Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day in My Shoes

Often, I feel, we as humans judge one another based on what we think the other does at work. I have a home daycare and I'm used to the judgmental comments, but I don't like them.

Do you know what my day is like?
Do you know what I do?

I don't sit back and eat bonbons and watch soap operas

I don't stick the kids in front of the television all day while I'm on my computer

I don't do the things that a lot of people think I do

Yes, there are some days (ie, rainy or snowy) where we watch a movie and maybe a few cartoons, have an indoor picnic and just act lazy. Is that so wrong? Don't judge me by that.

This is what I do. Or rather, my husband and I do, as he is currently my partner in this daycare.

Our day starts at 6am as we walk the dogs early and eat breakfast before preparing for kids' arrival (as early as 7:10am).

Husband vacuums while I stack up diapers and other needs for the day

Kids arrive, coffee time (for me) and free play and a show/movie (for them)

The rest of the day consists of:
Diaper changes
Clothing changes (spit up, poop blowouts)
Temper tantrums
Games
Toys
Naps
Lunches
Snacks
Potty breaks
Potty training
Outdoor play (whether permitting)
Story time
Circle time
Hugs, kisses to boo-boos and assurances
Breaking up arguments
Teaching letters, numbers, colors and shapes
Teaching to share and take turns
Dancing
Exercises
Playdough
Coloring
Crafts (though not too often, I am terrible at crafts!)

To name a few!!

Our day doesn't end when the last child leaves. Our day ends when - after the last child leaves - toys are picked up, furniture and toys are wiped down (clean), and my numbers are logged for the day (how many kids, how many meals, etc...for tax purposes).

So before you go judging a home daycare owner/worker, step in their shoes. It's not all fun and games. I love my kids. I don't take on a lot because I want each of them to get the attention that they deserve.

I am not the child's parent and don't expect to be asked to do parental duties but I do treat the kids as if they were my own. Their parents drop them off at our house while they are working or in school and expect my husband and I to show them the love and attention that they would get if they could be home with the kids themselves.

It's not easy watching other people's kids all day, 9-10 hours a day, especially when each parent has their own parenting style. But we do our best.

Walk in our shoes for one day. Walk in the shoes of a school teacher for one day. Or a secretary. Or a Ward Clerk or Paralegal OR stay-at-home mom! Don't judge based on stereotype or what you think other people are doing.

image from www.liveluvcreaate.com


Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Hospital

 
My husband recently had hernia surgery. I was well prepared with my magazine, book, snacks, etc, to sit at the hospital for a few hours (it was in-and-out day surgery) but a bomb was dropped on Thursday. The surgeon changed his surgery time from the afternoon to the morning....8am to be precise. Which meant we had to be there at 6am which meant we had to leave by 5:15 (Dunkin Donuts coffee before we headed up), which meant I was awake by 4am and therefore by 3pm I felt like death.

The hospital experience was nice; I have nothing but good things to say about St. Elizabeth's Hospital - the staff and cleanliness and atmosphere. I had a nice breakfast in the cafeteria when they first took my husband in for surgery, then I sat in the Waiting Area.

Things are a lot more funny when you're super tired.

People who walked by the Waiting Area reached into a box, which sat nearby, grabbed something that was inside and walked away. Curiouser and curiouser. I wondered but never got up to look.

A woman on the loud speaker announced “Rapid Response to CT Scan” over and over....and over. Hmm, not quite so “rapid” are they?

I was staring at a painting of a good looking man that hung on the wall. I later realized that man was supposed to be Jesus.

Saw a post on Facebook that one of my friends put on my FB Wall and it was so funny I laughed out loud....a lot. And I couldn't stop. Needless to say, people glanced my way as if I were a lunatic.

While on the phone with my mother-in-law, I was pacing the hallway and kept eyeballing an empty wheelchair which sat nearby. I wondered if anyone would mind if I just sat down to rest.

When someone is in pain from surgery and tells you not to make them laugh, it's super difficult. Especially when one is running on little sleep.

A nurse told us that patients who try to hold their own gowns closed in the back actually end up opening them.  My husband proved that statement to be true.  We left that job to the nurse.

The overall experience was fine but if I ever had to do it again, we are NOT arriving that early.

By the way..........the items in the box in the Waiting Area were Nutra Grain bars, for free.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sassy

I will admit, I was a tad bit...um, difficult as a child. ME?? Yes. This “angel” was a little “devil” growing up, ha ha. I gave my mom a “run for her money” so to speak. Bless her heart, she put up with a lot.

I had a lot of fun growing up and mom made sure we had laughs and good memories. But as some kids do, I went through a nasty stage of mouthing-off. I was pretty fresh. I didn't hate my mom, or any of my elders, I was just a fresh kid. I don't remember exactly what I said to sass off but I sure remember my mom punishing me for those times. AS WELL SHE SHOULD HAVE. Too many parents today let their kids mouth off and swear at them and act/talk disrespectfully and there are no consequences.

