Monday, June 29, 2009

pictures from today... part one!

pictures from today...

Chapter 2 in my daycare training...

In a past post, I spoke about a program/training I was starting to help motivate, educate, and learn new ideas for running my home daycare. Our first assignment was to look over our environment and routines. The basic concepts from our book making sure we are allowing time for activities, free play, and being flexible. Observation was another key component as well. We, as the providers are supposed to step back and allow for exploring.
So, are you telling me to scrap my entire routine, learning activities, and structure? I had to raise the point that I sell myself and my daycare based on my routine and activities because I know as a parent that is what I want. I want to know my child is "doing" and "learning" something. I always thought flexiable and laid back meant lazy and kids watching TV all day.
Summer time childcare is a little different then our school year childcare. It is more flexible, laid back, the kids have more free time, and more control of what they want to do. I started thinking... I know... crazy. What can I do to keep my school year routine like summer but still get the learning concepts involved as well. These are changes I want to see... a day like today is a perfect example how we used our outside classroom to play, explore, and just be kids!

This morning we tended to our herb garden. By far the most like herb is basil. After we watered and weeded, each kiddo that wanted got to pick off a leaf and try it. The responses were great. I heard about the texture, taste and even the difference in colors. Even one of the little ones spit it out and said, "yucky". Now, you tell me those kids weren't learning something... so simple, yet so effective!
The kids ran around for a while... then it was time to look at the garden. We watered parts of it and looked at what veggies were coming in. The ones that were noticed the most were the tomatoes. We counted them and it was pointed out some were green and some were red. So, I ran inside and grabbed a book about gardening to tie in our "nature" time into an outside circle time!
Here is our own Peanut Gallery Daycare softball team... we are learning about taking turns, sportsmanship, and some rules of the game.
After our morning was coming to an end, the kids came inside and were able to choose the menu for our picnic. They ended up going with hot dogs, watermelon, and baked chips. We also made a pitcher of ice tea to make our morning complete.

Our book, "Reflecting Children lives" talks about providing a child-centered curriculum. This where we slow down to make sure kids can be kids. "Paying attention to all the possibilities of beauty, curiosity, delight, and a sense of community".
In looking at the program I run, I like my balance. I like that we can play outside then come in and read books and circle time. I like doing dress up and free play then coming together and doing art at the table. Can I allow for more free play? Sure. Can I allow for more exploring? Sure. Can I be more flexible in our daily activities? Sure. My brain is turning...
I have some ideas that will be creating some more child-centered areas coming soon... I will be sure to post the new and fun happenings coming around! I am excited and I know the kids will enjoy it too!
Check back for Chapter 3 ramblings soon!

Mia's bath time... so cute!

Here is our adorable 10 month old playing in the tub. I am shamelessly trying to get her to say "momma" and she still says, "dadda" any time I do. She is also playing "patty cake". Such a cutie pie!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Would I ever Wedensday...(a day early or 2 weeks late)

Would I ever not make my bed in the morning but then make it before I go to bed?
Would I ever tell Gaby it was okay to not take a bath b/c she went swimming and that counted?
Would I ever Give Mia spaghetti o's and then take my time eating so Dustin would finish first and have to clean up this cute mess?
Would I ever wait to Saturday afternoon to buy the man that I love and the world's greatest dad a gift for Father's Day?
Would I ever hand him his gift in the Walmart sack that I brought it home in?
Would I ever buy him a gift that I knew Gaby would love also so they would be occupied for the evening?
Would I ever have movie Friday moved to movie Tuesday because I only had 2 daycare kids and needed to use the day to get caught up?
Would I ever make my hubby take pictures of me outside so I could see if any of them were good enough to use as a profile picture on Facebook?
Would I sit at the computer to type out lesson plans during nap time and get nothing done?
Would I ever be so frustrated at my weight loss journey that I would only work out 1x last week and then really didn't mind the break?
Would I ever be thinking of what my next tattoo will be even though I just got one 2 weeks ago?
Would I ever put temporary tattoos on all the daycare children and then take pictures and blog about it?

Would I ever go on and on about how we had such a great trip to Oceans of Fun with Gaby and Kadyn and wished we could go there every Friday?
Would I ever gush about my husband and blog about what a great guy he is? And, how everyday I am ever so proud of him and his on going strength the last few months?
Would I get tearful with writing about my hubby because I am just that much of a fan of him?

Monday, June 22, 2009

lots of stuff that isn't related in topics...

Our week is starting off with a bang... we continue to have games every night this week, I have daycare training, planning for July 3rd party, and Dustin starting a new job!

