.   So I try another.   She rejects that one too.   She cries for Daddy.
    • Big Bro is on the hunt for a different pair of shorts.  I find one in the living room on top of a stack of clean (I think) clothes.    He rejects those.  Big Bro miraculously finds shorts.   I ask them where he found them and he smiled.   So on the floor of the laundry room, dirty????   “Yeah Mom”.   I just let this one go.   There are some battles that are just not worth fighting for.  He has a smile on his face so that’s good with me.
    • As Hubby is packing lunches he is using applesauce.   Twins see this and start squealing for applesauce.  Twin Crazy eats about 4 bowls of it and Twin Husky doesn’t do too bad either.    Everyone is covered in applesauce.
    • I change Twins’ diapers.   I put on different PJ bottoms for Twin Husky since he is soaked.  I change Twin Crazy’s shirt since she is soaked. 
    • Hubby helps Red.   She is pissed off at me.  
    • 1st drop off:   Big Bro.
    • 2nd drop off:   Hubby at Ferry.
    • 3rd drop off:  Red, with Twins in tow.   Of course they get lots of attention.  The teachers showed me a picture that Red drew of a smiley face.  It was pretty impressive.   The other kids made a lot of scribbles but hers actually looked like a smiley face with a colorful border.  The teachers were proud of her.  I made a big stink about it too.   I asked her if it was OK for me to put in on our refrigerator – and if it was OK for me to leave soon so I could do that for her.   She was grinning from ear to ear.   Melts my heart.

      Red's "Smiley Face"  -- 3 years old

      Red's "Smiley Face" -- 3 years old (notice the orange hair)

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Pot of coffee, I eat everyone’s leftover breakfast.
    • I play a bit with the Twins.   I then give them a snack as I boot up my computer.   I send some quick emails and organize some meetings.
    • Twins look very tired, especially Twin Husky.   I ask them if its time for an “early nap” and they both run to the stairs.  I thought it was going to be a short one, but they slept for 2 hours!
    • During this time I attended a Webinar, organized some more meetings, and sent out some follow-up emails related to the forums that are coming up.  There are some empty guest speaker spots and I’m hoping to fill them with internal folks which shouldn’t be a problem.
    • Twins wake up at lunchtime.  I make them ground beef, peas, and cheese.   Beef, peas, and cheese.   It rhymes!    So I walk around saying Beef, Peas, and Cheese over and over again until its ready.  They eat well (so do I).   Twin Husky has some problems with forks/spoons but eventually shoves the food in his face.
    • We then play for quite a bit.   It is amazing but I feel like I’m getting to know them better.  How weird.  I am their mother.   For example, all Twin Husky needs to calm down is to be picked up and held softly for 1 minute.  Then he’s fine.   Twin Crazy is definitely the aggressor of the two.  She is spiteful.  She is a trouble-maker.  She will run up to Twin Husky and steal his toys and run away leaving him in the dust, crying.    When I ask her to come back and give him his toy, she listens, but she is definitely the more dominant one of the two, at least for now.   She also likes to invade his space, just for spite.   Just to see him cry.   But then there’s a soft side to her too.   They like to laugh together.  She likes to bring him crackers, his milk.   She is also a caretaker as well.   She is able to drink from a cup (no sippy!).  I didn’t know that about her.  How interesting that I’m seeing these personalities so much clearer now, just because I have more focused time with them.   I’m happy about this yet sad at the same time.

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup

      Twin Crazy can drink from a cup - this is something I learned today

    • I have a conversation with a Director about immediate issues with the forums, and also hold Twin Husky as I send out more emails.   He says “ball” when looking at my Google Chrome icon on my computer.  So cute.
    • Now they are on a second nap, hopefully a short one.   I threw in some laundry.   I have to start thinking about dinner.   I get Red’s picture up on our refrigerator.
    • Twins wake up; I get them ready to go…

