August 31: Waiting for Big Bro

Big Bro woke up EXTREMELY talkative… seems that the good sleep did him good.   He had a slight fever, not nearly as bad as yesterday…. so I decided it was time for him to go to school.   Red, Twin Crazy, and Twin Husky were home with me all day.
Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro’s hair was enormous this morning – possibly from all of the laying around the day before.  I had to completely spray his hair down and suggested that he use my robe so he doesn’t get too cold.  He thought this was completely hysterical.   It took a lot of sprays and also hair gel to get it back under control.  He was still concerned about some pieces that were still sticking up.   So cute.   The peer pressure is getting more intense.
  • Big Bro noticed that my alarm clock and my T.V. both say “SONY”.   I love how the kids pick up on things like that.  So new yet obvious to them… so overlooked by me.
  • Twin Crazy woke up cranky and a bit warm.  I gave both her and Big Bro some more medicine.
  • We were running late; I made Big Bro’s  lunch quickly and warmed up some tortillas.  I grabbed some string cheese and off we went.
  • The drive was not that bad; but we were running late and I got him to his class just in time!
  • The rest of us headed back home.   It was cold outside and I did not plan enough in advance for an activity, so I just decided to get back to my place – as soon as we got in, we put on the fireplace and (the kids) ate some oatmeal to get warm.
  • Afterwards, we relaxed a little bit on the couch and under some blankets.   I had quiet cuddle time with Twin Crazy and Twin Husky as Red colored and also played with Cocoa.
  • I did laundry; kids played.  I cleaned up kitchen; kids played.   Red took care of Cocoa.  Cocoa is now licking Red, the way she has been licking me too over the past several days.  Red is in love with that guinea pig.
  • Twin Husky went pee-pee in the potty.   That meant more chocolate chips for everyone.  Red and Twin Husky were both concerned about Big Bro since he was not there.   I saved his chocolate chips in a baggie for later.
  • Twins were getting tired/cranky… time for lunch!   After lunch the kids were getting crazy; I had to get them to sit and be still on the couch to settle down.   They all did.  This worked great as I organized bags of stuff for our afternoon outing.
  • We were off!!!   Kids were excited for the ZOO.

Highlights of the Rest of the Afternoon, with Big Bro:

  • We picked up Big Bro – no traffic at all.  I got there and was able to meet his teacher and sign up for weekly volunteering on Wednesdays, when I work a 1/2 day and also go to pick up the kids.  That will be a great day to do something in Big Bro’s classroom.
  • We headed to the ZOO.   So many highlights…. first hanging out in a playground just outside the zoo, running in the play area, climbing on spider nets, running around in the field, seeing insects/tarantulas/ants/cockroaches, crocodiles, frogs, lizards, turtles, pigs, rabbits, bats, brushing goats.   At one point the kids saw the bats and we really loved it…. 10 seconds later Big Bro and Red were both hanging like bats on the handrail and I was cracking up yet asking them to get down.  I’m so glad I took a picture before I reprimanded them.   It is hysterical.   Then another kid started doing it and his parents got pissed.  “But they’re doing it…” the other kid replied.   “You don’t do what other kids are doing… it’s not OK”.   Uggggh.   I turned into having “the other kids”.   I agree, but it was funny.   🙂     Why didn’t this same family see the kids just seconds prior, all of them clustering together and looking out for each other, and pointing to the animals when they spotted them and showing the other siblings, and being wonderful little people?   Oh well.   I’m still glad I got the picture with them as “bats”.
  • We were the last ones to leave the petting area with the goats.   We ran around the field and I chased the kids.  It was so much fun.    Suddenly we were the only ones there besides one other child, who was actually running around with us too.    It was 4:30 and the zoo closed at 4:00 PM.   OMG.   The personnel were letting us have fun but we really pressed the limit of closing time.   We got tons of exercise in.
  • The kids wanted to go back to the playground so we did.  I had 1 1/2 hours to spend before drop off time.
  • We headed back to co-parent’s but were still really early for drop off so we went to Big Bro’s school to check out the new play structure.  It was freezing.  I happened to have a blanket with me, thank goodness.  Twin Husky was busy watching boys practice soccer.   Big Bro was on the new structure.  The girls were with me, cuddled in the blanket.   I loved it.
  • Drop off went fine.  I will see them again tomorrow afternoon.

