Category Archives: children

A Worm Farm!

Some of my favourite memories as a child involved playing in the mud. Squishing it between my toes, making mud pies, or digging in it. I absolutely loved it.

This weekend while I started some pretty massive yard work, part of which involved moving some bricks that had been separating my garden area from my yard. It was hot, and the work was harder than my lazy self thought it was going to be. I pulled up one brick and noticed the fat end of a worm working his way down to dirt.

That was the end of the yard work. I suddenly had a flash back to a daycare idea I had Рcreating a Worm Farm. A way for kids to study what it is that worms do and how they do it.  I spent the next few hours with Ibrahim digging in the dirt in search of worms.

Fast forward to this morning where I had everything I needed to set up this little experiment.

We started off by putting a layer of rocks in the bottom of a clear vase. The rocks are supposed to help with air circulation…or something like that. I don’t know…I just put them there.

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Next, I put alternate layers of dirt and sand – this is so that (eventually) the kids will be able to see how the worms mix the soil up.

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We topped it off with some finely chopped banana peel (worms need to eat you know!) and our worms.

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After we checked it out and made a few observations, we covered it in black construction paper. Why? Because worms generally don’t like the light and would burrow into the center of the vase and now let us see what they’re doing! By covering the vase, they will (hopefully) stay closer to the edges and we can study their movements over the next few days/weeks. ūüôā

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Friday Fun

Wow, I’d posted a pic on Instagram what seems like forever ago all excited because I’d made a plan (almost) for daily blogs. Yeah…the best laid plans, right?

So, I’m actually going to try. Previously, my posts have been very word heavy…so I’m going to try to just stick to my daily ¬†mini themes and hope that it can inspire the writer’s bug in me that needs to get out.

Here’s the plan:

Mondays – Moving (health/exercise related stuff)
Tuesdays – Tasty (food!)
Wednesdays – WIP (stands for Work In Progress for whatever the current craft is)
Thursday – Thoughts (whatever’s on my mind)
Fridays – FUN (daycare stuff? my own fun?? whatever’s fun at that time!)
Saturdays – Shopping! (this is a stretch for me, as it’s not an activity I much enjoy!)
Sunday – family

So – on to Friday’s fun. I’m actually SO excited for this! I found an awesome website of a fellow Canadian Home Daycare Provider. She has amazing stuff in her back yard for the kids to do…and I’ve been planning on making my yard equally as fun for the last few years. It’s just that…well, I had a baby 2 years ago, then last year, I had an infant to try to work around.

THIS YEAR IS THE YEAR! ¬†I have pallets that I’ve nabbed and am creating a water wall, a sand wall, a music (aka NOISY) wall and one that I’m going to fill with trinkets (latches, hooks, those door stops that make that awesome “twang” sound, etc). ¬†I’ve got all the stuff for these and we (my mom’s helping me out with this) have just been waiting for appropriate weather to finish it all up. We thought we’d be done 2 weeks ago – but we had wicked, wicked wind (90+ km/hour) which isn’t exactly conducive to spray painting!

There are just a few things that I need to finish up to get the yard I’m really looking for.

  1. an old wheel barrow. It doesn’t need to function – I really just want a space to make a mud play area (yes, mud!!) that the kids can gather around to play in.
  2. some sort of way to put up a privacy/shade screen on my chain link fence. I’m thinking of the ones I’ve seen on apartment balconies.
  3. a bucket – I’m on the lookout for a fun/funky/farm style type of bucket
  4. some sort of outdoor flooring that’s not going to cost me an arm and a leg – and that won’t get HOT in the sun.

I’m so excited to get this done, I could pee! I can’t wait – once it’s done, I’ll post up pics, so keep an eye on my instagram or facebook ūüôā

 

Where Adam hates his thumb

So the other day – we went out to Famoso’s for a quick and quiet Eid Pizza Dinner as a family. ¬†Everything was going fine…Adam was practicing his printing, the other two were happily watching the dough get tossed and Mr. D and I were debating over which pizzas to get.

Our pizza arrived and we happily tucked in. ¬†Half way through – Chili Bean says “I think Adam’s thumb is infected.”

