Childcare Chronicles and Neighbor Kids


I’ve gotten notes and comments from readers saying I haven’t done a childcare post lately and I haven’t given you an update on Neighbor Girl.  Both statements are true.  Childcare is going as good as it can.  I’ve had quite a bit of time off this last month including the week for testing my thyroid and the days off for my foot surgery.

We’ve had lots of rainy days but twice last week we were able to get to the park.  I had forgotten to ask Hubby to pump up the tires so poor Craig(Kalissa’s husband)  had to oblige when he dropped Carver off.

The kids love all things mechanical.  Changing batteries (balleries as the childcare kids say) is an exciting process…Imagine how exciting pumping tires up was.


Carver loved the park.  Happily Kelli met us there on one of the days and helped with the kids.  I have two crawlers and one beginning walker so taking them to the park is a challenge but I also know the more we do it, the easier and more practiced we all will get at it.

Here’s Carver investigating grass… [Read more...]

The Fish Caught Me..hopefully the bug won’t.


Remember that I have tests next week as part of my one year since cancer check-up.  If you missed it, read about it here.  Well before I can go through the tests I have to be on a dreaded low-iodine diet.  I have to do it for 10 days.  I started last week on Saturday.

The diet is one of the least fun diets I’ve ever been on….No dairy.  No products that are processed.  No going out to eat.  So if I have a dressing unless I make it from scratch (and that doesn’t mean the ranch packet)…If I have pizza-I have to make the crust and no cheese or processed meat on it.  Bread-I have to make it myself.  No condiments at all.  Today I made spaghetti sauce from scratch.  I boils down to that I can have 6 ounces of meat a day and any fresh fruits and veggies that I want.

Anyway on Wednesday I decided to make fish for the kids for lunch.  I know I can can eat fresh meat so ate some.  That night Hubby came home and I was going to make fish for him.  He said you can’t have any, what are you eating.  I immediately started crying.  I had ate fish for lunch.  I was sure I could have it.  Nope.  I can’t.  I missed the fine print when I read the diet.  UGH.  I thought “what could it hurt”.  As a precaution I emailed my doctor.  NOPE.  IT DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!  A BIG DIFFERENCE.

So all the tests that I was supposed to have next week are now postponed to the following week.  The testing and trips to Lacrosse are going to be the 13th-17th.  UGH.

So..the five days I put up with the diet are worthless.  I have to be on the diet for 10 full days…SO….Last night, I went out to eat.  Here’s what I had.


I figured being I would still have 10 days in if I re-started today I might as well live it up…so I had a bloody Mary too.  I had a long day and thought I might as well partake as long as it was “legal” as I wasn’t on the diet again yet.

With having to re-schedule, I had to tell my childcare families.  They had spent time finding alternate care only to have to cancel and find it for the following week.  UGH.  I feel so bad.  I tried to scramble around and try to make it all easier somehow but for the life of me I couldn’t think of anything that would.  I feel terrible about that.   One of the hardest things for me is to feel like I am a burden to others and that’s exactly how I feel about all of this and the inconvenience I’ve caused my childcare families, my family, the nurse and schedulers but mostly my childcare families.

Rather than me catching a fish…I think the fish caught me.  I’m trying really hard to laugh about it now that I already had a good cry over it.  I know it’s a simple set back but still it’s no fun.

On top of all that, yesterday when childcare started I was suppose to have 5 kids here.  One, who was diagnosed with Influenza B last week was still out of care so I only had four kiddos here.  At 9:00 I took the temp of the my littlest one and yep….he had a temp. He went home.  At 10:00 I took a temp on another….yep…A temp.  It wasn’t high so I gave her some Tylenol, called mom and loved her up.  At lunch I took the temp of another.  It was high…and immediately took the temp of the last one.  I gave Tylenol to everyone as everyone had a temp.  I put them down for a nap and got in contact with all the parents and told them after nap time they would have to pick up.  Oh my.  I sent EVERY kid home sick…EVERYONE of the four kids here.  I have NEVER done that.

So now I wait.  Will the bug catch me and if so when?  Ila, Ila, you were so right.  I live in a petri dish.  I really do!  I’ve been washing my hands and working super hard not to touch my face at all.  Who knows…maybe my flu shot will cover whatever the bug is…fingers are crossed that it might.

Adding insult to injury.  I heard today that strep throat with scarlet fever has started up in our area and mumps has too.  Oh my…if we can avoid this I’d be so happy…so happy.

That’s what’s up here…I’m hoping you’re living in a happier and healthier place!!

Ask Jo: Childcare Registration and My Shoulder


I had some questions come up after I wrote that I was no longer going to do be a registered childcare provider and instead provide unregistered childcare.  The main question was liability.  Will the insurance company still insure me?  The answer is yes and no.  I was with a company that allowed me to do care for six kids and it was REALLY cheap.  It was a rider on my home  insurance.  Well two more babies came into care so that put me up to eight.  I was no longer eligible for the rider and had to move to a commercial policy…and that commercial policy would not cover me.  I talked to the local Farm Bureau agent and he said YES- Farm Bureau does cover non-registered  providers.  We ended up moving ALL of our insurance to Farm Bureau.  The insurance for childcare was a lot more money but not because I was unregistered but because I was moving to a larger policy to accommodate more kids.  At present, I am covered for ten children….I don’t ever plan on having that many all on my own.

