Locally, like a lot of the United States, we have had an enormous increase in people having COVID. We are now fully in the highly transmissible Omicron variant. When my grandson, then granddaughter, then daughter, then son-in-law, became sick two weeks ago, many COVID tests were done, and always tested negative. After two weeks of the grandchildren and my daughter still having upper respiratory struggles, they all saw their doctors again, and my daughter has pneumonia. The grandkids qualified for antibiotics for their upper respiratory infections.
I haven’t provided any childcare because we have learned when I take care of sick grandchildren, I get sick! And it takes me much longer to get well again. We figured out I could play outside with them when the January weather was mild and the kids had the energy to play. I wore a face mask, even outside, because my daughter advised it. When she ended up with pneumonia this week, it hit me that there are many illnesses out there that are also of concern. I had pnemonia at the same age she is now, working and parenting, and remembered how taxing it was. And how concerning pneumonia is, in and of itself! I was grateful the other grandmother volunteered to help with child care, and wanted to help too. But didn’t want to get sick.
I decided to bake healthy goodies for them. When the pandemic started and we went in lock-down mode, my daughter got the idea to set up a mailbox on their front porch railing, so the grandparents could deliver presents. (When I remarked to her that this was such a clever idea, she told me it was inspired from her own childhood! My parents bought a house that had a play house in the back yard, with a mail box. When their grandchildren came to visit, my parents would make “mail” for them. It was usually a piece of gum in an envelope with their names on it. The grandchildren loved it!) I made some mini-muffins, my husband and I both drew pictures, and delivered them to the mail box. The grandchildren were thrilled to check the mail box for deliveries. The youngest dubbed the mini-muffins “Granna Muffins” and the name has stayed. When Dunkin Donuts, came into their repertoire, the donuts won out. But when there’s no Dunkin’s, they still enjoy the Granna Muffins. We have also made them together for fun. (I have learned to pre-measure the nut butter, as it takes me a fair amount of time to wrangle one cup of it!) Or I make a batch and send most of them to their house, and keep some for our house. We still enjoy them too!
Since the other grandmother reluctantly gave up chocolate to prevent migraines, I sometimes make a treat for her that sans chocolate. With my husband’s input, I adapted a grain-free pumpkin bar recipe until it’s more like a pumpkin cake. Here’s that recipe: Grain-free Pumpkin Bars
During this sick time, my daughter’s bff had a baby. It’s been a hard reality for her to meet this exciting addition only through video chats. A meal train was set up for the new family, and my daughter reminded me to sign up. For almost being 65 years old, I don’t have a signature entree I like to make for others, so I freeze when meal trains show up. Fifteen years ago I changed to a gluten-free diet, so I quit making my standard casseroles, and don’t think the average person would enjoy my gluten-free meals. But the meal train also allowed for sending snacks. My husband suggested I send over the tried and true granola bars. I started making them for my sister-in-law and her family several years ago when she was ill. Her family loved them and I bought a cake pan to be the revolving granola bar pan for the family. I recently found out from my great-niece her family calls them “Aunt Lorna Granola Bars”. This great-niece is a teenager now, loves to cook, and is making them herself. Here’s my adapted recipe with the original linked in: PB and Honey Granola Bars
By last Friday, I did provide a few hours of care with the youngest, but I still wore a face mask. She’s three years old, has a cough and does not consistently cover her mouth. When her nose was running, I asked her if she could blow her nose into the tissue she was using, and she said “I don’t know how to do that.” Of course, she’s three years old!
She requested we make ice cream, and fortunately there were frozen bananas to use, so we made this recipe: PB Banana Ice Cream. When I left their house, she was snuggled into her other grandmother, watching Frozen for the third time that day. She lited her head up and said “Good-bye Granna. Thanks for the Granna muffins.” Heart melted. Mission completed.