Friday, July 31, 2015

Playing the summer away

Being a daycare provider and a mom of 4, I am always looking for great toys to occupy the kids. When I come across a toy that is beyond great, and worth the money, I love to share my finds. 
I am all about free play and I am a big advocate of playing outside whenever possible...but in the times when I just need it a little quieter and want the kids to do their own 'station,' these toys are amazing!


Magna-Tiles are the generic version of Play Mags and are literally identical. Both of them are great, just depends if you want to save some cash. Magna-Tiles are a bit cheaper, but I assure you that they are worth every penny. I have kids ages 2-9 in my daycare and everyone of them LOVES these blocks. We build everything with them...towers, ramps, buildings, basketball hoops {just for Blake}...the possibilities are endless. Hours and hours of fun!



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MagnaMIX is great for creativity and hours of fun! The patterns can get a bit tough for kids 2-3 years, but Blake is just starting to get it and loves putting them together. They are magnetic and the kids have to matching numbers and colors to match different designs and pictures. Then when they are done, they just push the top purple button to release all the magnets.


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Playstix are great for fine motor skills, building and creativity. The have sample ideas you can copy, or you can make up your own creation. All my kids in my daycare play with these...even the big kids. They like to challenge themselves to copy the pictures on the cover of the box. It's a great quiet activity with tons of possibilities.



 These are all my own opinions and I was not paid or compensated for this post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Naked Pizza Bubbles

Making lunch for 10+ kids daily can be a job in itself. {Sometimes I just think I need a hair net and an apron} 
Finding things the kids like and that are usually quick and easy, gets hard after awhile.
When I find a great recipe...I stick with it. This one is by far one of my favorites and it is a slight variation from a recipe my mom always made us as kids, that I shared here.


Ingredients:
3 tubes Pillsbury Biscuits
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperonis - diced
Olive oil
Italian seasoning to taste
Garlic salt to taste
1 jar/bottle or pizza sauce - served warmed




Directions:
Heat oven to 350*. Cut all biscuits in quarters. Then dice pepperonis. Put about 2 Tbsp of oil on the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl.


Then add all ingredients to the bowl; biscuits, pepperoni, cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Mix well.


Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray. Empty mixing bowl contents into pan and spread out evenly.


Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on the top.
Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Can we talk about it TUESDAY!


I love our busy weeks, but when that weekend finally comes, I am one happy mama! We got to go out on our friends boat on Sunday and spend the day relaxing, while the kids played with other kids. I do however get the 'bad mom' award for forgetting to reapply sunscreen. Now I have 3 kids with a little too much sun....can we talk about it?!

We had just got our car DVD player back from being fixed, $350 later, when Blake decided to force a Mickey DVD in it, while there was already a DVD in there.We tried everything to get it out and ended up having to take it back in the have them get it out....can we talk about it?!

I have been going through my house, little by little, to get ready for our garage sale at the end of next month. I swore I wouldn't have another one, but with four kids, we collect a lot of crap treasures. My entire attic is full of garage sale stuff and I can't wait to have some free storage space. With six people, a dog and cat, I feel like our house is shrinking...can we talk about it?!

As excited as I am for Kenzie to go to kindergarten, I am also going to miss my little sassy fashionista during the day. She is so excited and ready for it. She can have quite the attitude, but her going to school just proves she is growing up too fast...can we talk about it?!

With being a daycare provider...I am always cleaning up after the kiddos. I used to sweep at least 1-2 times a day. I can't stand crumbs on the floor....sticking to my bare feet. Anytime I can find something to make my cleaning easier...I am all for it. My aunt told me about the Dyson v6 motorhead cordless vacuum. OMG...let's just say 'I love it' would be an understatement. It makes my daily sweeping/vacuuming a lot easier. Easy and fun cleaning...can we talk about it?!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Best Part...

To my kids I just stay home all day and 'play' with them. Other kids come to our house to play, since their parents actually work. I am the maid, cook, toy fixer, secretary, entertainer, teacher, taxi and mom all in one. 
But to my kids, I am just mom. I, in their eyes, am playing the role of a normal mom. {Because isn't it normal to have 6-8 kids come to your house every morning and stay the day?}
When the kids ask if we can go somewhere this week or if they can have a sleep over or if they can have friends over to play...their answer is usually, 'no sorry, I have daycare.' To them that just means their daycare friends are coming over to play again the next day. It doesn't mean that mommy will be working or taking care of 10-12 kids, it just means 'life isn't fair if they don't their my way.'

The hubs, he works from home too, but he gets to do it behind a closed door. He has meetings and can lock the door when he is busy. But, me?! No, I can hardly take 2 minutes to go 'potty.'
My days are filled with wiping noses, potty training, teaching preschool curriculum, cleaning up messes, cooking big meals, being a mediator, teaching life skills and getting energy out of all the kids. To me, this is my job and I love it for many reasons. {sometimes I just wish my kids realized I also do this job for them}

I get to be at home with my kids EVERYDAY! I get to be the main teacher and role model in their life and get to experience a lot of their 'first' with them. I get to be a teacher and role model in other children's lives and get to see them flourish and grow everyday. I get to 'play' everyday...for my job!

