Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Being a child care provider is the joy of my life, but there are trying times with both kids and parents.  I am willing to be fairly flexable with to parents schedules.  Unlike a normal daycare both private or government run, many are only opened for certain times, I am willing to open early and stay open late if need be.  There is even times when I am willing to work weekends.  But with this I kinda expect a little appreciation and maybe a thank you from the parents.  Is this wrong of me?  I don't feel so.  I have one set of parents that are so good with their appreciation, with them being younger parents and not many child care providers around that are so happy that I am here for them and am willing to help them out.  But on the other hand I also have some that tell me when there child will be here and when they will pick them up, and not really ask if its OK with me even if they are really early mornings or really late nights.  This is when I would like to say no, it kinda hurts that I bend over backwards for these children and parents and don't even get a thank you out of it.  I have my own family that also needs me and when I am always looking after other children they don't get alot of just family time.  My children are and have been really understanding with all of this but at the same time I feel bad for them too.  I am not one to say no to parents, because I have been in there situations myself, with having to find a sitter when I was working.  Its not an easy thing.  I run my daycare the way I wanted the ones to be run when I had my own children in them.  I only ever found one amazing child care provider that went above and beyond what alot of others do.  I was so thankful for her, and  that is what I try to do to.  I don't have alot of children in my care at one time, because I feel each children needs so much attention and they are fairly young so trying to teach them things at the same time its all that easy if you have to many in your care. 

All I am really wanting is a thank you once in a while.  Is it that hard? Or am I just thinking wrong?  I am thankful for those who do say thank you and who care that I bend over backwards for them.  At the same time, there is times I don't want to do the extra mile for others whom don't really care that I go over and beyond for them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baking up a storm!

Wow, its been a while since I have blogged last.  Things have been crazy here, with Christmas activities in full gear along with a lot of life challenges putting some hick-ups in there too.

Well today I decided that I needed to get some Christmas baking done.  I am running outta time.......  With only having one extra little one with me today, I thought it might be a good day to do some.  We started out with the good old sugar cookies.  We will be using these next week for our Christmas party.  Then on to the many, many other new and creative goodies I have decided to make this year.  I have been trying to make healthier food choice for my family and the kids in my care.  So with that, I did some (OK alot) of research on healthy Christmas baking, along with the research I also did a number of tweaks to many of my recipes.  These tweaks come from a good friend of mine that has showed me that you can make a everyday recipe a little healthier by exchanging some ingredients for others.  With all this the kids and I ended up making 8 different baking goodies through out the day.  We were tired, a mess, but had such a blast doing it.  With my little man crawling on the floor eating as much of the batter droppings as he could get, to my daughter feeding the other boy icing while I am taking cookies out of the oven and have my back turned to them.  Hehehe, they don't think I know!!! MOMMY has eyes in the back of her head, she can see and hear everything!  (I remember my mom saying this to me and number of times when I was young).  So in the end it is so much fun cooking and baking with little ones, and ya its a mess but hey, they get to learn new things and well make that mess.  What are kinds for!?!?!?  A decoration? Nope, surely not (at least not mine, they can't sit still for more then 2 minutes at a time).  After 10 hours of baking for me, I thought that is it, no more!  Well then I look at my kitchen, ummmm ya there is more! Not baking now but doing the dishes, putting away all the baking ingredients, and sweeping the floor.  It was much needed that's for sure, I think what the little one didn't get the dog did, but after a while, they both were a little to full to eat much more, so that leaves me with the job of sweeping up too, I don't like sweeping!!  So all is made now just to let them set over night and cut them all up and package them tomorrow.  Yummy, that means taste testing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family Photos

This past Saturday I had a family member take our family photos for us.  Wow, its such a worry for me!  I am a perfectionist in some ways and when I want something done or plan something I worry or don't like when things don't turn out right.  I was so worried taking our 3 children somewhere to get their pictures taken, I wasn't sure it they would behave, if they would smile, cry, be grumpy.  Man I had every situation go through my head and how I would try to deal with it, if it did happen.  We lucked out and the kids were pretty good, my daughter sometimes has a mind of her own and she didn't want to do one of the suggested photo shoots but hey we moved on and I didn't make a big deal over it.  I tried to get her to smell a flower and she just wouldn't, normally I would get upset because its something that should be done and she wouldn't do it.  This time I took a deep breath and we just went on to a new pose and all was fine.  I was prepared for all too (except the good old hair brush! Darn it!).  I packed the lint roller, make up, tide pen, milk and water for the kids, toys, a blanket and even extra shoes.  When you have three kids and all who seem to make a mess with themselves even if they don't have something to eat, I was going prepared and nothing was going to stop these pictures from being taken.  After all said and done I didn't need anything but the blanket really. 

