Friday, February 25, 2011

No wonder I'm tired

 My adventures with the children have come to an end, at least for this session. Mommy sent me an email to let me know the reviews were positive. Apparently snow pants are to be worn on the bus, not something I enforced. They don’t remember me yelling at them as they were rushing to get ready for the morning bus. My guess is, that they remember that all the meals I prepared were their favourites. Life is back to normal and now that she has been home for 24 hours, Mommy is just mean….. funny how that works.

I on the other hand, am very tired. I am not sleeping well in my own bed. There is something about sleeping in a big, king-size bed, all alone… compared to sleeping with Bob in our queen-sized bed. But as always, it takes me a couple days to stop missing the little darlings. I’ll be back…..

This will take my thoughts back to my real world.

Today is the 25th… only 10 months until Christmas 2011. You may recall that I bought a new Santa face last month… 75% off… Well I hung it between my living room and dining room. It has been up there for at least a month, but it was just last weekend that my husband saw it. It was “where did that come from” “how long has that been there” “did you just buy that”. I answered honestly…. “It has been there for awhile now; I am waiting for the shed to be done so I have a place to store it. And no I didn’t just buy it”

I think Bob checks the “shed” everyday when he gets home, looking to see if I have started moving some Santa things out there already. I keep his life very interesting.

My thoughts are all over the place today. This morning I was missing the kids. I saw a gardening magazine and started thinking about getting outside in my yard. Then they started talking on the radio about an impending storm so I started thinking about curling up with a book and a cup of tea at the end of the day. That got me thinking about some finishing touches that I have to make to the “shed” and I make mental plans to do that when I get home. Suddenly I remember I have a sick aunt and I should go visit her. Wait, I’m at work and I should probably give that some thought today.

No wonder I can’t sleep. Maybe it isn’t sharing the bed that is keeping me awake after all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And then there were five

Sunday - I am in surprisingly good humor. The sun isn’t shining yet, but the wind is gone and it has stopped snowing. It is 6am and I am up, showered, and waiting to wake up Bryanna, who is in my bed.

She came into my bed about 3am, after going into Baxter’s room first and waking him up. I am not sure why, and neither was she. They both went right back to sleep. Not a luxury I shared with them. Now I was worried again that I would miss the alarm.

When I did get up, I was trying to be very quiet, so as not to wake anyone. Baxter called me almost immediately, but I convinced him it was still nighttime… at least until my shower was done. He burst out of his room like he was making a grand entrance, gave me a big smile and announced, “ I heard you Donna and knew you wanted to see me”

I decided to start right away with potty detail. The smile on his little face disappeared, but he did pee in the potty and got to have a couple smarties for breakfast along with his toast and berries, because if you remember, I don’t do his cereal right.

I had Bryanna dressed, fed and packed for hockey by 7am, when her ride knocked on the door.

By 8:30am… I had 4 dozen cupcakes made, dishes done and kitchen all cleaned up. I decided to go into town, to my house. I enticed the children by telling them we were going to see the new shed. We saw the shed, visited with Bob, and picked up a few supplies for me. We were only there for about 20 minutes before we were back on the road. It was unanimously suggested that we pick up some Timbits…. An excellent opportunity for me to have a coffee, as I haven’t figured out the new coffee machine at the farm.

It was a beautiful afternoon for outside. Temperature about minus 6, but no wind. We were only outside about an hour, when Caleb showed up for a sleepover. So much excitement. Another hour outside and the caregiver was ready for the warmth inside.

And so the rest of the day went… relatively quiet and uneventful. I like that.

Family Day – Oh the luxury… I got to sleep until 7:15am. Caleb woke me, begging to go get his friend Baxter so they could play, “cause it daytime Gramma”

Baxter & Caleb shot thru their respective door ways at the same time. It was like they had been separated for years and were finally meeting again.

OH.. on the potty front… I am going with no pants until breakfast and have had success two mornings in a row. Pee in the potty before breakfast and it gets you 2 smarties. For you smart asses, I am talking about Baxter.

