Category Archives: childcare

Swingset Challenge

AH…I am having the worst time.  Maybe you all can help me.

With childcare I used to go to the park all the time in the summer so the kids could use the play equipment.  I had a triple stroller.  This one you see below and I loved it.  It was great for kids once they reached about a year old.

I’d load them all up and go to the park.  For the most part, it was pretty good.  I didn’t keep a swing set at my house…if we wanted play equipment, we went to the park.

Well…That got to be a challenge.  The park equipment wasn’t really the best for my kids.  There was only one baby swing and as you can see by the picture above, I likely needed three baby swings to accommodate this group.

The other problem, they use small rocks as surfacing.  Well…as you can see from the kids in the stroller, those small rocks weren’t the best for my kids as I’d always have one or two that would put the rocks in their mouth.  UGH.

Then…insurance and liability became more of a concern.  The park is next to the river that runs through town.  I changed insurance for my childcare business and it seemed a little more frowned on.

Then…my kids in the stroller starting aging.  I filled those spots with babies.  As I went along, it became harder and harder to leave the house when I had babies….So, I saw this swing set on a for sale group for $25 and talked Kramer into giving it a try.  It was been wonderful.  I can’t tell you how much I have loved having this swing set.  We have a wonderful play place now.  It’s so cute.  The kids call it my “playground”.


The glider on the right is a big favorite with the kids.

We are outside almost every morning once the weather gets nice.  We’re either playing in the big tire sandbox, swinging or playing with water once it is warm enough.

The best part of this…there is something for the babies to do.  I can push them in the swing.  I can take an exersaucer outside.  Being at my house allows so many more options so that everyone can be entertained…and a bathroom is close and safe.

Well…my wonderful $25 swing has last for four years.  It’s gotten WAY more use than any other normal swingset.  Best of all, we’ve had it long enough to know that I am happy to have one here, and having a swing set here is a good option.

Well…that $25 swing has also seen better days.  The flooring of the basket swing is no more.  Something has to be done about it…so I started swing set shopping.

Oh my.  I didn’t know how good of a swing set I had until I started shopping for a new swing set.  I had THREE places to put swings.  I had TWO slides.  I had a glider and the basket swing.  There were LOTS of places for the kiddos to play.

I went through a bit of a debate.  Do I get a wooden set?  Do I get a metal swing?   I thought and thought.  I know the guys in my life would build me a wooden set but they are so expensive.  I know I can find them on sale sites like Marketplace but I think I’ve convinced myself not to get a wooden one.  So many of them come like this… Continue reading

Childcare Update

Well, it’s almost two months since I started doing some childcare again.  I thought I would give you a little update on how it is going.

First off, let me explain that I am not doing it like I was before.  This is really laid back and more of grandma care.  Sure we still read stories and do some activities but it’s not a full house and me jumping from here to there all the time loaded with kids.

The star of the show around here is the baby…He’s a really good little guy and I love having him.  He seriously only cries about two minutes every time he goes to sleep as he is a sleep fighter.  Other than that, he’s perfect.

Gannon loves him.

Georgia loves him.  On days she isn’t here, Kelli will face time me and immediately Georgia will ask, “Where baby go?”.  Typically l the screen looks like this and Kelli and I talk while Georgia watches the baby on the phone.

She does pretty well with him and I’m hoping that translates over to her new brothers or sisters due in May.

How’s Rosie doing with the change?? Continue reading

Changes are a Coming…

I told you all that I’ve been tossing around the idea of going back to childcare.  I had talked to my kids and I had made the decision that I’d see how my December 17th doctor appointments at Mayo Clinic go, then make a decision.  I was doing in-home childcare prior to Covid but when it hit in March, my doctor recommended I close.  At the time, little was known about Covid and how it spreads.  Thankfully we know more now.

The last time I talked with my doctor there was a discussion that if my thyroid cancer numbers were high and they could see cancer in one of the many tests they are going to do, they might actually treat it.  So…if they treat it, there is a possibility I would have to be off work for 18 days after the radioactive treatment…but it’s all up in the air.  They could send me home and say nothing…I’ve learned to expect that.

For those of you new here, I had thyroid cancer in early 2016.  I went through surgery to remove my thyroid and then had radioactive iodine treatment.  We thought it was gone…but it’s back but very slow growing.  So, I have to go through appointments and tests every three months or so.    December 17th is my day to go back again.

Well back to my original story.  I was waiting for the results from that December 17th appointment as I wanted to save my childcare parents from going through the ups and downs of my medical drama.

Well, two of my families that I’ve stayed in close touch with had gone to the same childcare in the neighboring town.  That in-home provider decided childcare wasn’t for her and she is closing.

Well, they contacted me and asked if I would consider doing childcare again.  After thinking it through, I decided I would but I asked that it only be Mondays and Fridays for two weeks and then I’d start full time but the parents had to be flexible depending on what happens at my doctor’s appointment.

So…I’ve been enjoying a little time with this guy…

I have to admit to not minding a little rocking chair time.

Both of these families have stayed close to me through covid and have checked up on me and stopped by for visits.  I’ve stayed close to them and have so appreciated that.  So when they asked, it was just too hard to say no.

There is a huge shortage of childcare providers in our area.

There is honestly nowhere for them to go…and I’m a little overprotective of the kids.  I don’t want them just going anywhere where I’d worry about them being safe.

So Georgia and Gannon will have this little guy here with them when they come…plus two school-aged girls who will come after school.

I really don’t know if more kids will come.  At this point, maybe…I just don’t want the FULL house of kids I had before…maybe a couple more, but not a houseful.

We’ll see.  I’m not committing to anything until after my appointments and after the holidays.

A Child Care Day

Last week on Monday was a child care day for me.  It was a no school day and I told the parents when I quit care if you need me on a no school day to let me know.  Happily, they did.

I really miss the kids and the life of childcare.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy more at ease days but I do miss the hustle and bustle.  I’m actually leaning towards going back.  Every time I have the kids for a few days, I can’t help but wish I was back at it.

I have appointments coming in December for my cancer stuff and after that, depending on the results of the tests and where I am going next, I’m going to make a decision about going back or not.  I’ve already committed to taking a new baby Monday and Fridays along with my grandkids and I’m excited about that.  We’ll see.  I have a couple of months to try to figure it all out.  In the meantime, I’m comfortable where I am at.

If there is anything we’ve learned with all of the coronavirus stuff it’s that it isn’t necessarily the best to make plans too far in advance.

Anyway…back to our day.

We had so much stuff going on…  What a mess, I know!!  Check out the block tower that got made.  This was amazing balancing skills.

I got creative and finally put together an activity I’ve wanted to do with the kids for a year.  Karl cut dowel sticks and sanded them.  I gathered some supplies and made them.

Here is what one looks like finished.  It supposed to be a caterpillar and kids are supposed to put hair ties on them in a patterned order.  You can see this little girl is making a pattern of blue, orange, purple.

They are great for working with kids of multiple ages.  The girl that was doing this pattern is in first grade.  She could easily do it and for her, was more of an art type project.

For Carver, he was just learning about patterns.  For kids that are two, they are primarily working on motor skills.

Anyway, here’s how I made them…
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