I think its great to have photos done every couple of years at least.  It updates everyone on the growth of your children, its great gifts and will you can't forget the treasure memories!  I like photos that are more natural and not just a still pose with a boring back ground or fake one.  Sure those were nice in the good old days but there are so many talented people out there that take amazing pictures and its nice to see people in a more relaxed setting.  At least this is what I find looks the best, there is nothing wrong with those that go to the well known photo shops and get their pictures taken, some of them turn out great too.  This is my view and I so wish I could take great photo's of my own, as I love pictures of kids and even adults at play.  One day maybe I will take a course or something, but my plate is just a little to full.

So just remember if you decide to take a family or just your child's photo that they are kids.  They might not what that picture taken or do what they should be doing.  Don't stress over it try something else or another time.  You can't make them do it if they don't want to, because it wont turn out or when you look at that photo afterwards it just might break your heart to know how hard it was to get that little smile out of your loved one. 

credit to Angela Klaassen

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeping it clean

I have two wee ones in my care one of whom is my own and one that comes in for care.  These two little ones seem to always be sick.  If its not one its the other.  We have had so much go around the daycare since I have open in the beginning of September.  I have dealt with the cold, flu, teething, ear infections, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and a whole lotta pink eye (both of them have had it twice now).  I clean, clean, and clean and they still pass it around.  As a caregiver and love children it breaks my heart to see one sick.  My oldest son is 6 and between him and my daughter I don't think the two of them together have been as sick as my youngest have and he is only 8 months.  Its been such a task to keep these kidlets healthy.  I thought of not taking sick ones, but I know as a working mom for a few years its hard to always take time off, you need the money, you need the job, but you don't know what to do with your poor little one who is sick and just wants to be held or sleep.  I love the fact that my parents know they can trust their children in my care when they are sick.  I use Lysol almost nightly to try and clean the toys they use, I don't know if I can even count the number of cans I have gone through the last few months just trying to keep up with illnesses.  I thought it might be a good idea to let others know of a few good cleaning tips also.

Choose toys carefully. Look for washable toys and throw out items that won't come clean, Where possible, avoid porous, stuffed or otherwise difficult-to-scrub items.

Wash 'em regularly. You don't need to scrub toys weekly, as many day cares do, but perhaps once a month or at least when toys are visibly dirty. Throw toys into the top rack of a dishwasher or the washing machine, or hand wash them in dish soap and water or if plastic you can use bleach and water. Not all toys indicate whether they're dishwasher safe, so use your judgment. If you're concerned that something might melt, wash it by hand.

Blast germs when required. Disinfect toys and other surfaces (say, toy boxes or crib rails) if you, your child or a visiting playmate has been ill. A bleach-water solution or non-aerosol disinfectant such as Lysol should do the trick (Be sure to read ingredients and labels carefully.) Note that if your dishwasher or laundry machine uses 130-degree water, disinfectant is unnecessary, but if you feel the need to use it, go ahead, its not going to hurt anything but those bad old germs.

Give stuffed toys the deep freeze. If your child has tested positive for dust-mite allergy, put their stuffed toys in a plastic covering and freeze them for three to five hours once a week. "This kills most living dust mites," These microscopic, spider-like mites are one of the most common allergy and asthma triggers. To find out if your child has a dust-mite allergy, ask your family doctor for a blood- or skin-prick allergy test.

Ditch bath toys with holes. Sure, you can and should squeeze water out of tub toys, hang them to dry in a netting bag and wash and disinfect them as above. But bath toys with holes can become a breeding ground for mold, so why not avoid them altogether? I don't always agree with this right away, but once I notice any toys getting that lovely black guck in them then I toss them at that time.  I do know people that will not allow any such things to be used by their child because of the mold, but I also find my children enjoy the good old plastic sour cream contains or the used up bubble bath containers just as much as the actual bath toys themselves.

