Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear So and So - to My Mother in Law

Head over to Kat's after you laugh at my antics this week.  And guess what???  I'm going to be guest poster at Dear So and So next week!  Oh, the pressure, the excitement.  I hope my week is deliciously bad so that my Dear So and So letters can be delicisously good. 

Dear Mother-in-Law -

Please don't hate me after reading the following letter about taking care of my kids.  I can't stress enough that it's meant to HELP you, not scare the living SH*T out of you.  So it's 10 pages and that seems long?  I actually edited it to make it more manageable.  Also, please still like me after taking care of my kids.  They love you.  They might not be able to help being a little freaky during their time away from Mommy. 

Then again, they may say Mommy, Who?  by the time I come home.

Taking Care of my children - a Small Novella by Missy

***Special Note: Everything scheduled for this weekend is OPTIONAL. It will help them to have the consistency of the routine, but if you decide to keep them home from school on Friday, or skip anything over the weekend, that’s TOTALLY FINE. But if you do decide to take them to school, picking them up loses the option of being optional.  The school can't keep them over the weekend.***

A. School

a. Drop off at Xam. Both girls.
b. Leave house around X (that is the goal, at least).
c. Have them get dressed before coming downstairs. Youngest can pick her own clothes within reason (crazy color combos fine, skirt AND dress not fine).
d. Youngest's underpants are in the drawer with the lamp – top drawer.
e. It is ok if you guys are late. They’re not sticklers about tardiness.
f. X or X can help you in case you need it. The girls both love them.
g. Youngest’s teachers are X and X, Oldest’s is X.
h. Youngest gets picked up at  Xon Friday – usually in her classroom – or the gym.
i. Oldest gets picked up at X – Thursday and Friday.
k. HoldYoungest's hand or carry her in the parking lot
l. Oldest takes a lunch – you can pack it or ask Oldest for help. She takes a milk, yogurt and crackers of some sort.
m. Youngest needs to take her backpack to school – it is pre-packed.
n. They both need to be signed in and out. Sign in is just writing the time by their name, sign out is writing the time and your signature. You are cleared for pick up.

B. Meals

a. You can plan to take them out for a meal 2 times. They love Panera, so that can be one choice. Another choice is Chipotle. Both are here in town - Panera’s on X Street and Chipotle is on X Street. They would love California Pizza Kitchen – if you know how to get there from here.
b. Breakfasts
i. Oldest usually wants toast with peanut butter and chocolate chips. She also likes to put Lucky Charm marshmallows on the squares (I cut them into 4 squares for her).
ii. Youngest is fairly difficult for breakfast, doesn’t really know what she wants, doesn’t like what you give her. She’s usually just not ready to eat. But she will do the same kind of toast as Oldest or lucky charms cereal with NO marsmallows.
iii. Both girls like hot chocolate for breakfast. Straws are in the corner cupboard, 2 to the left of the sink.

c. Lunches
i. Panera one day – Saturday or Sunday
ii. Peanut butter and jelly
iii. Yogurts
iv. Fruit
v. Crackers
vi. Soup (Youngest)
vii. Chips
viii. I usually let them have something sweet after lunch if they eat.

d. Dinners
i. Chicken nuggets and mac and cheese one night
ii. Out to dinner one night – Panera or Chipotle or California Pizza Kitchen
iii. PB and J one night
iv. Plain noodles with butter and cheese are fine too – Oldest would like that

e. Snacks are fine and dessert is fine. No more than 2 sets of fruit snacks per day.

f. They should clear their own plates. Take them to the sink.

C. Bedtime/Sleep

a. Youngest
i. Nap 1pm – she gets a diaper for it
ii. Nighttime - 8:00 to 8:15pm. IF she doesn’t nap, then 7-7:30
iii. Tinker bell jammies, with sleeves and legs rolled up
iv. Diaper for nighttime too

v. Routine
1. Sound machine on
2. Books – 2 or so
3. “cuddle” in the rocker, which is rock and talk for a few minutes. Sing three songs – Twinkle Twinkle, ABC and Baa, Baa Black Sheep. Tell her when she has one minute left. Ask her if she wants her back or tummy. Make sure her legs are covered up and that she has blankie.
4. Door stays open unless she won’t stop calling you back with questions
5. Turn on her snowglobe music before you leave