So – I take a look at it. ¬†“think” would have been the wrong word. ¬†His cuticle was swollen and hot – and the puss oozing out the side was more than enough to tell me that it was indeed a cesspool of infection. ¬†*gag*

I took him quickly to the bathroom and tried to wash off as much of the puss and pizza debris as I could. ¬†Meanwhile, I was worried that things were really bad (there was a black line going from the major infected area down into the knuckle of his thumb – I instantly panicked thinking he was going to get blood poisoning). ¬†I was mad at him for not listening to my million rebukes about his recent nail biting habit. ¬†I was upset that I couldn’t have discovered the infection even 1/2 hour earlier when my doctor was still in his office. ¬†So – with all of this going through my mind, I did the horrible mom thing…I scared him.

“I hope your thumb doesn’t fall off before we get to the doctor tomorrow!” I said.

Yeah – not the best mom moment.

Adam then started rebuking himself. ¬†“Why did I bite my fingers! ¬†I won’t never bite my nails again! ¬†I don’t want my fingers to fall off!”

So I finished cleaning him off – consoled him…calmed him down and we headed back to the table. ¬†He took another look at his thumb (more puss coming out) and started crying again. ¬†He holds his little thumb up over his head and sobs, “I HATE THIS THUMB!”

Thankfully – the infection has cleared up thanks to a thorough cleaning by the doctor and repeatedly applied Polysporin….and Adam hasn’t bitten his fingernails since.

SBC Day 7

Not much to write about today. I have a post in the making, but it’s still brewing.

In the meantime, imagine a day in my life. After an (unusally) eventful day our plan to spend some quiet time at the library seemed like the perfect way to cap off the evening.¬†¬† I wasn’t expecting to go there with Spiderman.

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Yeah…just a typical library visit when Adam comes along.

Grandma

I’ve mentioned before how awesome my mom is. ¬†She does all the things for my kids that she never did for me (and I won’t do for them) – like give them chocolate milk and go to the store to buy more junk than they know what to do with. ¬†She takes them camping, makes bird houses with them, and bakes. ¬†She takes them berry picking, rock skipping, and grass hopper catching. ¬†She’s pretty cool.

And it’s nice for me too – she’ll take ALL of my kids…at the same time. ¬†I know that this can be a daunting task for many, but she takes it on with no issues (and maybe just a few twitches after we come to take them home again). ¬†This means that Mr D and I get a nice, quiet weekend alone every now and then.

Bliss, I tell you.

So – this weekend, my mom had the kids. ¬†They went to a birthday party…they tossed rocks into a pond (Adam tossed one into his sister’s head…she’s still swollen, but seems okay)…then she took them shopping.

The older two kids are no longer into toys – so each picked a t-shirt…but Adam…I can imagine him tormented over his decision of what toy to get. ¬†A gun (not allowed at home)…an action figure, a ball, a sand toy?

That’s when he saw it – a Batman suit. ¬†Adam is BIG into superheros right now. ¬†He’s got Hulk’s massive hands for “Hulk Smash!” – he’s got masks of Iron Man, Spider Man, a Storm Trooper (yeah…this one’s a villain, but whatever!)…I’m missing one…He’s got swords, light sabers, and nun-chucks. ¬†But Batman…Batman he did not have.

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So Grandma fixed that.

 

Laundry

In any typical day around here, laundry is a part of the routine. ¬†It’s endless. ¬†I remember the days (before kids) when I could do laundry just once a week. ¬†*sheds a tear for carefree days long gone*

So today, I am – you guessed it – doing laundry. ¬†I often have the daycare kids “help” – it’s never really much help and I often have to redo all of their loving assistance, but whatever. ¬†They match up socks, fold towels, and so on.

Today their job was to make a pile of socks while I pulled the other stuff out of the basket to fold. ¬†As I worked at folding and sorting, they announce, “here’s a sock!” ¬†“This one is blue!” ¬†“I found a purple one!!”

Then I hear “Oh, Heder, look! ¬†I found my shirt!” (this is odd, as I don’t get paid enough to do my daycare kids’ laundry)

I look up, and there’s my lovely daycare child holding a pair of my panties.

Really? ¬†My undies can be mistaken for a 3 year old’s t-shirt??

Gee, thanks…now I’m off to the lingerie shops for something less….granny.

