Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Houseguests- Rules to Live By

How do you like having guests visiting during the summer? I love it because I get to cook for people besides just the hubs. I don't love the manic cleaning of the entire house with a white glove (and I really don't do it very well either,) but I try to make an effort to not have the place lookin' too trashy. I love it when people clean up after themselves though I don't think I was ever very good at that as a guest. Not at all.

My son Devin meeting his nephew Dylan for the first time...and his niece Marisa has missed him! 

One of my relatives has to have family company stay for 2 weeks this summer,  and they have little kids under 5 to add to the madness. That might not be as fun as having your own kids come home. THAT's fun! But it can be awkward if it is friends or extended family.  It is hard to watch other people disciplining their kids in front of you (or a lack of it when needed) and weird bedtimes are hard to deal with when yours are all on a schedule. We remember stuff like that.

We took a fun family pic while my out-of-state son was here....Yee Haw! My hubs is the Sheriff in this town! (and he has deputized Devin into redneck servitude..)

I remember watching some friend's kids while they went on a cruise vacation. One of their kids would freak out every time I opened the fridge and start begging for cheese. She would repeat "cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese!" like for 10 minutes. It was weird. We still just have to say "cheese, cheese, cheese!" and both my hubs and I laugh hysterically to each other remembering.  When her parents came back she had a bite mark on her face done by one of my little darlings. That was fun trying to explain. I think kids have a harder adjustment than the parents do with long stays with relatives or friends. So don't expect them to be their best.
My cute daughter-in-law Cait and sweet baby Lena. She had 2 little shadow sidekicks, my granddaughters think she is the bee's knees. Meg kept saying "I like YOU and I like YOU TOO!" to Devin and Cait. Super cute that one! 

I remember once visiting for 2 days with one of my husband's relatives one summer, when my kids were little. One of my boys, for reasons none of us can still fathom, decided to go poop in the corner of one of my nephew's bedrooms. It was quite mortifying! I mean, how do you explain that tactfully? "Well, maybe he didn't know you guys have toilets too?"  I think he was 3 1/2. You'd think he would know better. But my kids have always had a weird relationship with poop. I Once  found a tiny finger-sized happy face on a bathroom wall by the downstairs toilet.  We still torture both of these "poopers" relentlessly about it today.
Kissin cousins at the barn to take pictures and see the animals..

"Grandma, why is that hen chasing us?" 

Kids act out on vacation usually. They don't know the routine and they are out of their comfort zones. And they don't sleep as well, so they are crabby and sleep deprived usually. So just expect bad behavior from your own kids and especially from everybody else's kids. And get a group of kids together that haven't been around each other much and you can just take my word for it; there will be fighting going on. Even if they do know each other, there will be some fighting. We couldn't leave grandpa's house without somebody fighting with somebody else on summer vacations. And something will get broken. I don't know how he and grandma put up with it all. We had little hellions!
But they grew up not too maimed. Howdy Partner! "Why does mom always torture us into doing things like this?" 
Photo: Tiffany Moss Tremayne, Devin and Caitlin Moss and babies Lena Moss and Dylan Tremayne. (my kids are playing with each other's kids :D
My kids playing with each other's kids.....Tiff with Lena, Devin with Dylan and Caitlin
We just had a wonderful visit by my adult son Devin, and his wife Caitlin. and baby Lena. If there is a manual for houseguests, my daughter-in-law could write it. She is a wonderful and thoughtful guest. My son is pretty good too but I can't take credit. Well, maybe I will. Yeah, why not? They have a darling little 5 month old daughter, Lena, who didn't make a peep, and I mean seriously! She was happy as a clam and just sat there smiling for 4 days.
Can you believe the smile on this baby? It is constant! 
She is one happy girl and a happy daddy too! 

