July 22, 2008

Simplifying and stuff

I need some help.

In a couple of weeks I'm going to start keeping my sister's little girl who is 15 months old. I will have 4 little girls for at least 3 weeks, then once Leiah goes to school I'll have three again. She is good and easily entertained, but it's still a bit difficult to go places and organize the day when I've kept her in the past.

I need some easy meal ideas (all meals), either for the crockpot or something that is simple to put together. I am so drawing a blank on that right now. Also as far as cleaning and stuff goes, I know I will have to simplify, but I'll just have to wait and see how our days go.

The main thing is what do I do with the children all day? It will be August and terrifyingly hot, so the park is out. (hot metal slide on bare skin- I think not) No pool at all except the kiddie one. TV works for only so long and I want to avoid major messes. Maybe I could find some big boxes somewhere and let them draw on them as well as play in them. My days will be centered pretty much around them, so I need a long list of activity ideas for back up plans :)

Also, for those of you whose children go to public school, how do organize things? Before, I had to get up very early, make lunches and breakfast, get Leiah up and dressed, eat breakfast and the bus picked her up. After she got home she was hungry and tired and there just wasn't a lot of time to be with her because I needed to work on dinner etc., and she needed her bed early. I don't know if a bus will get her or if I will be taking her yet, that will really make things complicated. Just curious if anyone had any wonderful tips on that :)

I've been sewing up some dresses for Leiah for school and plan to post pictures when I get them all done. I am also going to fix her bedroom up pretty since she is a big girl now and in her own room. I didn't plan for it to happen that way yet, but it did and that's how it will stay for a long time. (I was moving furniture around and that's they way it ended up) So I have to get all of that done before I start babysitting. BUSY!

We are also about to start another garden for fall and we're building a chicken coop for chickens! I am planning to plant a lot more so I can freeze and can stuff and we'll be getting around 10 chickens for the eggs. Are we crazy or what? We're excited though, not excited about being in the awful heat while working in the garden but oh well. You'd think I would be used to it since I've lived here all my life, but I'm not. When you walk outside it's as if you've walked into a hairdryer. And forget having straight hair- I should take another picture of my very curly short hair, why fight it?

Anyways, this is a hodge podge post, but I've been out all day and just got home so that's what you get this time :)


Shelly in Topeka said...

Hi Jessica,
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and have appreciated your transparancy and honesty about being a stay at home mom.
I have 2 children in public school, and I had a tough time at first trying to get them ready for school and out the door in time!
What helped me was planning out their lunches-- if I was going to make them or if they wanted to buy. I checked out the monthly school menu and let the kids choose which meals they wanted-- usually 1 a week.
I usually had the lunches prepared the night before, so we'd just have to stick them in the lunch box after breakfast. I found miniature blue ice containers at the checkout counter at WalMart that worked well for us.
Classic PB&J
My kids also LOVE tortilla roll-ups. You can do PB&J, meat and cheese, veggie wraps, etc.
Instead of those expensive lunchables, I make my own with crackers, meat and cheese I purchase regularly.
Cracker sticks are also a great staple for dipping into chicken/ham/tuna salads. I also like to sometimes buy those JIF single cups for dipping. Throw in fruit or veggie sticks and it's a done deal.
Remember to include napkins and plastic fork/spoon in needed.
I also pre-planned breakfast and had it ready to go. I usually have a fruit, bread and milk item for breakfast each day and add in a protein a couple of times a week.
I hope this helps you out. May the Lord bless you & your family.

Jess said...

I don't really have any advice, just to say I know what you are saying and I will be in the same boat come January.

My brother and his wife are expecting a baby in about five weeks. She works and is planning to take 12 weeks off to be with baby. That puts her going back to work when I am expecting my third baby. So plans are my sister will be watching her baby until January. So when I take over watching her baby (they are naming her Peyton) I will have a four year old, 20 mth old, a newborn and their baby which will be about 4 mths old. It should be really interesting around here:)

I think the big box idea is great. Maybe even a whole bunch of different boxes. Have them decorate and color them. Get glue and glitter (of course that will make a mess but they will enjoy it) and have them design their own princess castle for their dolls. Or make a bunch of stores and such and have a little fun with a town. My cousin use to love doing that sort of thing. It is amazing what their little minds can think of.

Good Luck :)

Anneatheart said...

Thanks for the ideas Shelly-doing things the night before is ideal but I'm not always motivated to do it :)

Jess- wow you are going to be busy! The little ones at least can't get away from you LOL. What a great idea about the princess castle or little town. They would really get into that one. I'll have to find some boxes- we can always to glitter and glue outside then after it dries bring it in. Thanks.

mama said...

I'll be random here....baby in arms...one handed:)

I get up 6:30,dress up do my hair etc, make lunches, set out breakfast, wake kids-out the door by 8:15.
do dinner cooking in the morning,
after scool snack, and outside.
this works for us.
my recipe blog has a few crockpot ideas.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica, I found your blog just this week and it seems you have busy life. My husband and I don't have any children, but we have lots of nieces and nephews and are active in their lives. But we both work outside the home and our very busy with volunteer work and family. I cook almost all my meats in the crockpot. Put it in with some brothe or I use water and seasoning and let it cook. It's very tender and juicy at the end. I have a smaller crockpot for vegetables because I don't like to cook everything together.
My sisters limit their childrens sugar amounts, so when they get home from school they have 1 cookie and a glass of milk until dinner. That way the sugar is burned off before bed.
God bless, Rox

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica:
You can also take them to storytime at your local library or if you could take them to the park in the early morning or late afternoon. They also have mom's groups that meet and have playgroups. Just a few ideas...best wishes. Dayami