vi. If Youngest wakes up during the night, it will be to ask for an extra cuddle or need to be covered up again.
vii. If she wakes up before 7am, tell her it’s too early and she needs to go back to sleep. Sometimes in order to make sure this happens without tears, I will tell her she can have a short cuddle then back to sleep. Sometimes she falls asleep, sometimes not, but I usually don’t let her get out for the day until 7:15-7:30

b. Oldest

i. 8:30-9pm
1. Have her potty, brush teeth and put on her own jammies.
2. I usually talk to her for a few minutes before bed
3. She leaves her door open too and her sound machine goes on also.

c. Oldest needs to be up between 7:30 and 7:45 in order to be ready for school on time. On Saturday she will sleep in pretty late. If you go to 11 mass on Sunday, she will sleep in that day too.

D. Activities

a. TV
i. They each get one show per child per day – less than 1 hour per show, weekend it can be a full length movie. I’m not going to jump up and down if you fudge this rule a little bit while we’re gone. Special treats with grandparents are ok. Just set the expectation up front. And neither one of them handle turning a TV off mid-show very well. Also, the more TV they watch, the more they start fighting. It’s an interesting dynamic.

b. Computer
i. Youngest is starting to get interested in computer. It’s a pain though, right now. Feel free to tell her she can do computer with mommy when Mommy gets back home.
ii. Oldest can do 1 hour per day (which is another reason to keep TV to one show per day).

c. Books
i. Best way to pass the time with these two. They’re all over the place.

d. Places to go
i. Library
ii. Conservatory
iii. Out for 2 meals
iv. Oldest has an art class on Saturday. Feel no obligation to do this. She can miss a week.
v. Playground  – watch Youngest on the high areas very closely – she’s quite a daredevil. You can put her in the stroller, Oldest can scooter there. Don’t take Lilly.
vi. See the Aunts and Uncles if you want – the girls would love it.

e. Crafts – in craft cupboard in dining room (old liquor cabinet) – both have access to it

f. We have a monster piggy bank activity they are saving to do with you – Oldest knows where it is.

g. Church Sunday – 8:30 or 11:00am

E. Lilly

a. Gets up b/w 6:30 and 7am
b. Take her outside right away – she will do potty and poo at this time. Back yard with the leash – walking her around in the upper area of the back yard.
c. She gets fed twice a day – right after she goes out in the morning and b/w 4 and 5pm.
d. Feed her ¼ to 1/3 cup food with a touch of water in it. Scoop some out of the big bowl into the little white bowl on the floor with the bowls.
e. She needs to go back out within 30 minutes of eating.
f. Water – keep in the bowl all day. None after 7pm. Helps with nighttime potty.
g. Sometimes she has accidents – you will find them in the kitchen for urine and in the living room for poo

h. Taking her out
i. 6:30am
ii. 7-7:30am
iii. Then every two-three hours for rest of day
iv. 30 minutes after she eats in the afternoon
v. Right before bed
vi. LIGHT – in the backyard for nighttime – gets turned on at side door

i. Where she stays
i. At night and when you leave, gate her into the kitchen with the gate and door. Close the gate at the side door too.

F. Miscellaneous

a. Working the TV
i. To turn the power on, press TV, then Power.
ii. To be able to change channels, then press CBL
iii. Oldest can help you work the DVR for their taped shows
iv. Shows that are off limits – Disney in the afternoon, Spongebob

b. General personality traits

i. Oldest
1. Likes to play alone in her room – if she’s having or has had a bad day, this can help get her to a better place
2. Extremely talkative
3. Knows house rules very well – can help you with anything
4. Knows where everything is in house – can help you with that too
5. Loves to read
6. Wants to do the right thing
7. Can get silly – and it’s hard to rein herself in if it goes too far
8. Very caring and nurturing with Youngest, but will get angry with her if Youngest goes in her room and gets in her stuff
9. If she yells at Youngest, Youngest will hit her – this is very upsetting to her
10. Losing dessert, TV time or Computer time, OR having to go to bed early all keep her in line if she’s misbehaving
11. Could live on liquids – small appetite
12. Still sleeps with her teddy
13. Will sometimes forget to clean up after herself, but is good at it when reminded
14. Biggest difficulty for her – unexpected change
15. Loves arts and crafts