Well my mother tried everything to get me out of my sassy stage and one thing she tried was sitting me down and having me write a phrase on a lined sheet of paper, front and back. Usually it was “I will not sass” or “I will not be fresh”, I'm not sure what else. I recently came across a piece of paper that brought me back to those days. I laughed hysterically. This was front and back.

I don't think this punishment worked, but I did try it on my stepdaughter when she was younger. She was usually a good kid, actually 99% of the time good, but one time she got into a sassy stage so I told her I was going to have her write front and back. Her response? “That's ok, I like writing”. HA! So much for that.

So even though I feel bad about putting my mom through some crap, as a kid, (and sometimes as an adult, ha ha) I have to laugh when I think about those papers.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Memories of Seasons

Well, Spring has finally sprung in upstate NY, though today feels more like summer! The change in season brought memories of not only Spring but all of the other seasons. My memories stem from growing up at my grandparents' house where there were always people, food, coffee and plenty to do. So though I have millions of great memories from my past, these are the memories that come to mind at every season change.

Spring
“Spring has come, said the bumblebee,
How do you know, said the big old tree?
Because I saw a daffodil,
Dancing with a fairy on a windy hill”
My sister used to skip (or should I say flit) around the house singing this song when she was a little girl. Not sure where she learned it (school?) but it was cute the first time. After the 100th time singing, I was a little tired of hearing it. But! Every Spring, I think of that song.

I also think of the awesome flowers that my mom and grandma always planted. Gram had flower beds and a cute little garden on each side of the sidewalk in front of the porch. Through the years, they developed little plots of “garden” all around the outside of the house; near the bird feeder, in a wheelbarrow, in an old milk can, etc.

Summer
Swimming! We would always have company in the summer so most of my memories are by the pool. One particularly fun game my sister, cousins and our friends would love to play was called “lava” and we did that by piling onto a raft and seeing who could stay on and not fall in!!

Summer memories also consisted of cookouts (especially July 4th!!), bike riding, building forts and hikes down to the creek past the farm.

Fall
My favorite memory is raking leaves and jumping in them!!

Halloween was also fun growing up because my mom would take my sister and I trick-or-treating with our neighbor friends (3 siblings) and their father. We would have a blast walking around the neighborhoods and always came home with full bags of candy.

Winter
Sledding! Before I had a sledding accident when I was about 13 years old (and haven't sled since), I would sled with my family and our friends in the corn field next to my grandparents' house, and also in the back yard. The fun part was sledding down; the not-so-fun part was the long trek back up the hill!!

We also built snowmen and snow forts. I remember one winter we got so much snow, my neighbor (who was also my best friend) and I built snow people on top of the snow banks in front of my grandparents' house. My mom got a kick out of seeing that when she returned from work that day.


I am thankful, and feel blessed, to have had a childhood filled with so many great memories!


Friday, April 4, 2014

My Friday Favorites


I had a pretty hectic week, especially with not sleeping well (no thanks to my fat cat, Simba, who was recently put on a kitty diet) but I found several things to be thankful for and to be happy about.  Here are my favorites from this week!! 


THE CAROUSEL - RICHARD PAUL EVANS 
I finished another Richard Paul Evans book called The Carousel.  I love Evans's writing and have read all of his books to date.  I am anxiously awaiting the last book in The Walk series.

EVENINGS WITH MY HUSBAND  
Joe and I run a home daycare and it's exhausting.  We love the kids but by time they leave at 4:30pm and we walk the dogs and eat dinner, plus my piano lessons a few nights a week, we are spent.  But despite being tired, we manage to sit together a few nights a week, each with our own laptop while watching a movie.  Sometimes we have a glass of wine, sometimes tea or coffee.  Sometimes we don't even talk but we're together.  I love those evenings.

SINGING
I love to sing and haven't been singing a lot in the last few years.  My husband and I were on a worship team at our former church and once had a great team.  Now we attend a different church and my singing has been less frequent.  But recently, I have started singing again, leading worship with my pastor on Wednesday evenings at church before the evening service.  Singing is one of my passions and I'm glad to be doing it again on a regular basis!

SURPRISE FROM MOM
My mom dropped by my house this morning on her way to work to surprise me with a goodie bag full of sewing stuff; thread, pins, fabric, etc.  I was so tired this morning (Friday) and worn out from my hectic week and getting that surprise was awesome!  My mom always does special things for people and seems to know when they need a little pick-me-up.  I'm lucky to have her!



 SEWING
I plan on doing sewing this weekend so ("sew" HA) it's definitely in my five favorites for the week.  I bough a used sewing machine a few months ago but have just recently begun to use it.  My aunt gave me a pattern and material for pajamas so I plan on trying my hand at summer pj's for myself.  The pattern makes me nervous because I haven't used a pattern since high school but I look forward to trying!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!