Keep washing those hands. This is important especially after school or visits to the playground. A recent University of Arizona study found that children's playground equipment and daycare centers were the most frequently contaminated public places of over 1,000 surfaces tested. Washing hands before kids play with their home toys can keep them from spreading bacteria around. "The average child has up to six colds a year, but regular hand washing can cut that in half".  Good news though is that we are more aware of illnesses these days and most people do proper cleaning and hygiene to keep them away.

I have all children in my care wash their hands before and after every meal, after we come inside and of course after they use the bathroom.  I don't always agree on being 100% clean because then your child doesn't get immune to anything and will get sick when out in the public, but at the same time, I do believe in a safe and healthy environment for all.  Kids will be kids and you can't blame any one person on your child getting sick, it just isn't right.  Its not fun to deal with a sick or icky child but take the right measures and most are able to recover with in a few days and are back to their normal busy selves.

Monday, November 22, 2010

MR. MOM!!!

Well today I had to head to the city for an emergency doctors appointment and I left my husband in charge of the kids.  He did well I must say and I was thankful he was on holidays this week and was able to stay with them.  What a great time for him.... he takes holidays to have a break from work and I make him work at home for me, lol (he gets to do it again on Wednesday too, while I go back for the test results).  He was lucky today, as I only had one extra kidlet, but on Wednesday I might have to make sure he has some back-up (like my mother-in-law!) as for I have 3 extra kids then.  Once I got home from the great drive from the city (I was being sarcastic!  I hate the winter driving) I was surprise to hear that the girls and our little one where good and there really wasn't any fighting or problems with any of them. Although he wasn't to happy about changing the "poopie" diapers!  I made it a littler easier on him before I left for the city by making sandwiches up for their lunch and set out the desserts for him.  All in all I am glad to have a great husband that is willing to take on a handful of kids for me, I was in severe pain and it just helped out that I didn't have to go looking for someone to take care of the kidlets for me.  Just wanted to put a great big THANK YOU, out there to a wonderful hubby! Men really can do a great job as Mr. Mom.  Now if I could only get him to do the laundry, clean the bathrooms, dust, vacuum.... oh wait he helps me out with those too. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dora Day!

So after finding out this morning I was only going to have one extra kidlet with me for the day, I was trying to figure out what the "girls"  could do.  My daughter is just about 4 and the other little girl I have in 2 1/2, they both LOVE Dora the Explorer so I was looking around on the web for something for us to make and I came across the Treehouse website.  Let's just say this is now on my favourites list, it has  everything and anything on it for all the kids favourite shows. After looking through the site for a while the girls came over to see what I was doing, they saw Dora on the one page I was on so I clicked on it for the girls.  We ended up watching 3 shows and they were in heaven.  I then found a Dora puppet craft there so I read through it, to make sure the girls would be about to make and found out it was as easy as cake.  Off I go printing Dora's body parts off and of course you can forget Backpack too.  I cut the pieces out while my girls were have their snack time and we made our puppets after that.  The two girls were signing a song from one of the shows we watched earlier and were having the best time ever.  Once it was time for me to clean up, off they went with their puppets and they played "Dora" together for over an hour, its the cutest thing to watch young children make believe and act out things.  To top our morning off I decided to cook them up some Dora and friends pasta and sauce.  As they were eating my little one says to me, I can't believe we have so much Dora fun.  It put a real smile on my face to know that they had a great day with all we did.  As they napped after lunch I decided to make one last Dora thing for them.  I found a frame on the website we were using and printed it off, I took pictures earlier after the girls finished their craft so I printed them off too and made a little scrapbook page for each of them.  Once they woke up and seen their own little keepsakes to have they where so excited.  What a great girls day we had.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why they cry.... it breaks my heart....