Oh yeah... did you have to re-read that last one??? Dustin is the proud new employee of USD 437 (Auburn-Washburn). What an answer to prayers. He interviewed on Thursday morning and was offered the job Thursday afternoon. Technically, it is a summer position, hourly, and no benefits. In October, another staff member retires and Dustin will move to a different status and have "extras". I am excited for him and I hope he will love traveling within their schools and making sure the teachers have the right tools to teach the local children. What a new journey for him!

The girls are going, going, going... they swim and play during the day and have softball games and practices at night! I am not sure how they keep up... I am barely keeping up! Friday we took G and K for a day at Oceans of Fun (more pictures to come). They had never been there and since their summer days consist of daycare, Dustin and I thought they deserved a fun day out! They had a blast! Gaby was so proud that they counted her as an "adult". I was not so proud because I had to pay for an extra "adult". Mia is doing well too... teething, pulling up, teething, talking and cooing, teething, not taking naps, teething, still not sleeping through the night and teething! She is our typical 10 month old. But beside teething and not sleeping, she is a fun and interactive baby! Mia keeps me busy and on my feet!!! But... life is good!

Weight journey is becoming harder and harder! I am down but not by much! I am frustrated, tired, and had a bad workout week last week (went 2 days out of 7). I just don't have my head in the game and I am in need of motivation... if losing the weight, getting smaller outfits, and just feeling better wasn't enough... anyway... I feel like planning healthy meals and working out are not enough but I don't know what else to do beside starve and I just like eating too much for that! I am sure tomorrow will be a better day. Just coasting a long until then!!! Yes, I am done with whining... but on a side note- D has shed 15lbs just on our life style changes such as better food choices! Way to go D!!!

Blessings all around... Great news on Dustin's job, Kids are doing great, while not losing weight, I am maintaining, and I have my daycare spots filled for the fall!!! Hope your week is off to a great week...thanks for reading my ramblings for the day!!! Check back for Oceans of Fun pictures!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

10 months old....

Today Mia is 10 months old...and what a way to celebrate the day??? Teething and ear infection! Good times all around... actually, when not in pain, she is really a good baby! Loughs to laugh, play patty cake, and roll to where ever she is going!

Loves her toys and is not afraid to cry when she doesn't have them!

Mia's new trick... starting to stand up and hold onto things!

She now has 2 teeth and loves to feed herself... can we say big mess? Oh well... we still love her anyway! Another month older, I can not believe it!!!

Friday's Fun...

I have always claimed my backyard to be an outside classroom... and Friday it was! The kids found a water turtle in our playground area. It was the ugliest thing I have ever seen! Of course, I would not go near it so Dustin and Gaby were the turtle helpers! The kids had a great time looking and watching the turtle. When we came inside we looked up turtles to find out more info on them!

A and A on the playhouse

Lil A smiling at daycare...=)

H, F and L outside playing... it was a great day for outside play!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I have homework.... agh!

Okay, it really isn't that bad but I still have to do homework. Yesterday I posted about starting a new program to motivate and to try new things in in my daycare program. The orientation was last night and provided an overview of what the next several meetings would be about. It was a good night. Our trainers discussed some good issues that I want to learn about and perhaps incorporate into our day.
Above is Dawn and I with our fun and entertaining ERC leaders, Michelle and Karla. They made the class interesting yet not boring, which is good, because you all know when I get bored, I get into trouble. I so want to be like these ladies when I grow up! =)

One of our first topics of discussion was simplifying the day... what??? You mean it isn't a good thing that I have circle time, art, science, centers and so on??? It was stated last night " that art from daycare is not a receipt". I thought this was interesting because I know I feel like I have to prove to my parents that we are "doing stuff" during our day. I don't want to be known as "the babysitter", but as an educator. To me, it is all about balance... not everyday we have art to take home but everyday we are learning. We have our free play, dress up, walks through the garden ect. but we also have our ABC time, book time, and center time. I am looking forward to the next time we meet to hear more about the concept and ideas around the simplfily the daycare day.
Now, on to my one of the first assignments...
We are to email Michelle some pictures of an area around our program that we think "works" for us!
Here is what I came up with....
My back yard... I love the size, the openiness, the balence of toys and nature, and of course our garden in the back. We could spend all day outside and take so much from the day.

The second place that I love is my "learning area" aka dining room! This is where we do art, circle time, bake, create, and much more. I gave up on an "adult" dining room set up because I wanted the kids to have a space for them to explore and learn and I think we have it here!

transportation week....

