Saturday, June 28, 2014

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

Whew!  What a fun week we had!  Dakota and I took a mother/son daytrip to Kings Dominion in Virginia on Monday.  We watched the BMX show, rode some rides, played some games and went to the water park.  Koda got a Bulls basketball and won a Mario stuffed doll.  We had another great mom/son experience and I loved the talking in the van on the ride down. He is his most wonderful self when it's just the two of us and I really enjoy him!

Tuesday we both needed a do nothing day.  I had the daycare kids, but we planned little and spend the day relaxing.  I let Dakota hang out in his room watching TV and playing video games all day and then we hung out together Tuesday night having dinner and watching baseball.

Wednesday we did normal daycamp things like playing board games, drawing and hanging outside.  We also dyed popcorn kernals for our craft on Friday and he went over his friends house to play basketball.

Thursday we took a daytrip to Nottingham, Pennsylvania with all the kids and did the Herr's Factory Tour.  We got to see how pretzels and potato chips were made then after buying a bunch of different kinds of chips in the store, we all went to a very nice park nearby for a picnic lunch and to let everyone get out some of their excess energy for the ride home.  We rode them by a pond to see the geese and were surprised by a deer who ran out in front of us.  Everyone had a great time and by the time they all woke up from naps my daycare day was over.

Friday was my husband's 45th birthday.  After taking the older kids to Michael's for a craft class, I took him to lunch at Olive Garden and then napped holding my 8 month old granddaughter in my arms.  Doesn't get better than that!  Then the hubby and I went to an Oriole's game, just the two of us.  We had great seats, laughed together and ate lots of food...well I did!  Hot dog, funnel cake, ice cream and a margarita!!  Looking forward to a fun Saturday with friends and a sleepover with our granddaughters.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

All's Quiet

Today I just didn't have it in me after such a hectic start to the week to do much, so the three daycare kids I had, along with my son, did a whole lot of nothing.  The older two hung out, played on their tablets and played a game.  The younger two just played with toys in the playroom.  This all gave my older son and I time for a heart to heart and then it was nuggets and macaroni for everyone and naps for the littles.

When the younger ones went off to sleep, Dakota and Mariah and I sat around talking about Mother Goose rhymes and I recited many of them for the kids.  They then went out to the table and we did a written scavenger hunt that asked questions about the rhymes such as "what did the dish do in Hickory, Dickory, Dock?"  When they were finished, we went over poetic rhyme schemes for quatrains, reviewing for Dakota and teaching the concept to Mariah.  When they had it down and we did a practice few together, I turned them loose to come up with their own poem and put it in a Mother Goose template.  After that, the two of them worked hard together on a cryptogram type puzzle featuring Mother Goose rhymes and then they did their timed math quiz.

Their last assignment for the day was to come up with a nursery rhyme to teach to the preschoolers tomorrow and then come up with a craft to go with it.  Mariah chose Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary and is making a bouquet of paper flowers.  Dakota is doing Simple Simon and he is having the kids make a pretend fruit pie with a paper plate, markers and paint daubers.  I was proud of the effort they both put into it.

Now, here I am, in a quiet, mostly empty house at 5:30.  My little son is in his room, the pets are sleeping, hubby is at college and the older boy is playing basketball at college with a friend.  I so needed a day like this!  I am hoping for fair and cooler weather tomorrow so we can all get some outside time and some much needed vitamin D!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wacky Wednesday

We continued our busy first week of summer with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with all the kids today.  We had two babies, 3 preschoolers and 2 almost ten year olds.  We thought that they opened at 10am, but when we got there, we found that they now open at 11.  So we improvised and took a group field trip to Petco next door and spend 45 minutes looking at the cats, guinea pigs and mice.  We even got to pet a very large iguana that a man brought in.  The last fifteen minutes were spent singing the Ants Go Marching and playing London Bridge until the employee finally took mercy on us and let us in.  We ordered pizza and tokens with our gift cards and spent the next 90 minutes having fun and not spending a dime of our own money.  Excellent!  The kids even got to parade behind Chuck E. Cheese himself and got a group picture with him.

After getting home and getting the little ones in for a nap, I took the older two to the Arbutus Library and got them into their Nanoscience class.  They did some experiments, learned about some cool things and made a craft while I peacefully looked at books and was able to think whole thoughts without interruption.

