Posts Tagged ‘Adult Children living with parents’

Healthy multigenerational living = a reprieve

by Kanesha

As busy and working parents, hubby and I know uninterrupted time with our children is a luxury and a priority. As I’ve mentioned before with our multigenerational household, hubby and I make a point to create a space for nuclear family time.

This weekend we decided to head to the mountains and rent a rustic cabin. We wanted some private time, with just the four of us, to play, create, maintain connections and *unplug.

The rustic cabin. There were 3 beds, a table with 4 folding chairs, a ceiling fan-light and electricity.

When I asked my 11-year-old what she thought about this trip, she said,

“It’s important for us break-up our multigenerational family time because you get to do big family stuff and then spend independent time with fewer family members. You get a chance to do different things and just take a little time off. I don’t know. It’s just a good idea to have the breaks.”

My kiddos dancing and playing with the AEROBIE.

In Tips for Multigenerational Households, Elizabeth Mullins said something similar:

“Figure out what is family time, personal time and big extended family time. For instance, we like to all have dinner together a few nights a week but my daughter, husband and I still want a few nights just to ourselves.”

For our nuclear family getaway, my mother-in-law helped us prepare by grocery shopping, helping with the laundry, and purchasing craft supplies.

We love Cherrybrook Kitchen’s products! This is a great food solution for my son’s allergies and the food is tasty!

We had these chicken apple sausages for lunch. Delicious!

Craft supplies for our wreath

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a multigenerational business – I love it!

Who among the female readers of this blog do not love purses?  I sure the heck do and in Superior, CO, where I live, there is a local mom who gets my business.  Beth Shogrin is owner of Biscuit Bags.  She has an amazing eye for mixing patterns and colors and I love her creations – different sizes, styles, fabrics – her work is fabulous!

For mother’s day this year, I got my mom one of her waterproof bags – perfect for aquatics workouts and lazy days at the pool.  And I have given friends a variety of different bags – totes to evening bags.  And while talking with Beth one day, I learned that her Mom is a part of her business!  Viola – a multigenerational business!

To honor another aspect of multigenerational lifestyles, Beth has graciously offered a reader of our blog a $50 credit towards one of her bags.  And dare I say what you are probably already thinking – the holidays are around the corner and it is never too early to think about gifts for the fashionable (or not so fashionable) women in your life! 

To enter the drawing, leave a comment below and share the following:
“What is the oddest thing that you carry in your purse?”

The drawing will be held on September 25.  Good luck!

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Reflections on summer travel and fun – multigenerational style

by Kanesha

When Friday came around, I was absolutely thrilled!

Hubby was back from work travel, my daughter was heading to a sleepover, my mother-in-law was going for a night on the town, I had a dinner date with a great girlfriend, and I was actually looking forward to tackling my mega home-chore list.

(Oh, the little guy was hanging out with hubby on Friday – boys’ night!)

When Saturday morning came around, it was raining a bit and overcast. Forget about that mega home-chore list. It was time for some scrapbooking.

I love taking pictures. I enjoy sorting and categorizing them. I especially love putting the pictures in a scrapbook and retelling a story and reliving those fun moments. (This is a common interest my mother-in-law and I share.) And that’s how Saturday and today went as I scrapbooked.

Here is a glimpse into some of the summer memories of our multigenerational vacation time.

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Snail mail in the multigenerational household

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” (Herodotus) / USPS

Do you know what time your “snail mail” arrives on Monday – Saturday? Do you know the name of your letter carrier?

No, neither do we.

Delivery of the postal mail is not at all high on our “things to manage and pay attention to” list. But, if you are living in a multigenerational household, you may need to stop, drop, and pay attention to the postal service.

Margot and Kanesha discuss the important role of postal mail in their multigenerational households.

(We don’t get it!)

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After our discussion, we were pleased to learn the U.S. Postal Service recently issued the Mother Teresa stamp – super cool!

We’re actually going to venture into a real post office (and not the local grocery store) to buy these stamps, well…maybe we’ll just order the stamps online (or stop at the ATM).

If nothing else, we will at least learn the names of our letter carriers so we can honor him/her on National Postal Worker Day (July 1). Hey, we’re trying!

Other fun facts of about the USPS:

  • 584 million — average number of mail pieces processed each day
  • 24 million — average number of mail pieces processed each hour
  • 1.25 billion — number of miles driven each year by our letter carriers and truck drivers
  • 10,000 — number of letter carriers who deliver mail entirely on foot
  • Each year, postal employees around the country risk their own safety to save the lives of the customers they serve. In 2009, the Postal Service recognized 202 employee heroes.
  • Most Unusual Delivery Method — mule trains in Arizona. Each mule carries about 130 pounds of mail, food, supplies and furniture down the 8-mile trail to the Havasupai Indians, averaging 41,000 pounds per week.

