Friday, February 19, 2010

Of Cribs and Playpens

When my first grandbaby was born, I re-decorated my son’s bedroom into a makeshift nursery complete with full crib, mobile, monitor, books, puzzles – well, I could go on. Suffice it to say, that when they moved away a few months later, the “nursery” became a constant reminder that this new family was embarking on a life of their own; one where I was the Nana, not the mother. Nana Friends, this is a hard concept to get, but one that must sink in.

Fast forward a couple of years later; they have a second grandbaby and are headed south for a visit. The good news lies in the obvious fact that they’re coming – yay! The bad news? I have dismantled the nursery and turned it back into the guest bedroom that it was designed to be. Yes, Nana Friends, having a guestroom means that you will have guests!

The crib was loaned out to another Nana and rather than wrestle it back for just a few days, I decided to purchase a fold-away full size crib. This however, is not as easy as one might think. A fold-away crib has pretty much gone by the way of the play pen – not used by today’s enlightened young mothers, and therefore not readily available in retail stores. In its place is the “pack ‘n play”, which has its merits, but is, unfortunately, not really useful once the baby grows to toddler status (ever seen a toddler scale the side of one of these things and shimmy down?)

It took some digging, but I was able to purchase a Hideaway Folding Full Size Crib from Target.com. I find the flexibility of folding it away in a closet or rolling it under a bed to be worth the $300.00 price tag. I added a full size mattress to make sure that it was totally comfy. Now, when the kids call wanting to come for a visit, I can convert my guest room into a nursery in minutes.

And, herein is the Nana Lesson to be learned: if you make it easy on yourself for the family to visit, they will come more often. Nobody wants you to stress, especially your adult children.

Speaking about easy, some easy yet wholesome meal plans are on the menu for their next visit. Both of my grandbabies (and everyone else in the world as we know it) love burgers and fries. My Turkey Burger Sliders can be prepared in advance and cooked in minutes. Because these are Slider size, I’ll freeze the patties, and quickly thaw them just before cooking. My Super Size Fries are made from real potatoes, cooked in real canola oil and seasoned with only a bit of sea salt. And, yes, I’m going to serve both the burger and the fries with my own home made ketchup; one that is free of red dyes and substantially void of surplus sugar and salt.

Please take a moment to check out The Nana Network and join our group of like-minded grandmas (and Papas, too) committed to ushering in a new era of good eating habits for the next generation of fit and healthy children, while meeting the challenges of grandmothering. Be one of the first twenty to sign up and I’ll send you a Flirty Apron, perfect for both family and guest visits.

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