It isn't always a 'cake walk.' Though I love children, I sometimes feel that I am taking away from my kids childhood, by having to share my attention with other kids. It is hard spreading yourself over 10-12 kids everyday. Do I do it, most days...YES! Do I love it...YES! Do I still feel bad that they don't have me all to themselves...YES! Are there days I am jealous of 'stay at home moms'...YES! Do I think my kids and my daycare kids have learned a ton and flourished in my daycare...YES!
Does that make all the difference...YES!

Someday my kids will look back on their childhood and hopefully smile that I got to stay at home with them everyday. They'll hopefully look back and appreciate that I did this for them. 
Hopefully my daycare kids will grow up and remember these fun and learning days of daycare.
Cause in the end...The best part is spending my days with all of them!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In the life of my Four!

Life as an almost 10 year old...

Lately all he wants to do is play Mine Craft or Clash of Clans on his Ipad.
He will play baseball outside all day if I let him, even after he has just played a baseball game.
He will do just about anything to entertain his little brother.
He is in the 'what can I do to make money stage.' He has a huge birthday wish list, so I told him to start saving.
His days consist of swimming lessons and baseball or soccer games.
Everything that he doesn't like is unfair. I have hit to 'you are such a mean mom' stage.
He isn't a big meal eater, but loves to snack. I try to convince him that he will be small forever if he doesn't start eating more protein.
Asking for something lately turns into asking a million times to get the answer he wants. Good thing I am learning to stick to my guns.
He is a very competitive kid that doesn't like to lose. Who does?!


In the life of a dramatic 8 year old...

She is often a very emotional and dramatic girl. Everything is exaggerated and drawn out.
Nothing is a small deal in her eyes, everything is 'serious business.'
She has a new found love for soccer. Into her 3rd year and she has decided to tryout for traveling. Help me now! 
She has left dance in the dust as she says she is more of a 'sports girl.'
She wants everything to go her way or you will hear about the 'fall out.'
She has an opinion about her clothes but isn't really a girly girl. She likes comfy, but likes to wear dresses too.
She doesn't need glasses, yet, but loves to wear fashion ones.
Being picky wasn't her thing and now she is falling into the path of her little brother.\


Life of my 5 year old fashionista...

She has found that dance is her passion. She is testing her limits and trying out for the per-performing dance line.
She thinks life revolves around her. If she's not happy, no one will be. 
Peanut Butter Jelly sandwich is her idea of an ideal meal.
She mastered hula hooping in just two weeks, and she won't be shy to show it off!
She can usually be found playing her Kindle or with Polly Pockets.
Her days consist of swimming lessons, playing like a diva, and keeping me on my toes.
She has made it her weekly goal to get out of napping, but mama still thinks she needs one now and then.
Everyday is a fight on what she is going to wear, unless it's a dress her emotions are a mess.
She is either best friends with her sister or her worst enemy. {Got to love, sisterly love}


In the busy, non stop life of my 3 year old...

Life never stands still during his days, it might pause a bit while he is sleeping.
His days consist of never stopping and keeping me on a chase all day.
He has endless love for sports, basketball is is favorite, but any ball will do.
He doesn't like the word 'no' and will ignore it when it is told to him.
The outdoors is his favorite place to be and he will let himself outside, unfortunately whenever he wants to.
He could survive on pasta and juice, the appetite of a growing kid.
There is little to no fear in his eyes, he is a dare devil and tries everything, sometimes more than once.
There are more toys in his bed than stuffed animals, he loves to sleep with his toys!
He is our house 'copycat' and whatever he hears, will be said again.
He would put up a good race between the Energizer Bunny, my money is on him.
His idol is his big brother and where you see Chase, Blake will be right behind him.

Friday, July 17, 2015

'Oh crap' chicken

Summers in our house are filled with running all over the place. Taking one kid to soccer, dropping another one off at dance, while rushing another one to baseball and then zipping the last one over to t-ball.

Sit down family dinners are nonexistent. Our summer menu lately has consisted of hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, pizza and Jimmy Johns. So when I had a little time last night to actually cook a quick family dinner {and enjoy it} I reached for our family favorite. Don't let the name throw you off! 
Think of it as....'Oh crap,' what are we having for dinner?!

Quick . Easy . Delicious!



You'll need:
Olive oil
Lowery's seasoning
Garlic pepper
Italian seasoning
Chicken (frozen breasts)

Directions:
Place your frozen chicken in a greased 13x9 pan. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken. Top with seasonings, to your liking. 





Bake at 400* for roughly 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.


 The kids even love it...and that makes mama happy!
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