Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You gotta love nap time!

Proud of the teamwork it took to build their beautiful castle...

knocking down the castle...

For a couple years I'v been talking about starting a home daycare, even before lil J was born. While we were in Missouri on the Air Force base, I contemplated it, got all the information and tried to imagine what could possibly go wrong in such an endeavor. It seemed like I never quite got around to getting my house "up to code" with all the requirements for a daycare on base. Plus they are allowed to come in your home, check your fridge and even go into your closets and personal space (while your husband was sleeping from being on night shift no less!) to make sure your house is "safe". When I heard that little tidbit of information, I decided, until we could move off base, I was not going to start one there. Soon after that decision I became pregnant with lil J and we found out that my husband was going to get out of the military all together, pretty much after our son was born, and so we moved to Ohio, close to Josh's parents.
My Mother - in - law is a very special person. She can multitask a circle around anyone I know and do it with style. Almost 30 years ago, I think just after my hubby was born, she started a home daycare and has been going strong all these years. These last few years have been kind of rough though and shes been winding down and dreaming of retiring to do what she loves the most... decorating cakes! So when Josh and I decided to move to Ohio and I saw how fun having a daycare was, I decided to take over for her. Yesterday was my first day and it went extremely well!! She only had three little 4 year olds and they all wanted to come to my house and play with lil J. He LOVES having bigger kids to play with.
Yesterday lil Em was first to arrive. She is a little diva with long blond hair and loves to sing in front of the tv. Her first order of business was to get the foam blocks out and start building a castle. Next came Ev, he has a big personality and loves to jump like a frog and make the other kids laugh. Lately he's been having issues and crying all day, but Praise the Lord the last couple of days he has done tremendously well! The third little boy, Pres was late in coming since his mom called off work because of some seriously messed up sinuses. He is usually here til 8:30 two nights a week and 5:30 or 6:30 all the other days. His mom works pretty far out of town and has to commute. She is a sweet lady and loves her lil guy a lot. I am so pleased to see her making a huge effort to start picking him up earlier and spend more time with him :) All in all it was an awesome day and the kids did really well.
Today was more of a challenge, since I had Ev's older sister Halee for half a day as well. What a great help she was organizing games and keeping lil J content and happy. When we did the craft she helped some of the other kids cut out pictures with the scissors. She did get a little bored toward the end, but there was no whining or anything from her side of the room :) Halee does tend to get her brother and the others wound up a bit, but she also calmed them down too... big plus!
I am so pleased with how smoothly everything is running right now. Yes, I know, its only been two days, but it will get soooooooo much better once the sun comes out and they can play and do crafts outside! Can't wait for summer to actually come :-) Bring on the flip flops!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

After Church this morning, my husband and I were discussing the Church nursery. It seems like EVERY church nursery is different and uses totally different methods in doing things. We both agreed, there are the totally out of date ones, and the ones up to date. I will attempt to give you the whole conversation, as it was quite interesting :)
Firstly, we were discussing the up to date nurseries. These are the ones where the director knows the lastest data concerning germs (there is so much hand sanitizer, clorox wipes and Lysol Disinfectant you'd think it was a hospital). With all the different kinds of sickness going around today, such as RSV, the swine flu and millions of other childhood illnesses , it pays to try and keep a sanitary nursery. The door is locked and the babies are passed over, or little people let in. No one but the nursery workers are permitted inside the nursery (unless there is a nursing mother or two) to keep the chaos to a minimum and the children safe at all times. At the end of service the babies and children are passed back over with coats and shoes in place and their proper belongings, including cups, with the right child to the RIGHT parents. There is a "chore list" the workers must complete after each service... empty trash, sanitize baby changing table, door knobs, toys, vacuum ... etc. Under NO circumstances are strangers or siblings under the age of 13 to be let into the nursery to pick up children.(For this sort of thing, there is a list of people who can pick up a child.. if you aren't on the list, you aren't picking up a child :) The nursery is then locked until the next service. You make think this a silly thing, but they always open a fresh, clean nursery,,, tidy and inviting.
Now on to the not so up to date nurseries. I'v been in many, many nurseries traveling with my sister and brother in law as they made their summer rounds. I was in charge of their 2 boys at the time.... one was not yet 2, so more often than not, I was sitting in the nursery with him all by myself and observed first hand how the nurseries ran. Now in most of the instances, they were country churches which had nurseries, but these were only used if the little one got fussy in church. The mothers would then take them out... calm them down in the nursery, then take them back in the service. This being said, those nurseries were not used very much. The toys were yellowed with age and use, mostly broken or needing batteries. The decor was outdated and faded, the changing area smelling faintly of ammonia. If you found any snacks at all, it was probably a good idea not to feed them to anybody. Not having any kids of my own,,, I really didn't care how the nursery looked,,, just so long as I had a place for my nephew to play. Now, when I think of some of those nurseries, I cringe thinking how dirty some of those toys must have been and wondering when the last time they vacuumed was. Now I'm not saying these churches didnt care about the nursery,,, that just wasn't an important area to them. Either they were a dying church full of older folks, or like some of the country churches, baby friendly in the service.
In conclusion I think my favorite nursery was the one at our church in Missouri. It was wide open, clean, homey, inviting ,,, the children LOVED to be there and so did the workers. They cheerfully cleaned and sanitized after each service, so the burden never fell on just one person. The kids observed first hand how to tidy up and always wanted to help when clean up time came around. The toys were clean, up to date and in working order, as were the linens for the baby beds. It was a joy to work in a nursery in a growing church :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

My little man reading his book upside down,,, thats my boy!

Big cheesy smile :)

Such a cute face :-)