A snowball on the way and a quick stop in Dollar General for essentials and then we were home for the end of the day chaos.  Then, once again, I had to take my daughter and granddaughters home.  Her car is down with bad breaks and I don't mind actually, but by the time I get home it's 7 and I'm wiped out and have to get dinner and then when I try to sit down to get something done on the computer or with my lesson planning, my eyes are gritty and I'm falling asleep.  And tomorrow will be the same.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Unexpected Time Off

Today I thought that we would have a full house, but for one reason or another, I only had my son here and one baby boy.  We met my daughter and her friend and their 4 kids for a free movie in Arbutus, where my little granddaughter told me for the very first time that she loved me without me saying it first.  Usually I say "I love you, Natalie!" and she answers with a hug and "I wuf you , Nana!", but today when she got to the movie she snuggled into my lap and hugged me and told me first.  That little girl melts my heart!  She only made it through an hour of the movie before she got antsy, so we walked and talked and then went and cooled down the van for the others.  I am so lucky to be able to see her almost every day and to be able to watch her grow.

Now the house is quiet.  No preschoolers waking from naps or gradeschoolers doing packets.  There won't be the shriek of kids splashing in the slip and slide, but only the sound of the swing rocking the baby boys as he naps and the quiet hum of the air conditioner running full throttle on this 95 degree summer day.  I can live with that!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hitting the Ground Running

Today was an incredibly busy Monday.  I got my usual daycare baby at 7am and then got the house ready for the other daycare kids and the things ready for my summer campers.  We did breakfast at 9:15 and I left the house with the oldest two at 9:40 to take them to the craft class at Michaels Craft Store.  They were the only two since school is still in around that area, but they worked on the layers of the Earth, dinosaur fossils and fossils with clay.  Afterward, we stopped by the library to pick up a few books and then got a soda and headed home.

When we got home I put more water in the water table for the preschoolers and the babies were being fed.  The older two watched a show and then everyone had lunch.  We got the preschoolers and babies down for a nap and then it was time to start our weekly unit with the older kids.  We started a unit from History's Mysteries about Mother Goose.  We had a discussion about who Mother Goose actually was and I told them about the theories people have on who she may have been, if anyone real.  They thought learning about Mother Goose was for babies originally, but we moved from this discussion to asking questions about certain Mother Goose rhymes.  They both seemed to have forgotten all of them!  So they spent 20 minutes reading back and forth to each other from a Mother Goose book and then I left them with my daughter to work on naming the rhyme games while I picked up a friend and headed to a local hotel that was doing an Abeka Curriculum Fair.  I bought my son's math and spelling while my friend looked at what she needed then got her home and went back to the zoo....I mean house ;-).  The kids were now up and everyone wanted to get out the slip and slide.  Another friend came over with her four kids and they all suited up and had tons of fun on the slip and slide until it was time for everyone to go home.  I think it was a successful day, but this momma/nana/daycare provider is TIRED!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I'm Back!

I am not sure how three months have passed me by without adding a new post, but I'm back and going to try to keep things going again.  Life is very, very busy.  Dakota has finished grade 3 and had a week's break before "summer camp" begins tomorrow.  Summer camp here is when his cousin and a few friends come during the week for me to watch and we have a schedule with a weekly theme, fun classes and field trips, a daily schedule, educational packets, free movies at the theater, library trips galore, daily board games, daily outdoor time and whatever else we can squeeze in.  All this while running a daycare here at the house with my daughter that includes a 12 months old, an 8 month old, a two year old, three three year olds and two four year olds.  We are a busy, loving, chaotic mess, but we have fun and we work hard to keep the kids happy and busy.

Last week we did the letter M with the daycare kids.  They were monkeys jumping on the bed, singing their favorite rhyme, they made M mountains capped with snow, dot painted a paper mosaic cookie with mini marshmallow dotters to make the chips after reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and made moose bag puppets and did a directional letter m workbook after reading If You Give a Moose a Muffin.  We took a trip to the kids room at the Maryland Science Center, played on the deck and put up the water table, jumped on the trampoline and rode scooters.  Whew!  Busy!

Now, after a nice day downtown with my young son on Saturday visiting the observatory and planetarium and the Babe Ruth Museum and a fun day for dad and the boys at the Oriole game, we are ready to face another week.  There are craft classes, a free movie, storytime times two at the library, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, dinner at my moms, All Star practice and an All Star game to get through.  I am already looking forward to next weekend!!