ii. Youngest

1. Extremely independent
2. Wants to do many, many, many things by herself
3. Allowing her to keep her independence is a great way to get her to cooperate – “climb into your car seat or I’ll have to carry you into school.”
4. Likes to do call backs after nighttime bed – I try to limit it to two times - this is going to be the hardest time for her b/c she’ll be thinking about me in the dark – she might need extra cuddles – doing longer ones before bed might help
5. Ruled by her stomach – if she’s hungry, she’ll be cranky
6. Must have blankie in her bed – I’d encourage her to keep it there for safety
7. Potty trained – only needs minor reminders during day – if she says she doesn’t need to go, you can bank on that
8. Typically eats very little for breakfast right after she wakes up – so might not eat a big breakfast Friday morning
9. Likes to draw, paint, color, do stamps, read books, play little people, be active
10. Extremely talkative
11. Loves to help you do things
12. Gets up and down from her chair a lot at dinner time – she’ s much better in the morning and afternoon, so I don’t get overly upset about it
13. Will sometimes rock her chair – be careful, she can knock herself down
14. Likes “privacy” in the bathroom- as in, you wait outside the door for her – leave it open a little bit though
15. Will only wear skirts with almost any shirt, dresses OR jeans and either ballerina or hot chocolate shirt

c. Setting alarm at home
i. Information removed for safety.

d. Locking doors
i. Information removed for safety
e. Newspaper/mail
i. We get the newspaper daily – morning
ii. Mail comes n the afternoon

f. Cash for meals/gas
i. I’ve left an envelope on the kitchen counter with cash for meals, gas and incidentals

g. Computer for you – you can keep the computer on the whole time we’re gone, then you have access to your email.

G. What to do in case of emergency

a. Information removed for Safety

H. A Day in the Life

a. 6:30am – approximate time Lilly will wake up
i. Take her out
ii. Feed her
iii. Pack Oldest’s lunch
iv. Take her out again at 7:30 OR close her into the kitchen and take her out right before leaving

b. 7:00 to 7:30am – approximate timeYoungest will wake up

c. 7:30 to 7:45 wake Oldest up if school day
i. On Friday, both girls need to get dressed before coming downstairs
ii. Weekend, they can come down in their pajamas if they want

d. 8:00 breakfast – peanut butter, chocolate chip toast or cereal, hot chocolate

e. X – finish breakfast – get shoes, coats, close Lilly into kitchen

f. ********don’t stress if this takes longer than I’m predicting, they can get to school late! They can also help quite a bit.

g. X o'clock-  school drop off – Oldest can walk you to Youngest’s room. Ring the doorbell – Youngest usually wants to be held while waiting for the door to open and she will need a hug before going into the room. She might cry. That’s ok.

h. Take lilly out b/f you pick up Ingrid

i. Xo'clock – Youngest gets picked up

j. lunch

k. 1:00pm – Youngest's nap – with diaper. Read 2ish books first, then diaper, then cuddle in rocker. Sound machine on, give her choice of lying on back or tummy (she might choose side), cover her up, turn on her snow globe, leave her door open

l. Take lilly out during Youngest’s nap

m. 3:15 wake Ingrid up if she’s still asleep, can keep her diaper on, shoes

n. X o'clock– pick up Oldest

o. If Oldest has finished her work plan, she earns a trip to get something “desserty” – Youngest gets something too

p. 4pm – afternoon show

q. Feed lilly

r. 4:30 – play time, playground, etc

s. Take lilly out

t. 6:00pm – dinner

u. 6:30 – hang out, playtime, etc

v. 7:30ish – take lilly out

w. 8:00 – Youngest’s bedtime – same general format as nap, add Twinkle, Twinkly, ABC and Baa, Baa Black Sheep after book, at beginning of cuddle, leave door open

x. 8:30-8:45 Oldest – bed – potty, teeth, jammies, I usually hang out with her a little bit on her bed before turning out her light – have Greta check Squeakbot’s food and water before bed

y. 10:30 -11:00 Take Lilly out

z. Please don’t rue the day you ever said yes to this!!!!
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