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • 1st pick up:  Big Bro.  2nd Pickup:  Red, with all kids in tow.   Red is in a different playground and it took us awhile to find her class.  3rd pick up:  Hubby at the ferry station.  We saw the boat come in.  Twin Husky:  “Boat.”   Red was hot with her long sleeve shirt so she decided to go topless.
    • We head home, I cook a quick dinner.  We are finished eating by 6:30.  Hubby and I drink beers.
    • Big Bro wants to do a project and I set up a race car painting project for him.   Then Red sees the project so I find a “paint by number” project for her.
    • Twins are having fun running back and forth and jumping on Hubby.
    • I’m having fun playing with all the kids; kissing all the kids; laughing with them.
    • They start to look tired early, so we bring them upstairs.   Twins look at books and point to pictures after we ask them where things are….. all are drinking milk.  All four are winding down.  Kisses to Twins and they are OUT.
    • Big Bro and Red are sweet.  Red keeps jumping on me; Big Bro is tired and already in bed, talking about numbers and letters and his painted racecar.

    Now we’re downstairs – another wonderful day; although not very efficient on the work front.   I feel somewhat guilty that another person’s anguish (our daycare provider’s ill husband) has allowed me a special gift and glimpse into the lives of my youngest children.  After spending so much time with Big Bro and Red while on vacation, I feel so lucky to have this time now with the Twins.   I feel like I know them so much better now; I feel guilty that I’m not in tune with them as much as I was with the first two; but they still seem SO HAPPY and so well adjusted – they are loved and I know that they feel loved.  

    I also know that I want more of this.  More time with all of them.  More time in the mornings to do the drop offs and in the afternoon with pickups from pre-school/school.   I don’t like feeling rushed with them.  It is not fair to them.   I want more time with my Twins.   I am fine working, but after tasting this kind of life I know I need more.   I need to make this happen on my terms at work; after the forums are complete in mid-October, and after I have proven myself to be an indispensible asset, I will lay out a plan with my superiors that discusses how I want to work.   On a reduced work week where most of my work time is spent from home.   I think this will bring much more balance and happiness to my life – despite costing our family in terms of income.

    Till tomorrow –

    – Mama K

    September 21: Can this REALLY be called working???


    OK, so day #2 with no daycare provider for the Twins.   So I am working from home, with two 18 month old Twins…. who are starting…. to fight…. about EVERYTHING….. most often its the toys…. but there is also alot of shoving, pushing, hitting, and BITING.   How much work can I really get done on a day like today????!??!

    Highlights of the Morning and Commute:

    • I wake up to Big Bro and Red, coming to my bed and hugging me.  Big Bro is no longer feverish!  YEAH!  Red is so sweet!   They are in my bed now, holding on to me, telling me that I CANNOT get up and take a shower.   They want to keep me there with them.  They start to negotiate.  “You don’t need to take a shower today mommy.”     Ehhhh emmm.. Um, yes I do.  I skipped yesterday.  I stink.  “You do not stink mommy.  You will stink if you go into that shower.”   How cute.  I think they are going through withdrawal of mommy time from our vacation.Twin
    • I get the Twins.  They are cranky.   Twin Husky is hot.   He demands to be held by Daddy.
    • While I am in the shower, Big Bro decides to give Red a “makeover” with the Barbie make up she received from her Nana last week.  So, Big Bro is asking Red which color she wants on her left foot nails, right foot nails, and different colors for her hands.  There is also “eyeshadow” that he is applying for her and lip gloss.  This is too funny.   They are both so interested in the makeup.   THankfully Big Bro is not applying anything on himself, but I would be OK with that if so, I think.
    Pre-school "makeover"

    Pre-school "makeover"

    • Kids eat breakfast, lunches get packed.  Kids get dressed.  We remember vitamins this morning.   I spend a lot of time holding Twin Husky.   I love the way he feels in my arms.  He holds on tight.  His head rests on my shoulder.  He is big and heavy and sick, but feels wonderful and I don’t want to let him go.
    • OK time to go!!!
    • 1st drop off:  Big Bro.  Hubby takes him in while the rest stay in the car.
    • 2nd drop off:   Hubby at ferry
    • 3rd drop off:  Red.  We go in together with the Twins.  Twins are wearing PJs still, and Twin Crazy is carrying all of her blankets and loveys.  It is so cute.   The place goes nuts over them.
    • Pit stop:  CVS to pick up some stuff.  I bring in the Twins.  I buy baby Advil for Twin Husky.
    • We head home and I think about what the heck am I going to do for a client conference call at 10 AM????

