Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Never Give a Date

I give up. I'm never going to say when I'll do something again. I just keep thinking my life is my own and then our little ones yell Grandma... or in the case of the littlest one Gammaw. Only it is usually GAMMAW!! said in a demanding urgent tone at great volume. For example at church last Sunday when I left the chapel to deal with our middle grand daughter's misbehavior and left the youngest with her Grandpa. The whole room heard her wails of sorrow and saw the tears that streamed down her face at being left behind. I know because all eyes turned to me as I rushed back in to get her.
Oh she's cute to be sure and those great big blue eyes just melt you. But exasperation isn't far behind those Oh... how cute sighs, as she's in to everything and when she's not trying to stick keys up her nose, she's trying to stick them in the light sockets. The ones she used to pry off the child safety latches. And if you hear her grunting and moaning, she's trying to scale the end table from the rocking chair with a book and a sippy cup in hand after she's cleared the table to make way. Don't turn your back after you've started the bath water because ready or not she's climbing in.
But oh is she CUTE!!
And since she's only little once, I'm determined to enjoy this brief period. I just have to lower the ways she can frustrate me.
I've found supper to be especially frustrating with her demands of my attention at their highest at that time of day. It isn't only her as our five year old is especially cranky. Okay, she's cranky most the time lately as she sees school as the thing that is keeping her away from time with her mother. And the middle child doesn't want to take a nap though she desperately needs one. I'm going to work hard on establishing a scheduled nap for her and triggers to make her sleepy like their bedtime routine at night. I haven't had her much during nap time but that is about to change. Evenings are challenging with homework needing done for the five year old, baths, supper, livestock chores, lunches to prepare for hubby and our kinder gardener, stories to read, etc. etc. etc. Most of you know just what I'm talking about.
I'm working on a fix. A set routine is imperative I know. The bedtime routine is set and it beautifully keys the kids in to being very sleepy. Now I've to refine the hours before so they aren't so Grandma directed. I'm finding the key is to not do everything myself. The kids pick up their own clothes and put them in the hamper and toys are put away earlier rather than later when tired and crankiest. A short movie fills in the time when the toys are picked up right before the 40 to hour long bedtime routine depending on if it is bath night or not. Now I want to add chores like emptying the bathroom trash and helping with supper. Children need to be needed and this 51 year old grandma can't do all the work anymore and I shouldn't have to.
One of the major problems has been supper. With the demands of the kids, especially our youngest, I don't have time to look up recipes and supper hasn't been something to write home about. I'll tell you. No, I won't because it has been a source of embarrassment. It has to change for nutritional reasons. Therefore, it has to be made in a much quicker fashion than the once leisurely fashion I before I began co-parenting. So I've been working off and on the past few days, when the kids aren't here, on a new plan to survive the coming days when I'll have them twenty-four hours, five days a week.
Our daughter starts her new job Wednesday.
First of all, I copied calendar pages for the next few months. I then planned a menu for the month of October, breakfast and supper since lunch is leftovers or sandwiches.
Orange dots are things I need to make ahead and I'll have to be sure and check the menu ahead each day so I can thaw meat, and begin chopping vegetables etc. early in the day when I've only the youngest grand daughter at home. Making as much ahead of time as possible I know to be key to a smoother delivery. This will also transform into a shopping menu which I can be looking for sale items from the store to lower the cost. I also plan on laying things out for breakfast the night before as you know how rushed mornings are.
The second faze is putting all the recipes I'll need for the month in a small notebook
in order of the days they will be used. Some are typed up nicely like this one as it is a long time favorite with pineapple on the bottom. It will be a special Friday treat. Since they are all right there in the notebook, I don't have to look for them which means they'll actually get made. There's a step missing in here but I'll talk about it later. I almost said tomorrow but then who knows what tomorrow will bring, let alone this afternoon.
The copied calendar page goes in the front of this notebook and then the different colored tabs are just sticky notes cut into strips. Color coded to tell me what day of the week it is, green Monday, blue Tuesday, purple Wednesday, etc. They also have the date on them. I only used part of two sheets per color for the whole month. This isn't a big money drainer. If I don't need a recipe, then it isn't in here. Most of the recipes are just pages ripped out of magazines or copies from the Internet. Some are ones I've been wanting to try but haven't been organized enough to get done. Eventually, a recipe at a time, I hope to get our favorites typed up and put into plastic slip covers unifying the pages. Also they will be spill proof. Things like my pancake and waffle recipes, I'm going to have more than one copy so they can be placed in order for the two or three times a month they are used.
This hasn't been fast to put together but most of the time was spent redoing and figuring out a smoother method to make it all work. Refining is still going on as I've started to move into November with meals I didn't use in October.
How I came up with so many ideas for meals and organizing your recipes will be another post. Also the calendar pages for our grand daughter's lunch menu will go up as I complete it.
One of these days I might actually get this role of parenting as a grandparent figured out. Input from you dear friends would be greatly appreciated as I muddle through. I'm still waiting for your ideas on lunch ideas. So don't be shy and comment. I'll admit I'm slow getting your e-mails answered but just know that I do appreciate them and I'll get them answered when I can sneak away from my duties. So while I have these few hours to prepare I'd better shush and put the pedal to the medal as they say. So much to do and so little time to do it in.

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