After drop off I did some shopping for myself at Kohl’s, and got a landslide deal on end of summer shorts, shirts, and dresses for me.   I bought gas at Safeway and saved $0.80 per gallon from the food shopping I do there.   I then returned a huge ladder that I still never opened from Home Depot – and got a big credit to my account.   This will help with the balance I owe.  I am watching money so carefully these days.

I got home and went nuts attacking my room and the placement of furniture… it feels better now; a better flow.  I need to go through my closet, get rid of stuff I don’t use.  So I can get the new stuff there.   I’ve neglected my room during the move and I need to catch up on myself.   This will be my sanctuary and it is coming together much better now.   I’m tired though and will call it a night.

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Til next week –

– Mama K

March 9: Sweet moments before going away

Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be solo. So I got a heavy dose of “kid” this morning to fill me up before they left me for the weekend.

Highlights of the Morning:

  • Big Bro’s bike privilege is back. He was up out of bed, got dressed, had his sneakers on, his jacket on, helmet on, and came downstairs for breakfast completely ready to go. He ate quickly and then was completely ready. Even backpack. It was onlly 7:30 AM. He typically doesn’t ROLL out of bed until 7:30 AM. But here is was, all ready to go and extremely excited to be back in action.
  • Big Bro and Twin Husky again were having fun running and dancing around in the kitchen together. I think this will be a ritual with them.
  • Big Bro was very sweet this morning. Twin Crazy had some hair in her face and Big Bro gently swiped it away and out of her eyes. The way she was looking up at him was so sweet. I wish I had the camera but am glad I remembered this moment – hopefully I will remember it in the future since I’m writing it down here.
  • It was finally 8:00 AM and time for Big Bro to go. He was thrilled. I watched him down the sidewalk. I called out that I loved him and for him to have fun. He turned around back to me as he was riding and said “Bye Mommy!!!” with a huge smile on his face.
  • Back at home Twins were dressed to go for the day. Red was dressed for school. Daddy was in the car too. I grabbed snacks and extra diapers for my day with the Twins. We pulled away to drop Red off. He was rushing. I didn’t understand why. I’m home with the kids anyway and I wanted to make it a relaxing drop off. As we were driving there I looked back at Red’s face and her eyes just seemed sad to me. I then asked her if she wanted to go with me and Twin Crazy and Twin Husky and she said YES. I was going to take them to the zoo. So I had Daddy turn the van around to drop him off and for me to get extra food since I had Red now too.
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    Highlights of the Zoo:

  • We arrived there early so we played in the playground a bit.
  • Red had to pee so we went potty – there was a huge lawnmower which was scaring the kids so it was a bit of an ordeal to get to the potty across the lawn while this huge lawnmower was going around. We made it though.
  • Back at the playground Red was being a monkey climbing on things and the Twins were staying close to me because of the lawnmower. Red was having trouble trying to climb up certain things and then all of the sudden I saw her with the stroller and she was using it as a ladder. I love how these kids problem-solve and come up with solutions. It makes me feel good that they can take care of themselves in that way.
  • Once the zoo opened we went to see the frogs and turtles first. Red had never been to that part of the zoo before.
  • We went to look at the sea otters and laughed at how they were playing.
  • We had snacks and the kids were having fun roaming through bushes and playing follow the leader.
  • We then went to brush the goats. So much fun. They were very good with the animals and loved it.
  • On the way out the kids were being monkeys again. Climbing on things all over the place.
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    Rest of the Afternoon:

  • We made it back by 11:30 AM for lunch.
  • Daddy packed up the car and I played with the kids. We played with blocks and balls. They started to get cranky, needing their naps so I held Twin Crazy for a bit and then rocked with Twin Husky.
  • The kids were cute getting their things. Twin Husky needed to bring his 2 Tigers, yellow soccer ball, pretend chicken leg, and blue rubber snake.
  • I said my goodbyes and rocked in the chair for a bit. It was quiet.
  • I’m going to try not to be upset about these lonely weekends any longer. My first alone weekend was very, very rough. It was hard for me to wake up in silence – it felt wrong. I maybe had 2 or 3 mornings of silence over the past 6 years and it just felt un-natural to me. I felt like I was missing my limbs or that I had two left feet or something. It just felt “off”.

    But no matter how I look at it, no matter WHAT level of custody I have with these kids going forward, there will be obviously be days where I wake up without them. This is just reality. And I know this. I can almost accept this now. This is going to be part of my new reality going forward. I will not have them with me every day. It’s as simple as that. I get it. Sometimes it will be harder for me and sometimes it won’t feel as difficult. It will just be.