I had promised pancakes and bacon for breakfast so I got to work right away. I have decided that the positive side of getting up this early every morning, means I don’t have to rush into lunch preparations as soon as breakfast is cleaned up. It’s great… it gives me more time to get laundry done and folded up.

Our plan for the day was to stay outside all day. The weather gods have decided otherwise. The three elders went out right after breakfast and were back inside within 15 minutes. Temperature minus 15 and windchill about 10 degrees less. We will try again when it warms up this afternoon…..

We went thru several pair of big boy underpants, but it was usually on the run to the potty that we had some leakage. He wasn’t even done with his dribble before he was asking for his two smarties. This incentive is working.

We watched Despicable Me for about the 4th time this week. I know it has been too many times now, because Caleb & Baxter can recite part of the dialogue before it happens.

I declared Family Day to be DS free. Even Bryanna doesn’t ask any more, as I usually have one day without electronics when I am here for an extended period of time.

Adam got bored this afternoon and dressed up like a Barbie doll… I have loads of pics on my phone, so have to figure out how to get it off there. Eeyore has definitely left the building for the week, because I have not seen him once, since I got here.

The meals today weren’t my best choices, but dessert was served and that keeps me their favorite.

I tucked everyone in tonight, with all of them hoping for a snow day tomorrow, so we can have one more day together….. see…… still the favorite.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Is it worth reading....

End of Day 2.. Everyone arrived home from school and day care, soaking wet. Sox, mitts, snow pants… totally drenched. All four had a great day.

I asked Abby how she made out with her unfinished homework. Her answer;” it’s okay, Bry did my homework for me on the bus.” Well… no lesson learned there.

Bry’s Mexican Day at school was cancelled and everyone in the class was told about it except Bryanna. Since all I packed in her lunch was the bag of nacho chips and some salsa, for the pot luck lunch, she just ate the chips. She seemed totally unconcerned about the whole thing. She thinks maybe it has been rescheduled for next Friday….. maybe… I don’t know….

We dropped Adam off at Zach’s for a sleep over, due to a 7am hockey game next morning, but not before a discussion about why he is being sent to school everyday. Apparently, it is a plot by all parents, not just his, to “suck the Joy out of his life”. And by the way, he had a good day at school… go figure.

I made Taco’s for supper, so I really rock. Poor Baxter was in bed within half an hour of supper. He was whipped. The girls watched a movie and were in bed by 8:30. I had a very quiet evening.

Day 3 – Saturday..a day I normally sleep until 9ish…a small child entered my room at 6:30 am, to see if I was okay, and to inform me that he was very wet, and very hungry. Yesterday, I didn’t do the Fruit Loops and milk right, so he wanted me to try making him toast & berries. Not sure how I screwed up the cereal, but I did.

When I thought about the events of the last two days, I thought… oh.. so mundane. even I don’t want to read about it. But between the weather and the children … of course there was some adventure or at least something worth writing about.

We got a blast of wind and a dump of snow that closed the highway all day. This meant that the birthday/manicure party that Abby was supposed to go to was not going to make it into our agenda. She was so disappointed…. Mostly about not getting her nails done, promised milk shakes and the movie Tangled, which her parents “didn’t bother to take her to”…

I decided to make an attempt to “fix” things. I dug through Mom’s bathroom cupboard and found some nail polish, an emery board and proceeded to provide a real manicure experience. I set out the little dishes with warm soapy water for both girls to soak in. Then, one at a time, I filed, massaged, creamed up, and then painted nails. Alternating clients at each step. Abby was very impressed. Bryanna not so much. She just wanted me to put on the polish and hurry up and make it dry. I even offered them both a beverage (as I was instructed by Abby) while they waited to dry.

In spite of the weather, Adam was delivered back to the house by 4pm. Since Taco’s are a favorite of his, and we did have leftovers, it was Taco’s again for supper. Looking for even more bonus points, I made milk shakes for them and surprised them with Rice Krsipie squares and chocolate chip cookies.