So this morning I got a call from a friendly mom from around town that had asked before if I would be interested in take her child from a while during the days she works.  Of course I was happy to say yes, and the call came this morning asking if she could have a "trail" with her little one coming here for a few hours to see how he would react.  After all was said and done, the little man was great, no whine, cry or tear from him.  After talking with his mom for a while about how children can sometimes get very upset with going to daycare, I thought it would be a great topic to blog about a bit.  I know personally that taking your child to daycare for the first time, tenth time, or one hundredth time, can be as hard as ever.  And if they cry, it just makes it even worse on you.  I remember dropping my two oldest children off at daycare and my little girl crying when I left, as I walked to the car I would cry along with her, it just breaks your heart.  I knew she was in good hands because the lady look after my children was a good long time friend of ours, the children knew her well but that didn't matter when it came to leaving and my daughter crying.  Now that I am on the other side of the fence somewhat, I find it just as hard.  I am there with them as they are crying for mommy or daddy, but at the same time, I know how mommy or daddy are feeling too.  When taking on a new child for care its just as hard for me as it is for the parents and the child themselves.  I worry about the fact is this child going to lose it when the parent leaves, I am going to be able to calm them down if so.  What if they don't like it in my care, will I be looked down on as a bad care giver?  There are many different things I worry about the first few days, even up to a week with a new child.  You have to teach them the rules, guide lines, and do's and don'ts of my own house and business, but at the same time you don't want to totally change a young ones life so fast that they aren't sure what is up from down.  So you have to take the time to incorporate both lifestyles for the child for some time, until they are comfortable with you and their new surroundings.

I remember reading over some information on separation anxiety while doing some of my studying for an online child care course.  I went looking through my books to refresh my memory and I thought I would share some in site on why children do this as their parents leave after dropping them off at daycare.

      It is totally normal for a infant or young children to cry when separated from their parents, they simply are unable to understand that their parents will return for them later on.  The reason they don't want you to leave is that you are the one they trust, the person whom knows them and understands their unique style of emotions and communication.  They don't know and understand at first that some one else will also be able to keep them safe and respond to their needs. This is why adjusting to child care can take some time.  Children need to learn through experience that you will come back for them and that the people/person taking care of them are safe, responsive to their needs and nurturing.
     Other reasons a child might cry when being dropped off at daycare my be that the childcare situation is not a good match for them.  This may simply be that the program is to busy and stimulating for your child if he or she is a quieter temperament person or even that the style of the caregiver is not comfortable for your child.  There are times even good programs or day cares aren't a good fit for every child.  This could be reversed too and that maybe the program isn't stimulating enough for you child either, and its not meeting their needs.  The needs and comforting of a child might not be met if there are too many children, not enough teachers/care givers for the amount of children, too small of a space, to large of a space, inappropriate or inadequate materials for your own child's needs.
      The schedule of the day may not be tailored to your child's needs if younger or older then the planned activities are set for.  a program that is so structured that the individual needs of children for food, sleep, play, care giving, and interaction aren't being met is not a healthy place for children to spend their time, and often this frustrates your child and they learn for that feel and get upset when having to be left for any length of time.

Some tips on helping you child adjust to a daycare:
  • carefully check-out and child-care situation before you enroll you child.   You are the one whom knows your child the best, so if you know the daycare program you might be able to view whether it may be to stimulating or not stimulating enough for your child.
  • help your child make the adjustment gradually.  You may want to go with your child once or twice and stay there for a bit with them.  Once they get to know the place, try taking them for short periods of time (1 to 3 hours) by themselves to see how the react while you are gone.  Once your child has been in the care of another person for a few times, it will make dropping the off a little easier sometimes when you are gone for a full day.
  • work towards consistency in a schedule.  This isn't just in the daycare but the routine before going to daycare can help set your child for the day.  Try to keep the routine as predictable as possible, infants and young children can't actually tell time, but if they stay with a routine the learn to know when they are dropped off at day-care that mom or dad will be back to pick them up later.
  • build a strong relationship with the child's caregiver.  Often the caregiver happens to be with your child more hours of a waking day then you might be.  Take the time to talk to your child's caregiver, ask questions on how your child is doing and any problems or success the child has had.
You must remember that your child is not the same as the child sitting 10 feet away.  Every person, infant and child has their own needs, personalities, and comforts.  Even if you take your child to the best, most known daycare around; it doesn't mean its going to be the best for your child.  If crying continues for a long time you might want to try another daycare and see if it might be more comforting and needing for your child.  It doesn't mean that the person looking after you own child wasn't a good caregiver, it just means that both child and care giver's personalities, interests, or the program aren't a match.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cautions on Buying Cheap

With Christmas just around the corner many people are starting to think about gifts for others.  Well, there are some items that you should be aware of when buying from "dollar stores".  I know many, myself included that like to shop at "dollar stores"  because you can get more for your buck.  Although when it comes to your child(ren) you should be aware of some things when you purchase items at a cheap price.  I never really thought about some of these things before, I have even bought my children some things from these stores, that I now wish I shouldn't have and will surely be aware of how my children will be playing or using some of these purchases.  Please don't be discouraged to buy items from "dollar stores"  as I still will  be a huge fan of them, just remember some of the following information when making your purchases.