Maybe that made the visit all the more delightful. It was really fun for me to see my kids all showing up unscheduled when they knew their brother was in town. We had a frozen lasagne party impromptu and it was just really rambunctious and loud and fun. All the grandkids together for once was a rare treat too. We had 5 kids under 6.
"We like you Uncle Devin... when are you coming back to live so we can have pony rides and race through the house getting chased by you all the time?"  (I know it's what they are thinking!) :O

Uncle Devin loves these girls...they love to be silly together...he gets down to their level so well.....snicker.....

Little Miss Josie loved having one more girl cousin in the family.....She's a girly girl. 

I loved seeing my newest grandbaby passed around by all the brothers. My daughter was lucky enough to have the first boy grandchild (can you imagine how grandma will spoil this one?). His name is Dylan. He is a smiley one too. How did I get so lucky? My kids (the poop people) were not all that smiley and were always into everything and had lots of cat fights as kids. Somebody was always howling or tattling. But we had roudy fun most of the time too.

I have missed that being an empty nester (crappy empty NEST!). So the hubs has to entertain me when everybody else is busy, poor man! He does a very good job of it too.

Tiff won the race to have the first grandson.

I used to be Suzy independent when he traveled when my kids were little. He would be gone for 2 weeks at a time and I handled everything. But now he has to put up with my moodiness, cravings, basic menopausal crap. We have to eat out a lot because, even though I love cooking, I hate cleaning up my kitchen messes (and so does he)!

Gary is my favorite son-in-law....he always offers to put up my Christmas lights for me.  Props for that!  And he loves everything I cook. It is fun to cook food for a man who appreciates it! Note to my sons....compliment your mom on her cooking. It's just good form. 

Here are a few rules I think people need to go by to have a happy summer visit with relatives;
1. Let people know a few weeks ahead of time the start and end date to your visit. And I personally think that with young families visiting young families short visits are better than multi-week visits. I'd cut it down to a week at most. You get to do and say everything in a week's time.  And kids want their own bed back by then, not to mention adults sleeping on a rollaway.
2. As a host or hostess don't plan out your guest's time. It is annoying. It is their vacation. (I remember once a relative got tickets for our kids to all go to a county fair on a visit. But I didn't really want to GO to the fair without my traveling hubs and WITH my 4 little kids alone). Of course I went just to please my host, but it was not fun at all! (memories flood back of multiple kids whining and complaining all day for who know's what reasons and mom enduring hot 100 degree heat with a semi plastered on smile.)
Grandma and Grandpa were always so good to have us come stay in the summertime. They are grand hosts. We loved having them come for dinner a couple of times while we had summer celebrations with family. 
3. Make your own kids' plates of food up and then clean them (and yours) up off the table (and floor) when you are done eating your host's meals. Don't make your host do all that. Help with meal preparation and clean up. My daughter-in-law is so good at this.  And don't say you will be home for a meal and then not show up, or not eat the meal the host has made. That's just a lot of work for nothing. Have one night where you spring for pizza or go out for dinner.  My brother did this when he visited with his family and I thought it was a nice touch if you are visiting people your own age. I'll remember that (even though I never thought of doing it myself.....bad guest that I was! lol)
4. Don't leave money in the guest bedroom when you leave. This is not a hotel. One of my relatives did this once and I did it once too. It is just weird. I learned my lesson.
5. Do leave a thank you note or email after you leave telling what you loved about the visit. It makes your host feel good even if things were not perfect. Or leaving a gift is always nice. lol  (My daughter is really good at this and of course I want to keep encouraging that!) Whenever she leaves the kids with us when her and her hub's go out of town they always come back with a gift for grandma. Props for gifts, I'm just sayin'!

I hope all your family visits this summer are as fun as mine have been. And if not, you need to go get out more, see the world, go on a road trip. Maybe find a nice hotel with a pool. :D


  1. What a great post! And a lot of good advice. Thanks so much for opening your home to us, cooking for us, cleaning up after us, etc etc etc. We are so grateful! And we will be much better guests next time :). We miss you guys!

  2. You are welcome! And if you can't tell, you guys WERE the perfect guests. That's what made me think of this post. It made me remember how WE were rotton houseguests. I learn as I go.:D


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