    So, I sat in silence for awhile. It was a stark difference from just 2 minutes prior — twins crying to nap and Red bouncing around trying to be helpful. Now it was completely quiet except for the sound of the rocking chair. I sat in the chair in the sun. I checked email. I saw a “Groupon-now” for a deep conditioning and haircut that if bought, had to be used within 2 hours. So I made an appointment and bought the Groupon and got my hair conditioned and cut.



    So now I’m getting ready for my weekend away. A B&B in wine country with heated pools, mineral baths, bed in breakfast, and massage (another Groupon previously bought). It was going to be for 2. But now I am one. And I am using it this weekend, alone. And happy about that. I will wake up to a quiet house tomorrow morning, knowing that the kids are fine and having fun, and I will pack up the car and go out to breakfast and road-trip. I have a massage at 11 AM and will relax the rest of the day at the pool. I will spend the weekend with myself and with my thoughts and enjoy the sun, the pool, and the silence.

    I love Groupon.

    Have a terrific weekend Mamas – I’ll post pix of my weekend on Facebook and likely Tweet about it too.

    Here’s to sunny days!
    – Mama K

    February 20: Ending the 3-day weekend

    The end of a 3-day weekend – bittersweet in many ways. Weekends are hard for me these days so 3 days makes it tough to get excited about. Today was a good day though –

    • I woke up early and continued laundry; the kids were up so I grabbed all the sheets for the last load of the week. I love the smell of fabric softener. I find it comforting.
    • All kids were up and sitting across on the couch getting ready for some T.V. Thankfully, Big Bro did not buy any movies. I still can’t believe he knows how to do this now. Then 3 of the kids broke out the funny animal hats and started playing with each other and pretending they were birds, dogs, ducks…. so cute.
    • I made a huge pancake breakfast; got the kids dressed; played a bit.
    • I took Big Bro and Red out for the morning. We just did some shopping – Big Bro needed some shoes and I needed a laundry bag. Both kids were GREAT with these activities. Big Bro originally wanted shoes with pictures on them or ones that lit up, but he’s in a size now for bigger kids and the shoes don’t really have those styles. He picked out a decent pair of black and bright yellow sneakers. He likes them. They both helped me at Bed Bath and Beyond for a laundry bag, and even saved me money since they both picked the cheapest one. I’m watching what I’m spending like a hawk now since I have to. I never thought I would go backwards in my standard of living but now it is inevitable so I’m changing behaviors definitely now.
    • At home, all kids were re-united and Big Bro initiated an activity for them all. He brought out markers and stickers and paper and had everyone on the floor creating art. I loved watching them and thought it was great that Big Bro took the initiative like that and that they were all sharing stickers and helping each other with caps, pulling the stickers off the sheets, etc.
    • Made lunch at home; kids napped in clean sheets.
    • They woke up and I gave them baths and showers. I love the smell and feel of clean kids. I love how they cuddle up to you. I cut 80 fingernails and toenails, my weekly ritual.
    • I made home-made pizza for them for dinner – Trader Joe’s has pre-made doughs that I keep in the freezer. Afterwards we had ice-cream. And watched TV. Big Bro played a Spongebob 2x since I didn’t watch it with him appropriately the first time. He really notices if I am watching it with him. He likes to do things with me and if I am distracted even sitting next to him is not good enough. So I paid attention the second time around, and made sure to comment throughout the show so we were talking about what happened.
    • Bedtime for the Twins tonight. I get Big Bro and Red tomorrow night. This didn’t work out well for Big Bro and Red. They were both crying and clinging to me. Big Bro more so than Red. He is very attached and this forced separation while I am still in the house will be difficult for us. I need to talk to our Child Custody mediator about this. Maybe/hopefully it will get easier for him during the week. Even Twin Crazy and Twin Husky were consoling him tonight after he barged into their room while I was sitting with them reading a book.
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    So, the 3-day weekend is over, I survived. We divided and I had good fun with both groups of kids; attended a birthday party, went to the zoo, and did normal day-to-day routine things with the kids.

    Red is asking when she will be able to share a room with Twin Crazy – a “girl” room – I reply “someday soon” and cannot wait to be painting a room pink for my little girls. I have to be patient and know that soon that day will come. It will just be tough getting there.

    Til tomorrow –

    – Mama K


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