Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The new business...

Kara, you're good!  (She left me a comment on the post before this one.) 

My new business is a daycare.  Well, that's what I'm calling it, but technically I'm not "a daycare."  I'm not certified or licensed, but I don't know what else to call what I do.  I don't have to be licensed or certified unless I am watching more than three children who aren't my own.  Believe me, I had to do a lot of checking and making sure I was following "orders" because I'm claiming this as income so I need to follow the rules. 

Yesterday was my official first day.  I had a "trial" run last week.  Actually, their daycare provider at the time needed the day off because they were putting their dog down and I was able to watch them.  I'm really glad that I did.  It gave me an idea of what to expect before actually having to jump into it and do it every day.

I guess since I keep referring to "them" I should explain who "they" are.  I have two small boys, Landon and Gavin, Monday through Friday from 7:45 am to 4:45 pm.  Landon is almost 2 1/2 and his little brother, Gavin, is 10 months.  They are super cute and it's like having two sets of twins in my home.  With Garrison and Josiah I have a 3 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, a 17 month old and a 10 month old.  So far, it's hasn't been as crazy as it sounds.

Once school gets out I will then start watching their big sister, Annabelle, who I watched when she was 3 months old until she was 1 1/2.  (I stopped watching her once I had Garrison.)  When she returns to school in the fall I'll start watching another little boy, from a different family, named Robert.  He'll be almost 3 (I believe) by the time he starts coming.  Then I'll have an almost 4 year old, two 3 year olds, a 2 year old and an 18 month old.

For the past month Thomas and I have been preparing our house for this new adventure.  We took away all our end tables, side tables, plants and lamps and put them in our basement.  Then we went and bought another pack-n-play, a baby gate and a few locks to lock a closet door and our basement door.  We set out tons of toys and put tons of toys away to be rotated later.  We decided that if this was going to be my "job" then we needed to prepare everyone and everything to be able to handle this new change.

I made a menu calendar and an activities calendar.  I've always wanted to be a teacher so putting these together was a lot of fun for me.  I have two weeks where we are reading a different Dr. Seuss book (it's his birthday tomorrow) and doing an activity that goes along with the book.  Today we read "Cat in the hat" and made "Cat in the hat" hats.  (pictures to follow... our camera died)  Tomorrow we'll be reading "Green Eggs and Ham" and making green eggs and ham with pretzels, white chocolate and m&ms.  It's way too much fun!

Everyone is adjusting better than I thought they would.  I was nervous as to how the boys and I would do.  I was afraid that I would be tired and exhausted all day long.  Luckily, I looked up easy, sweet coffee recipes to help me get through the day.  I'm not one to make a cup of coffee and drink it, but I really like the caramel high rises at Caribou so I looked up different caramel coffee recipes on the internet.  I found one that I love and have a cup everyday after lunch. 

I realized last week, when Landon and Gavin were over, that I needed to prepare Garrison and Josiah a little bit better for two new little boys coming in to play with their toys and "invade their space".  Last week when they came for the day Garrison was not about to share his toys with anyone, except Josiah.  Garrison and Josiah did not have a very good day.  After Landon and Gavin left I was about done with Garrison.  I'd never seen him act so much like a brat before.  At one point during the evening I went to put Garrison in a timeout when I realized he was probably more scared and confused as to what was happening then he was trying to act out.  I sat down with him and told him that I understood that he was mad and I'd be mad too if someone came to my house and played with all my toys.  I promised him that I would do my best to help him learn to share and to give him time where he could play with his toys, alone, and nobody would bother him.  I was surprised at how quickly his mood changed that night and how well he is doing with this change.  He is very helpful and wants to make sure everyone is ok.  When Gavin cries he tells him it's ok right away and rubs his head.  With Landon, he knows that he really likes Buzz and Woody so he lets him play with those.  Although, every now and then I'll catch Garrison trying to hide one of the dolls.

Josiah is a social butterfly and really likes his new friends.  He gets super excited to see them when they show up in the morning.  It's nice to see him getting the socialization he really needs. 

Even Landon and Gavin are doing great.  It seems like I've been watching them for years and they just know what is to be expected.  Landon is awesome at sharing and Gavin just cruises all over and follows all the bigger boys. 

I am giving myself three months to figure out how life with work with everyone.  I thought it takes a family about three months to figure out how life will be when a new baby comes along so three months is how long I'm giving myself and the boys (all 4 of them) to get used to this idea without me getting down on myself for not doing a good enough job. 

I was proud of myself today, however, when I was able to get everyone to sleep at the same time without waking each other.  I figured out I might need to put them down in shifts.  Josiah goes first, then Garrison, followed by Landon and last Gavin.  Luckily, Landon and Gavin are used to going down around 12:30 or later and my boys are used to going down between 11:30 and noon.  We'll see if my theory works tomorrow. 

This is definitely a crazy adventure, but one I'm looking forward to.  I know that this will be a challenge filled with many wonderful moments and I'm very excited to see where this will take me.  I also have an extremely supportive husband who wrote me a very sweet letter encouraging me on my first day.  That helps too!


Lindsey said...

Good for you Sarah! If I needed child care, I know I would trust you implicitly to do the job! Naps at the same time are my sanity, and I can read or even just sit down! I hope it all goes great for you!!!

Ryla said...

It will be an adventure for sure!! I did daycare for awhile while we lived in Lincoln, and it was busy, crazy but also very rewarding! I hope that it all goes well for you!!

Sarah said...

Thanks, Lindsey! That means a lot to me.

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