Daily Childcare Report (Product Review)

I have to share this awesome site with you…I don’t care if you run a childcare center, a family childcare home, or bring your child to one – I’m telling you – you need to use this (or tell your caregiver about it so that you can!). I am not being compensated for this review – I just love this product so much, I feel that every childcare provider should have it!

Let me just set the stage for you – from a provider’s perspective:

I have 6 kids here from 6 different families.  These kids all range in age from 0-12 years.  All day long we do a variety of activities and crafts and eat our meals.  I plan on taking them on a Field Trip to (random place) and now I have to nag each family to sign a permission slip.

Meanwhile, as my day goes on – I have to prepare the meals and snacks, ensure that everything is clean and sanitary, remember to tell Little Johny’s mom that he is developing a bit of a diaper rash, tell Sally’s grandma that she’s has been tugging at her hear all day (possible ear infection?) and not to forget to ask Mary’s dad about her pickup schedule for the following week.

While I’m doing all of that, I also have to write out – by hand¬†– every where we went, everything we did, and everything we ate. ¬†You can bet that by the time the 3rd of 4th report – my writing is illegible.

Then there’s the chaos of pickup time. ¬†Mom is thinking that she forgot to pull out the meat for dinner, so now she’s going to have to figure something else out for dinner. ¬†Dad is worried about leaving here with his kid so that he can get to the school to pick up the other one on time. ¬†A thousand other worries are running through parents’ heads as I try to give them the low down on what went on that day, bundle a kid into his coat/shoes, jam a piece of paper into the parents hand (hoping that I’m giving the right paper to the right parent) and trying to get them to initial the sign-out sheet while I’ve got 5 other kids pandering for attention in the background.

This is not an unusual day for a childcare provider.  Notes sent home often end up crumpled in the back seat of the car.  Rushed conversations between myself and the parent are quickly forgotten.  Chaos ensues.

Enter the DailyChildcareReport.

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Now my day looks pretty much the same Рbut instead of having to fill out 6 different reports, I am putting notes into my DailyChildcareReport.  Checking off if a child needs a change of clothes, more diapers, or if a parent needs to sign something.  The foods served, and how much the child ate are completed with a click.  Same thing for naps, mood, and diaper changes (right down to the consistency of the stool!).  It takes me less than 5 minutes to fill out a complete report.

There’s a section where I can type a quick note to the parents about their child – knowing that it will be legible, and is going to the right guardian is great! ¬†Parents can even have it set up to go to aunts, uncles, grandparents…whoever they like.

And how does the parent get their child’s info? ¬†Through an email or text that’s sent automatically at the end of the day! ¬†Simple, quick, easy.

My brain is no longer fried. ¬†I’m no longer telling kids “just a minute hun, I have to write this down for mommy to read….sorry baby, just another few minutes, now I have to write a note for Emily’s mom…” ¬†Now, I get to say “You built a tower? Awesome, let me come take a picture!”

Oh – and speaking of pictures – you can attach pictures, video and PDF documents for parents to see.

I love DailyChildcareReport, and I love that I can contact Christian, the creator, if I have a question, comment, idea for improvement…whatever I need – and he’ll reply within 24 hours. ¬†So, what does it cost? ¬†Free for parents it’s free and for providers, it’s a¬†whopping $3.12 per child (and it’s a tax write off!)

I would never go back to any other way of communication with parents.  This works, works well, and I find that my parents are more involved now that I use this than they ever were before.

Click on the site Рand scroll down to the bottom where they have a YouTube video explaining the process.

Best of all – you can try it for FREE for the first 30 days. ¬†What’s better than free??

There are Vampires in the Closet

I’m sure you all remember being a child and being terrified of the Monster Under the Bed…I had one of those too. ¬†I remember running in the hallway, leaping towards my bed when I reached my doorway, and tucking my legs up as high as possible to prevent his hairy hand from grabbing me. ¬†You see, he’d eat me…drag me under the bed and leave nothing but bones.

Like most of you, I wouldn’t sleep with any part of my body hanging over the edge. ¬†Are you kidding me?? ¬†Once the lights were out, that dude was able to come out from under the bed! ¬†(don’t ask me why the top of my bed had magical properties to keep me safe – it just did, okay?)