So how else is it going?  GREAT!!

A week or so into not being registered-  We ate an early lunch because the local high school girls earned a ticket to play basketball at state.  The tournament was being broadcast online so we wanted to watch the game.  We ate a half hour earlier than we previously were allowed too.  What a simple freedom…and it didn’t hurt a single one of the kids.  In fact, they loved the game and were so excited that the girls won…it’s extra special as one of the girls playing is an aunt to three of my childcare kids.


Another example…  I have an appointment coming up.  It’s in a local town and the latest appointment they  had was at 4:30.  I’ll have to leave here at 4:10 to get there.  I asked Hubby if he could watch the childcare kids until pick up which happens between 4:30 and 4:45.  There will only be four kids here then.  He said sure.  That is complete change-before he couldn’t.  Hubby knows the kids.  He’s physically fit to watch them.  He knows CPR and First Aide (and even more)….but previously he wasn’t allowed to watch them because he hadn’t taken a 12 hour class.  Having him be able to watch the kids sure is nice.  None of the parents will mind a drop and Hubby likes the kids.  Plus, the parents don’t have to get off work early so I can leave.  Plus I might be able to get to appointments more easily and take better care of myself.  It’s a win-win for us all.

I am so much happier with the “camel of registration off my back”!!

I have always have been a family childcare provider.  Now I really am finally feeling like one!!  I am caring for the families…and not caring about the paperwork and regulations.

The appointments that I’m needing go to are for physical therapy.  LONG ago back in the summer of 2015 I took a fall during childcare. (Read about it here).  I hurt my foot and my shoulder.  I thought everything was better but then I re injured my foot….which resulted in surgery for my foot…but…my shoulder.  It’s never quite been right.

The problem with it comes and goes.  I thought it might be due to aging but after a trip to the doctor she confirmed that it’s likely due to an injury.  She sent me to physical therapy.  There I was told it’s a pinched tendon problem.  For example I reach my right arm up to get a glass from the cupboard and there is something not quite right in my shoulder as my rotator cuff pinches my tendon.  The proper term for it is an impingement.  The problem comes right about the time my arm gets to the height it would be if I was reaching for a glass from the cupboard.  It also flares if I am taking a shirt off…Those are just a couple examples.  Often it isn’t “quite right”.

Symptoms of a Pinched Tendon in the Rotator Cuff

The physical therapist told me that I have poor posture.  (I knew that)  What I didn’t know that was the poor posture could me making by problem worse.  My shoulders roll forward and that limits the space for the tendons to fit in.  So I am doing exercises to improve my posture and to strengthen my rotator cuff.  They are easy….but the biggest thing I need to do is consciously lift my shoulders and reset them back in a good posture position.  UGH.  I am so bad at that.  I get in a hurry and my mind is totally not thinking about posture….but I’m trying.  I sure wish I’d have worked on my posture years ago.

Right now I can’t say things have necessarily improved.  Well they have some but now other spots in my shoulder are sore from the exercises.

I feel dumb even mentioning any of this or even going to the doctor for it.  I keep getting asked if I can do whatever the movement is….yes.  I can do them all….but does it feel uncomfortable…YES.  Will I do it even if it feels uncomfortable…YES.  But being it’s been so long since it happened have I unconsciously learned to make adjustments in my day to day movements.  Filling out the pain scale was a joke for me.  I can’t say that any of it is “painful”….uncomfortable-YES.  Annoying-YES.  I almost felt like I shouldn’t be there being I wasn’t in PAIN….the therapist was nice though.  It’s likely me more than her.

I ended up going because I wanted it to be fixed if it could be….will it be?  Who knows.  For now I’m trying and I guess that’s the most important part.  The doctor said this is the next thing that’s required after an x-ray so here I am.

At least being Hubby can keep an eye on the kiddos for me, I’m getting a chance to give physical therapy a try.  For that, I’m grateful.

Childcare Chronicles


I shouldn’t say this as I’ll likely jinx it but I think we’re over the hump on sickness here.  I have two that are finishing up colds but no new outbreaks as of yet.  My fingers are crossed as we really need a break from all of that.  I’ve been busy over the last few weeks.  Typically I would be ramping up doing tons of paperwork to get things ready to renew my childcare registration but I’ve decided that I’m not going to be registered anymore.  It’s been great as instead of doing all that meaningless paperwork I’ve been making things we are using!

The things we are working hard on is learning colors and letters.

This is an activity I put together using monster clips and some clip art.  It’s a circle time activity we do in the morning.  The rhyme is call, “Six Silly Monsters”.


This is a great story retelling activity.  It goes with the book “The Mitten”.  The idea came from here.  Kayla crocheted the mitten for me.  The kids love it.  The book is too advanced for my kids so I show the pictures and tell the story.  They really love this.


I make lots of my circle time activities out of felt.  Here’s one of the latest with gingerbread men.


Here’s another…this time with snowmen.  We’ve been doing this one lots as colors are something we’re working on and we’ve had several snow melting days in a row.


This one they adore.  Remember the old nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice”.  I made this go with it. [Read more...]