All items
Warning Signs: 1~ no manufacturer information
                       2~ packaging doesn't come in both English and french (which is mandatory in Canada)
                       3~ spelling mistakes on the packages or instructions
Potential Hazards: No recourse if something goes wrong with the product

Electrical (power cords, extension cords, switches, light bulbs, etc.)
Warning Signs: no certification mark- or a false/fake mark
Potential Hazards: product could cause shock
                           fire hazard

Health products, medications, vitamins
Warning Signs: the item does not contain an 8 digit DIN (drug identification number)
Potential Hazards: 1~ products with the wrong ingredients or dangerous additives
                           2 ~ products past their expiry dates
                           3 ~ products may contain no active ingredients; active ingredients may not be listed or are listed incorrectly

Kids Toys and Jewellery
Warning Signs:  items made with a high percentage of lead are typically heavy for their size.  Unless coated, they may leave a gray mark when rubbed on a piece of white paper.
Potential Hazards: 1~ lead is toxic if ingested by children
                           2 ~ cadmium, often used instead of lead is carcinogenic if sucked on or swallowed
Any toys with electrical components could potentially start a fire and those are the ones that need to be used safely. It might seem like the burn hazard would be associated with the fire hazard, well it is. Obviously you could get burns if a toy started on fire, but you could also get burn from touching a surface on the toy that has gotten really hot, usually from a battery or needing to be plugged in.

Now please remember that these hazards are not always going to happen with an item you have purchased but if you do decide to buy something for your child(ren) from a "dollar store" just be cautious.

*Some information was taken from an article out of Reader's Digest

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Paper Mache

Ok so Monday I thought we would do something really fun.  I looked up how to make paper mache, I knew you could use glue and water for the mixture, but I was hoping for something a little more kid friendly if possible.  I found a very easy recipe, of 2 parts flour to 1 part water.  I thought great here we go its easy today.  Well, we I joking myself, you don't do paper mache with toddlers!  I am still cleaning up spots today and that was 3 days ago.  I was thinking, we would make a cute project for Remembrance Day, where we make paper mache army hats.  I was so wrong, my older to kids (one is just about 4 and the other just about 3)  had a blast doing it, but they used so much glue mixture, it would have taken a month for the hats to dry not 2 days like I had planned.  My oldest boy, yes boy!  Wouldn't have anything to do with the glue, I tried to get him to help me make one, seems how he is only 2, I knew he wouldn't be able to do it himself.  The moment he put his hand in the glue he cried cause he was dirty,  we worked for a few more minutes and it wasn't happening for him.  So I cleaned him up and off he went to play.  My babies also had a blast getting dirty of course we had it in both their hair, the chairs, floor and yes even my hair had some in it.  So in the end most of the kids loved the mess, had a bath afterwards and my house was a disaster!  I didn't even attempt to clean off the table cloth, all I did was roll it up and toss it out.  Good thing it was just a plastic one I was thinking a little!  So if you ever get the great idea to do paper mache, how about you wait till the summer, do it outside, and maybe try it with older kids not babies and toddlers.   It was a project we tried, it failed and now its on my not to do list. 

A quick messag.e to start it off

Well, I have decided to blog about my life as a child care provider.  The activities, joys, troubles, adventures, and happy times we have through out the week.  Along with my own blog about what we have been doing, I am also thinking of blogging about common topics that come up as one looks after a child (ren).  Tips, hints, and do's and don'ts for child behavior, growth milestones, and activities that can or will be done.  I am no doctor, teacher, nor have I taken any special schooling for most of what I will blog about.  I am just a mother of three and like to do my research on life and fun activities.  I will not be held responsible for anything that you try and might not work out right.  I love children and they sure can be trying at times, but that's the joy of life.  I wouldn't change my life for anything, when I was younger, I didn't want children and now I have three bundles of joy and its amazing!  So I hope you enjoy reading along with some of the adventures we take here in the life of Ducky's.