Overnight On Duty with Grandma and Two Little Ones

This next few days I am on overnight duty hanging out with my grandma and two kids!  It will be my first time doing this overnight on my own.  Now that my grandma is sleeping and Maddie is completely out (YAHOOOOO!!) And now that Samuel, my 11 month old is down (after 20 minutes of hearty screaming), I am free. The sound of crickets and almost silence is like gold.

Taking care of two is no walk in the park for me. And taking care of two and caring for Mama, my grandma, gets a little more difficult.  Mama’s 100, Samuel’s 1 and always hungry and Maddie, well she’s 3, very vocal and already quite sassy for her age.  Today I’ve been thinking through how to manage these next few days. Yes, I know most blog posts teach you about how to prepare for camping trips or cruises with kids, but this one is really all about sleeping over at my grandma’s with the two little ones.  Suggestions are welcome!  Here we go, off the top of head, here is how I’ve decided to prepare for the next few days:1. LOTSA of crafts – This one’s for Maddie, who’s three. I’ve brought scissors so she cut colored paper, coupons, everything she only imagined.  I’ve brought hot pink, fluorescent yellow and orange paper to cut and make paper chains. I’ve brought all my card making supplies with the decorative tape so she can rip them up in millions of pieces and make art.  Usually I try to avoid them, but today I packed crayons and yes THE MARKERS, and her beloved watercolors.  And finally if it all fails, I am bringing out the Elmer messy glue.  She has never seen it before or touched it. May the creativity serve as a distraction when I need to get something for my grandma or give more food to my baby boy.  Or may it give me some rest when I’m too tired to read more books.

2. A lot of FOOD – Good food can make up for everything.  My mom saved me on this one and yesterday cooked up dishes of food for my grandma to eat the next few days.  Since I’m already going to be prepping kiddy food and baby food, it is a relief that my mom prepped food that my grandma likes.  With dentures, my grandma’s diet is different from everyone else’s and sometimes she is hard to feed and sometimes please.  For Samuel, I’m hoping lotsa food will keep him satisfied. Usually ti does! He will eat everything and so I’ve brought sweet potatoes, eggplant, oatmeal, bulgur, blueberries, a gazillion Cheerios, his beloved fresh mozzarella and more.  I brought all his favorites and did as much as I could to pre make his meals so when he tells me in baby talk that he’s hungry, all I have to do is take it out of the fridge.

3.  Have company – I am not a good hostess, but I do like people.  I’ve found as a mother of two little ones that caring for the kids is so much easier when I am around others. #1- I yell at my kids less and I’m on better behavior. #2 – They have a new and more impressed audience when they do “new” things that I’ve seen probably 20 times already.  #3 – Some people like carry baby or play with them and it gives me a little extra break to do other needed tasks.  Finally, while not all elderly like company, my grandma repeatedly reminds me that she hates quiet.  Sure she can’t speak English fluently but noise and people are her language.  She LOOOOVESS it when we have lotsa people around.  So this few days, I have extended an open invitation to have many visitors.

4. Pray and Sleep – It’s something I need to remember but I need to pray for God’s help to have patience and love for my children and my grandma each morning.  My grandma loves to talk to me but the reality is that conversations must be right next to her ear otherwise she can’t hear my response.  When you’re reading a few feet away to your child and you have to get up constantly to answer a question and then you sit down and read a page and Mama asks me something else, things get a little tough or tiring. No need to go into too much detail and finally, sleep is an amazing powerhouse to gain energy.  With that being said, off to bed I go.