This week we have been learning about cars, airplanes, trains, and bikes.
Today was airplane day... the older ones helped me fold a basic, and I mean basic paper airplane to color and decorate. Then we flew them around the house while listening to silly songs!

Here is H showing off her plane....

Our second activity involved coloring and reviewing letters... I am really impressed with how well my older ones are coloring, trying to stay in the lines, and are spending more then 2 seconds working on their art. They have come a long way!
J is showing me how he decorated the letters... (he also told me, "today I am coloring like a 4 year old would- he just had his birthday)

My lil ones starting to use crayons a little more... more contact with paper and less in the mouth!

G and lil K working on their airplane too...

After we finished up our pictures, we used airplane, boat, and train cookie cutters to make some fun shapes in our cookies. Unfortunately the batter was to soft to keep the shape but we still had fun getting a little messy and plus we had some yummy cookies for snack!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

starting a new journey....

I run a daycare program I am proud of. I am not an egotistical person, I am just proud of the care I provide to my own kids and my daycare family! In everything you do, you must reflect on your job and your needs and how you can make it better. Even though I moan at the investment of time and money, I am grateful for a "rule" that us daycare providers must follow. Every year, I am required to attend 10 hours of educational in-services. This really is a good thing... the topics cover anything from school aged summer ideas to dollar store activities.
Two years ago I went through a grant program at ERC. I had home visits, support meetings, and of course received money. It wasn't all about the money, well, it certainly was a nice motivation but it was about getting new ideas, new set up for my home, and more activities to help educate and engage the kids that come here!
Now... the journey continues... Part II! Tonight I am attending the first of 12 hours of the Quailty Connections program. I am excited a) one of my all time favorite ERC staff memebers is co-leading the group and b) my bestest goodest partner in trouble Dawn is attending the meetings too! I looking forward to meeting more people that care about their program as much as I do... we wouldn't invest this much time if we didn't. I am also looking foward to gathering ideas for new and improved lessons for the fall. The program is a journey... to stay open minded and to be willing to change things or try new suggestions. To invest in your children, to be motivated, and to provide the care that you want for your own children. So, even though the journey ahead is lot of time and effort during a crazy time for my family... I know the rewards will be all worth it! ***And, I am not talking about money this time, this one is for the higher knowledge only, no money is given for part II! =)

Monday, June 8, 2009

will we ever slow down?

As I knew it would be summer has proven to be a crazy time of year for us! I haven't even blogged in 5 whole days just because a) we are kinda repeating the same activities over and over that make us busy... ex) softball games b) I am tired by nap time and all I want to do is read my book and ride my bike. (That is my personal deal with myself, if I watch TV or read during nap time, I must ride my bike so I won't snack the entire time) Agh... stupid deal!

Anyway... here are some highlights of the week!
Gaby was very excited, okay, I was thrilled when she gave me the OK to get her hair chopped off. She has great hair. Long, blond, and THICK! We could climb it 20x a day and still look like she hadn't even touched it. So, I made an appointment with Heather, from Trends (Thank you Dawn) and here is her beautiful after shot! She looks so much older and it is easy to mange and work with. Kadyn and Gaby go back on Friday to get blue high lights in their hair for summer!!!

My other big news is that Mia is 9mo old. We had her check up on June 3rd. I kept telling everyone that she was growing, weighing more, and was getting "fat", in a cute baby way! At 6mo. she weighed 12lbs and at her check up on Thursday, she was 17lbs. That is 5lbs in 3 months. I was right... she is getting so big... and so darn cute. Her personality is really showing through as she is clapping and doing patty cake. She is starting to sleep through the night 5/7 days, which is better then it has been.
Mia Rose is now on the charts for her weight. At 6 mo. she was at 5% and now she is 16%.
Mia continues to be a happy baby. If she is crying she wants mommy, food, or sleep. She has always been a momma's girl, which I figured would happen since I stay home with her, but now it is getting harder and harder to leave the room or pass her off to family members whom she knows!
Here Mia is waiting on the doctor to come and check her out! I am so in love with all of my children. And, I am so in love with this smile.
On a personal note... I have not hit my 200 lb mark yet- I am about 6lbs away. However, I had to cheat and get the tattoo early so it would have time to heal before our surprise day out on the 19th and swim lessons in July. We will be around water and chlorine and in order to do that, it has to scab and peel which can take up to 2 weeks... you do the math... that is why I am a proud owner of my new butterfly with the (dot, dot, dot) and the heart that represents Dustin. It took from start to finish about 10 minutes! And yes! It did hurt but was manageable. It would be the throbbing that took place after that was more annoying, but with it all said and done... I LOVE IT!