Monday, March 11, 2013

You've Gotta Do What????

Leaving for a 3 week trip to Asia is more than just getting a suitcase and throwing my stuff into it, kissing the kids goodbye and boarding an airplane.
It is WORK!
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining! It is just a fact that it requires lots of planning and preparation.  I am now in TRIP MODE! My mind is whirling of all the things I need to do before I go.
 I will do my best to maintain a great attitude as I plan out what needs to happen for the Carter world to continue to rotate!  I KNOW the kids are going to get tired of my reminders for the next month of what they need to do while I am away. Somehow it makes me feel better that maybe if I say it enough times, it will stick like this song you can't get out of your head! LOL!
So what does this mom need to do in order to be away for 3 weeks, when she is not just a phone call away?  With 8 kids away and your two oldest daughter not living with you any more, with them and all the grandparents 3000+ miles a way, it is not as easy as it used to be when it seemed I traveled a lot. But it can be done with lots of preparation. I should not be on this computer blogging with all I need to do but here I am because I feel you would like to know!!
Of course with 8 kids at home, there is much more to do than there would be with just two kids at home. With 6 boys at home, that narrows your selection down to what they can handle responsibility wise. Remember My last posts about eggs and near fires?? I rest my case!

With two girls, left in the house, there are limits to what each of them can do.  And it is not because I have not tried to train. There are times when you just know someone is not ready. MY two 10 year olds are the best at cooking and can help whip up a meal for 10 people pretty well.

 So I scan the crowd of kids, seeing where their strengths and weaknesses lie and then dole out my daily responsibilities.  This is not as easy as it looks or sounds.  I have to come up with a plan that somewhat will help the house not to fall apart while I am away.  I do have awesome kids and they most of time do step up to the plate when needed and in the end they usually surprise me and make me proud.

I am learning not to stress out over what they didn't get right and go with the flow. So what if Isaiah raided the fridge on the hour, depleting the apples and oranges for the kids school and made a mess with koolaid all over the kitchen???  So what if the dogs didn't get fed two times a day???? So what if the laundry is piled sky high when I get back and all my kids are practically naked except for my oldest daughter at home who has the supply of a store in her closet??? I have to remind myself that  this too will pass.....  and we will laugh.
So what do I do to get ready for a trip?
I start up to a month a head and start putting meals in the freezer, making up a menu for the period I will be gone. I try to do as much ahead as possible so the kids only have to add a salad, veggie and fruit.  So this means 22 + casseroles. Of course I have to grocery shop so said casseroles can be cooked.
The next course of action is to make snacks and freezer lunches for school( I'll need 90) , I'll purchase the additional snacks and freezer lunches needed.
Next on the list is to line a kid or kids to wash the laundry everyday, print up kids schedules and make sure everyone has a ride back and forth to school and their other activities.
Call a few friends to see if they can stop by on occasion to make sure all things are running smoothly while dad is at work.
I usually start making a list of the things I need to pack as I think about them  and pick them up at the store if needed.
I type out a list of the house rules and boundaries as a visual reminder of what is required of everyone, since I won't be there to break up fights or tell someone that their talk is inappropriate. I'm not really sure if typing up a list of rules and reminders really does any good or if it's only purpose  is to see if I will get eye rolls but it makes me feel better that I have left no stone unturned!
There are so many other minor things I have to do that just make a household run while I am away and I will spare you the details.

As crazy as it sounds I enjoy organizing, hoping and planning that all will go well! This trip is worth all the work I will do to prepare for it. Besides, I think having a break and not hearing the word, "MOOOOOMMMMMM" 100+ times a day might be worth the work but  I will miss the hugs, kisses of my precious children.
I love my kids and husband for allowing me this time to go do something I LOVE. Their sacrifice means love to me.
This is probably going to be the senario tomorrow:
ME:"Oh? What is this?? Here's my suitcase? What? you want to help me pack?
What time does my plane leave?
Oh, you want to fix all the meals and you will feed everybody?
THEM: Have a good time, Mom!
ME: Why are you pushing me out the door? My plane doesn't leave for another 2 1/2 weeks?!! "

SEE.... They LOVE me!

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