To sum up the day… potty training is not going well, I have not handed out any smarties yet. Adam’s team got massacred at his hockey game. Abby still upset she hasn’t seen Tangled (and that is all she can think about). Bryanna is totally unaware that there is anything going on in the world around her. And me, I am just hoping to get up in time for Bryanna’s 7am pick up, for hockey.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Primary Auxiliary Caregiver Status

For non family members, I have temporarily relocated to the Ferguson Ranch. I am cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, providing transportation, guidance and minor health care for four small children. They range in age from 3 - 10. My 3 year old grandson joined us one night for a couple hours and is expected to spend Family Day with us. I know that alot of you worry about me being on my own with the four children, but the duct tape is in my care, not theirs, and I never turn my back on them. I don't allow groups of more than two at any given time and I wander spontaneously among them.

On day 1, my only job was to make sure I was here when the 3 elders got off the bus. Go to day care to pick up the younger, heat up supper, (which was left for us by Mom), supervise homework and ensure a practical bedtime happened.

Well the bus drop off happened without incident.......... Then the trip to the day care with 3 fighting siblings was such a delight. At least Baxter was excited to see me when I picked him up. Once we got home, supper was ready for the table. "I don't like the mac & cheese" "I didn't know that was what stir fry was" "the rice is cold" "how come he got juice and I have to drink milk"........... well this is going well. Good job I am not new or I would have been offended.

Homework has always been a challenge for me, as teaching is not my first calling. Adam, the eldest, was eager to get started with his homework. He informed me that the math portion was to be done online.... ya right... I checked his journal and sure enough, the teacher had written in the website. My guess is that teachers now think that we caregivers aren't bright enough to help with homework any more. Next was to edit a story he had written. For those of you who are familiar with my "find a word" homework with Adam a few years ago, will remember that I find this part of the homework very frustrating. I have to say, that one of us has come along way, as it went very smoothly.

The next child on the list, Bry, showed me her journal that said..."no homework tonight" Oh thank god.....

Next comes the little con artist... Abby. Now I am very aware of her cunning ways, but I did not by any imagination realize a 6 year old could be so sneaky. I asked her for her journal to see what was for homework. There was nothing written in and no papers there to indicate there might be something to do. Also, Mom left a bag with a note that tells me this was homework for the night. In the bag was a book which I was told, had to read to me in part, each night, until it was finished. No big rush. I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. I trusted her. She has the biggest brown eyes that just ooze trust.

Bedtime went off relatively smoothly. Bry had a little trouble settling but soon was sound asleep.

Day 2 – this is where it all fell apart…….. kids got up, got dressed, got breakfast, and helped me pack their bags for school. I grabbed Abby’s bag and there was 2 pieces of homework that were supposed to be done for today. She didn’t want to do them last night, so she hid them. I remained calm and told her that she would have to suffer the consequences at school, not having any homework completed. She shrugged her shoulders and muttered, “whatever”. Six.,…. She is six…..arggggggg

Five minutes until bus arrival and they were all dressed, bags in hand and heading out the door. Success……. HA!!!

I asked them all to wait for the bus over on the “non-icy” part of the driveway. I might as well have said, “Go run on the ice that has 3 inches of water on top of it”, because that is exactly what they did. A couple minutes later I could not find Abby. She was in the garage, sobbing her heart out, soaked to her underwear. A small slip on the ice and she was down, and wet. I hauled her back into the house, got her changed and back outside, just as the bus was pulling up.

What else could happen now??? Baxter was already dressed and I just needed to get his coat and boots on, and we were on our way. This cute little thing, came running when I called, stopped just short of me, and announced; “Donna, I think I have a poopy bum”. What an understatement. Just a warning…. Reading from here on, could be gross and not suitable for all readers……..

He had crap from his diaper to his neck and back down again to his knees. I had to almost lay on him, to get him to stop wiggling in it. I got his clothes off, and removed the diaper. As I started to wipe him clean, he pooped in my hand. I am 57 years old and have never had anyone poop in my hand. I was grossed out, beyond belief. Then the little darling smiled up at me and said;” Donna I don’t think I am done yet”…. No kidding……

With both of us cleaned up, I dropped him off at day care and went to my own home, where my husband asked if I was ready to go for breakfast...........