    Highlights of my Working Day:

    • Make a pot of coffee.   Eat leftover kid breakfast.  Nuke a Trader Joe’s breakfast for me.   Get my computer set up.   Twins are playing.
    • Sent out quite a few emails related to all the upcoming forums; I’m trying to get up to speed desperately since these meetings are happening in two weeks time.
    • Kids get a cracker snack.
    • I decide to throw them upstairs in their cribs for a “short nap” at 9:45 so I can be “ON” for the conference call.   The kids head upstairs and seem OK with this idea.
    • I review the materials I need to walk through for the conference call and think about what I need to talk about – it’s a sales meeting so I have this one shot with them.   Upstairs, I hear the Twins laughing and playing.   At least they’re not crying.
    • I get stood up for the call.  Now I need to reschedule.  I hate that.  Now it’s extra work for me.  I hate having to redo things.   It takes time to reschedule and I feel like offloading it to someone but cannot.  Ugggh.
    • I do some work while I have a chance and then get the kids.  They seem happy.
    • I get them changed into “real clothes” since they’ve been in the same PJs for days.   They are adorable.   I play with them a bit.  Laughing, kissing their bellies.   I love this.
    • Snack time is blueberries.  Twins are now able to get to the short table by themselves and sit in the stools.  They look so cute.  All dressed, and eating their blueberries in their little bowls together.
    • I work while they eat.   I also try to secure back up day care for Thursday and Friday — I’m searching through people who applied for the MOther’s Helper position and mentioned they would be available for babysitting or other help.  Hopefully someone comes through.
    • We play a bit; run around outside in the backyard.  Talk about things.   Twin Husky is singing “Happy Birthday” non-stop.
    • I make lunch while they play with pots and pans.  They eat like champs.  They head upstairs for bed immediately afterwards.
    Future chefs?

    Future chefs?

    • I work while they sleep – coordinate menus, follow-up with guest speakers, follow-up with the analytic team, etc.
    • Twins sleep late – they get up and I give them crackers and we pick up Big Bro and then Red.   All kids are in a great mood.

    Dinner and Bedtime:

    • I am on my own tonight since Hubby has an appointment and our Mother’s Helper took the night off.
    • Kids are well behaved.  Some playing outside, some inside, Big Bro and Red putting on make up again.   Twins are outside with tricycles and scooters.
    • I’m making dinner.  Chicken I defrosted is rancid.  Plan B:  chicken nuggets, broccoli, and side pasta.   ALL KIDS EAT LIKE CHAMPS.  Even the broccoli!!!!!!!
    • Kids play well while I clean up; I didn’t have much time with them tonight – I feel bad for Big Bro and Red since they are craving mommy time and I didn’t have enough of it to give to them today.
    • Everyone heads upstairs for bed.   All kids in one room for PJ changes and songs.  Twins go down SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easily.  Big Bro a bit harder – he is exhausted despite it being earlier for his bedtime.  Red is relatively good until it is time for me to leave the room.  She would not let go of my arm and she screamed until Hubby came home to soothe her.
    • After the kids were in bed, I worked for another 2 hours to catch up for today.

    Now I feel a bit better about the work I managed to do, but I’m still hoping I can find someone to help out tomorrow.   I had a wonderful day and feel like I’ve somehow captured the kind of life I want — OK, having someone watch the Twins would have been better, but still.   And also having the mothers’ helper would have been good so I could spend some more time with Big Bro and Red.    But I’m getting closer!!!!   Maybe tomorrow will be Nirvana with day help and night help.  And me working from home, dropping off my kids and picking them up, and taking breaks here and there to hug and squeeze my babies.    Bliss.

    Till tomorrow –

    – Mama K

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