Today is National Grandparents Day…oh really now?

by Kanesha

Today is Sunday.

For most of us with families (with or without kids), Sunday is our day to do one or more of the following: engage in fellowship, relax, watch sports, do laundry, run errands, and tackle whatever else is still pending on that never-ending to-do list.

And that’s exactly what I was doing today. I was driving around town in my wagon, asking my daughter what  we needed to get done today in order to be prepared for this upcoming school week, telling my youngest to stop kicking the back of my seat, asking hubby “when are your travel dates again?“, and looking for a parking spot in the lot of a big box “buy a bunch of crap” store. I was doing my Sunday stuff.

I was feeling quite pleased with myself as I checked the time on my phone – 45 minutes! We had only been in the store for 45 minutes and we had secured everything on the shopping list. Fantastic!

Then I rounded the corner and walked past the greeting card section, and there it was…a humongous greeting card display for National Grandparents Day. And guess what? Today was the DAY!

WTH?

I told my hubby to take the kids and the shopping cart to the checkout as I stayed behind to investigate said holiday. National Grandparents Day? Come on! We already have birthdays, anniversaries, mothers/fathers day, and an entire list of “real” calendar holidays. Do we need National Grandparents Day too?

I looked through the cards and all of them sucked. They were cheesy and syrupy. Who writes this mess? I stood at that display reading, rolling my eyes, and gagging.

When I caught up to my family at the checkout, I let them know that we’d be having a small celebration for my mother-in-law that would include a six-pack of “high-end” beer, a Red Box DVD, and a homemade card.

"Yes, sweetie, I'm very sure there is a D in grandparents."

The other grandparents (including my own grandmother), who do not live in this state, would be getting a phone call – and that was about all we could pull off.

Hubby rolled his eyes and then chuckled a bit. He was wondering why I was trying so hard. Exactly, why was I trying so hard and why couldn’t I get over myself?

Well, my mother-in-law does a tremendous amount helping us all live the good  (and sane) life. August has been non-stop busy with school, work, and travel schedules. My mother-in-law has had to manage the kids right after school and into the evening. I know that can be exhaustive, not to mention the evening “kid duty” cuts into her free-time and social life. My mother-in-law has also been put in charge of taking the youngest to his newest activity, “herd ball” practice. (Herd ball is what I call soccer practice for preschoolers.)

With all of that, I thought she deserved a mini-celebration to let her know how much we love and appreciate her. My mother-in-law is not overly expressive (in my opinion) but she likes a good celebration from time -to-time. I wasn’t sure how she would receive our lame, but loving attempt at celebrating National Grandparents Day.

Would my mother-in-law love it or look at all of us like we had two heads? Where would our attempt land on the coolness scale?

Her response was somewhere in the middle.

She was gracious and sweet to her grandchildren, as she promptly threw a few bottles of her “high-end” beer in the frig.

My children love and adore their grandparents, the one that lives with us, and the ones that live out-of-state. I think it’s fair to assume that most grandchildren think their grandparents walk on air and are the most super people in the world – at least that’s how I felt about my grandparents.

I don’t mean to imply National Grandparent Day is useless, but hey, school just started back, Labor Day was just here – can I get a few weeks in between holidays and major events?

Multigenerational carpooling- what a blessing!

There are times, as I am sure you could imagine, that living with my parents is a blessing.  And as I am sure you can imagine, there are times when it makes me, well, a little bonkers.    

At school pick up time, especially the beginning of the year – it is always a blessing.   

The assessment days, back to school nights, parent conferences, meetings, school supply shopping, clothes shopping – could the start of the school year get any more time consuming?  There is one thing I never worry about, though, and that is how my kids get home from school.   

The most punctual man on the planet, my father, is in charge of picking up our two kids at the end of the school day.  And come hell or high water or snow storms – he is always there to bring them home.    

I know this because I hear from many of our friends that my dad is consistently the first in the pick-up line – they all know his red SUV and my kids’ teachers tell me he is in the same place, every day, eager for them to come out of class.     

XM Satellite Radio logo, used from 2001-2005

Image via Wikipedia

 

Here is his M.O. – he gets to school at least 20 minutes ahead of time because he detests waiting in line.  He listens to ESPN radio on XM while he waits, and on occasion, gets a couple of minutes of shut-eye.  (No, talking to him about the fact that he is still waiting in line – just at the front of the line, is meaningless.)      

