New Cement

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My Monday was a pretty easy one considering I have eight kids here.  They spent most of the day like this…watching the workers outside my windows.  We’re getting new cement.

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I’m so happy.  It’s been a long debate between Hubby and me trying to decide if we wanted to afford cement.  The stuff is expensive.  We finally both got on the same page and decided it was time.  I was tired of the childcare moms coming in with nice shoes only to have them covered in mud.  I was tired of yelling at the kids to stay out of the puddles.  I was tired of Hubby dragging in mud.

Today they started out small.  See the fence along side our house.  I hide the kids’ ride on toys behind there.  I requested that we cement that small area.

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They did.  This is now the “parking” area for the ride on toys.

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We had them pour a new back step too.  I’m loving this already.

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Then we decided to bite the bullet and cement the driveway.  Originally we were only going to do from the corner of the porch back to the garage but we decided to do this instead….. [Read more...]

Summer Childcare

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The school year has been over here for two weeks.  The craziness has kicked in.  Summer childcare is always harder than school year childcare.  The school agers are now here all day so there’s a new schedule, another age group of kids to entertain and more importantly, a new pecking order has to be established.  It’s all part of the process and thankfully I’ve been doing childcare long enough to know that each summer starts with boot camp.  Seriously, new rules need to be set.  The older kids need to be reminded that the other kids aren’t babies and can do things for themselves and can even join in the play.  I don’t want you to think it’s all bad…just remember back to when your own kids were home for the summer.  It’s the same thing only a bigger scale.

I snapped a few pictures to show you some highlights.

I have a gal that comes every other week from Fayette County Food and Fitness.  On this day she was planting seeds with the kids.

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Here’s the little guy that is close to Carver’s age.  Normally he crawls on all fours but he doesn’t like grass on his legs so “bear crawls” on the grass.  What a cutie!!

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Ruby is back to her playing days with the older kids here.  The two school age girls are the two who usually dress her up.  Ruby doesn’t look the happiest here but she was okay with it.  She knows that if she doesn’t like whatever is going on, her kennel is her domain and can go there to get away from the kids….I laughingly told one of my childcare moms that I need a kennel to retreat to on some days.

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We spend LOTS of time outdoors.  These two love the fairy gardens.

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We have been doing lots more activities.  It’s easier to do them now as we aren’t dictated by school schedules.  Here’s a fun project we did.  The kids loved it!

We took baby food containers that were cleaned.  Each kid got a half of Hershey’s candy bar.  We broke it into pieces and put them into our containers.  The containers went outside in the sun where they melted.  (Easy science project)

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Then at snack time we had vanilla wafers and strawberries.  The kids could dip the strawberries and wafers into the now melted chocolate.  This was a HUGE hit.  Try it with your kids or grand kids.  They are sure to enjoy it too.

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Here is Carver.  He’s so busy crawling right now that he actually, no fooling, crawled right out of his pants.  See them on the floor behind him.

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He’s grown by leaps and bounds.  He can now do “so big”, “pattycake”, “give us five”, wave and say “da-da” meaning Craig.  He is at such a fun age.  He could be a better napper and better at eating food, but hey, even my grand kids can’t be perfect!!

I have had to do a little adjustment with Neighbor Girl.  I don’t get paid at all for her to be here even though I am responsible for her.  She was coming here everyday, all day.  She ate all of her meals here and even was overnight a few days last week.  I want to be helpful and available but things started to get harder.  She asked me to do her laundry (she didn’t like it when I said my 10 year old kids did their own laundry so if her laundry was going to get done, she’d have learn how)… selected childcare rules didn’t apply to her…I caught her in a couple fibs….she would leave my house without telling me…she would try to dictated meal choices and do the “yuck” type complaining over the food I was serving and other similar things that every ten year old does.  But, those things were eating on me.  I felt no one at her house was taking responsibility for her at all.  No one called and checked on her.  No one called and asked her to come home.  She was at my house for over 60 hours straight and no one checked on, came over or called her.  I was frustrated…Hubby was frustrated that I was frustrated so…we implemented a new schedule.  I am allowing her to come three childcare days a week and that’s it.  The other two days, her family is going to have to take care of her.  Mom works overnights and sleeps during the day but they can figure it out. I am hoping that making a schedule might make them step up a bit too…the weekends she can come and go as she pleases but she eats what we eat or she doesn’t eat here…no special meals for a picky eaters anymore.  (Yes, I had to explain that English Muffins are just the same as toast and aren’t worth saying “Yuck” over)

I am not mad about any of this-it’s growing pains.  It’s her learning about my world and me her world.  I had my own ten year olds and know that this is the territory.  I love her dearly and want to a part of her life.   But I want to be a PART…not her whole life.  She’s welcome at my house but can’t live here.  We know she feels loved here and wants to be here because of that.  I know we are always busy (and not sleeping) so we seem more exciting than her home but still, I can’t do it all-all day (and night).  I have to get things straightened out before DHS places her cousin at her house and I end up with two living here.  UGH.

I’m all okay…child care is going okay…summer is well underway and we’re making the adjustment…Before I know it summer will be over and I’ll be back adjusting to a new schedule again.

Before I go I thought I would recommend some awesome Facebook pages that have fun kids crafts…Easy Peasy and Fun, Paper Magic, and I Heart Crafty Things.  We’ve been doing daily crafty activities and these pages have been making things super easy for me.  With them, planning has been a breeze.  I know many of you have kiddos in your life and might enjoy them as well.

I am happy to report that all is well here and the childcare kids are keeping me hopping which is a good thing!

Childcare Chronicles and Neighbor Kids

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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.

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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.

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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 salad..no 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.

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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!!