To this day, I won’t let my foot hang over the edge. ¬†I know I’m not the only one…I may be the only one to¬†admit¬†it, but I’m not the only one who still has that little voice in the back of their head saying “be careful, he’ll get you!”

However, my fear wasn’t just limited to that Monster Under the Bed…I also had Vampires in the Closet. ¬†No way in H-E double hockey sticks was I going to sleep with my closet door open! ¬†Mr. D laughed at me when we first got married because our closet door was one of those sliding ones, and it wouldn’t close to the wall, always leaving a gap of an inch or so…and I would try and try to close it. ¬†“What’s the big deal?” he’d say. I would turn to him and say “Vampires – are you crazy!! ¬†There are VAMPIRES in there!” (true story! — and it’s not just circumstance that the remodel of my bedroom included removing the whole closet!)

Anyhow – back when I was young…let’s say 5 or 6 years old…I’m not sure, maybe my mom will comment on this post and clarify…back then, my dad used to travel a lot for work. ¬†When Dad was gone, it was an unspoken rule that I got to sleep in bed with Mom.

So – one night, after many a glass of water, after many stories read, after God-only-knows how many excuses, my mom had had enough. ¬†I remember her saying “Heather, you go to sleep¬†right now!” ¬†(really, was it too much for her to drop everything and come lay in bed with me until I fell asleep?? ¬†lol)

I lay there in the dark, knowing that there was no Monster Under this Bed…and slowly started to drift off to sleep…then I heard a noise in the closet.

*scritch, scritch, scritch* at the closet door.

I called for my mom, but she was having none of it.

*scritch, scritch, scritch* it came again…and then the door shuddered.

I lost it. ¬†Completely and totally lost it. ¬†I screamed and called for mom. ¬†She came in (angry) and said “What now?!”

“There’s a vampire in the closet!” I replied tearfully.

“Oh, Heather,” she angrily replied, “there’s nothing in here at all!”

I begged to differ! ¬†“Really, Mom, there is! ¬†There’s a vampire in there! ¬†I heard it!”

So…Mom opened the door – “See!” she said, “there’s nothing in here at all!”

Just then, out walked our cat…she’d been trapped in the closet and had been scratching and pushing at the door to try to get out.

I screamed. ¬†My mom nearly jumped out of her skin…and the cat…well, she just looked at us as if to say,¬†“it’s about time!” and sauntered out of the room.

 

“Can I use this?”

When your kid says these words, pay close attention. ¬†It’s a blaring warning sign, and I’m bad at paying attention to it.

Years ago – Mini Man asked it…he had a marker in his hand. ¬†Oh, he wants to draw a picture,¬†I thought and said, “sure.” ¬†Later, I found a lovely portrait drawn on my wall at the top of my stairs.

Chili Bean had asked me it when she was about 5…she had a bottle of lotion. ¬†Awesome,¬†I thought,¬†she wants to soften her skin. ¬†Instead I found her lovely, cotton doll smothered in buckets of Jergens.

Today, busy with my daycare children as we cleaned up from a painting activity, Adam came to me and said, “Can I use this?” as he held up an orange that I’d sliced up and placed in a ziplock baggie – I’d intended to put it into my water that I hate drinking.

Did you pay attention there? ¬†He didn’t ask to eat it…He didn’t say “can I have this?” ¬†No…what he said was “Can I¬†use¬†this?”

USE

Who “uses” an orange??

Well, Adam does, that’s who. ¬†He went up to the kitchen, pulled out a butter knife, a sippy cup, and his ingenuity…and began to juice his orange.

Yup, that’s right…he was juicing his orange.

He came down later and he’s got this sippy cup with orange juice…and he holds it up and says, “See? I did it!”

And because I’m an amazing mother, I said, “Wow, you got your own juice! ¬†Way to go, Bud!”

Did you see that again? ¬†I assumed he’d poured his own cup of orange juice…and he happily let me live in this little fantasy world.

It wasn’t until the kids all left for home and I came up to start my supper – I walk into my kitchen and see a scene of an orange¬†massacre. ¬†There’s pulp on my wall, on the table, on the chair. ¬†There’s juice everywhere. ¬†The dish towel is STUCK to the table where he tried to wipe it up.

Then, when I call him and ask, “what did you do??”

He looks innocently at me, bats those long eyelashes of his and says, “but you said I could use it!”