My husband and I have asked repeatedly if my parents would prefer to set up a carpool for pick up, like the morning drop-off.  The resounding answer is “no.”     

Here is why – my dad LOVES picking up my kids from school.  He enjoys knowing that he is helping out is a very big way but he also gets to hear about their day, and has them all to himself for at least the ride home.  Because as soon as they are home, they play with neighbors, climb trees in the yard, and ride their bikes.  And occasionally, he breaks the rules and takes them for a doughnut.  ARGH!    

On the first day of school, my husband and I were there for drop-off and pick-up.  But from day two on, it has been my dad.  When I asked my dad how the pick-up went for my son on day 2, who had just started Kindergarten, a big smile came over his face.  Here is what he said: “I was waiting right by the kindergarten door and he came out and saw me – and gave me a huge smile!  And you know how I love seeing him smile.  It was just awesome.”    

I would say that it would be a cold day in hell before anyone else gets to pick up my kids from school…  What a blessing!   

Back to school shopping – pros walk left – amateurs stand right

by Kanesha

I do miss the days when back-to-school prep came after Labor Day, but based on where we live now – we have to be up and running by late August. Oh – it’s thrilling and yet so painful!

I snapped this picture on July 5. Good grief - what an early reminder!

Gearing up for middle school has been fun and busy. Thank goodness my mother-in-law has been an incredible cheerleader.

It was very sweet and extremely cute when my mother-in-law came home one day with some school supplies she had purchased.

My children and I watched her excitement as she showed us her loot and she said,

“It’s that time of year. I love getting new notebooks. Checkout this great pencil box. I can use if for a bunch of things.”

My daughter jumped up to admire and touch the new items. My son grabbed his tiny backpack and said, “I need new stuff too.”

And it was time, time for back-to-school shopping.

Anyone with a preschooler knows they aren’t always the best at running errands – especially errands you want to complete quickly. During dinner on a Thursday night, my hubby slowly leaned across the dinner table and seriously said,

“Look mom, there will be a run on school supply shopping this weekend, so we must go tonight. It’s been a long day, but we need you to watch the little one while we run out. Can you do this?”

My mother-in-law looked at her son directly and immediately nodded in affirmation. I had to keep my composure because the seriousness of this back-to-school discussion was kinda over the top.

And off the three of us went (as the three-year-old wailed from the front porch) to secure the goods for, in my daughter’s words, “the best school year EVER!

The school supply list was humongous! Many of the 40+ items were exotic office supplies in my opinion – things I don’t even have access to as a working professional.

  • 2 packages hole reinforcements
  • 3 pack dry erase markers
  • 2 packages of dividers with pockets (8 count each w/ tabs)
  • USB Flash Drive

And the list goes on…

What happened to the days of loose leaf paper and some pencils? Ok ok,  it’s middle school – so I would add some some pens to the “non-exotic” list.

Not only were we buying supplies for classroom use, we had to purchase locker accessories as well. Interior design for this tiny locker…so many decisions, so little time – it was already 7:30pm.

Hubby and the middle schooler - on task with the mega list

I had to chuckle when I heard one dad say,

“Why are we here shopping? I could easily just get all of this stuff from my office!”

Prior to this shopping adventure, I felt the same way as that dad. I just wanted to buy the pre-packaged school supply kit and get on with it. But the way my multigenerational family approaches school supply shopping is a treat to watch.

My daughter sits at the kitchen table going through the sales papers. My mother-in-law moves between the stove and table to peer over my daughter’s shoulder and point out good deals. Hubby talks about new supplies he wants for himself because new stuff is “so awesome”. My son agrees with everyone and  clearly sates what he’ll take to his school. I sit and watch the frenzy of it all.

I do have to admit, I enjoy observing their excitement and joy for this time of year.

And on my daughter’s first day of school, the annual picture was taken in front of the tree (thanks to my mother-in-law for the quick reminder). My mother-in-law made an incredible breakfast (and good coffee). Wholesome lunches were packed and the new school year began.

I received a call at the end of the school day, from my daughter, and learned that middle school is great, the locker is not so terrifying, and the locker chandelier was a big hit. (WHAT? I bought a locker chandelier? Was that on the list?)

We have one full week of middle school under our belts and a bunch more to go.

The new middle school desk - full of middle school supplies

Our next transitional task…getting ready for preschool to start.