nana's world

{July 1, 2011}   another awesome week!

Here we finish out yet another awesome week.  The highlights include Miss Sunshine rolling over for the first time and we started reading Harry Potter!  We still read all kinds of sweet baby books,  but I have started reading aloud to them out of this book as well.  They enjoy it, and I get to practice all sorts of voices ;).  When my own daughter was 3 i read her The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  She enjoyed the quiet time of being read to.  The girls are doing so great.  They spend more and more time on their tummies, and reach and hold toys for longer periods of time.  They react so much more lately to smiles, laughter, and being talked to.  This is a very sweet time of watching them develop!

{June 25, 2011}   babysitting bliss

There is a world of change in a toddler in just a couple of months.  I have been away from Annie Pie and Katy Bug for all of two months, but tonight, I’m back!  I was lucky enough to have a chance to babysit these angels.  When I left, we were all best friends.  Tonight, the girls backed up a little and watched for a bit before jumping in to play.  They seem so much more grown up!  More words, running faster and more confidently, going up the stairs with ease.  We had so much fun taking baths, reading stories, playing with baby dolls.  I got some sweet little hugs at the end of the night to reward me for all my playing :).  As they sleep peacefully I get to catch up on some writing and imagine what my own daughter is doing hundreds of miles away visiting family.  She’s so much more grown up too.  Confident, beautiful, resourceful, and strong.  I’m so proud of all the little girls, and boys, that I am blessed to see grow up.

blueberry picking with my kiddo

{June 22, 2011}   Our First First!

We have had our first FIRST!  Maddie Pie rolled over!  Not with me, but last night with mom and dad.  We are very excited.  Miss Sunshine spend most of her floor time yesterday on her side playing with toys, so I think she will probably follow suit soon.  Today is so nice, it’s raining, finally.  We have been in somewhat of a drought, so it is wonderful to have some rain!  There are tons of dark clouds outside so the house is darker, the girls are napping peacefully, my daughter is with her friends, the dogs are asleep, and I am writing.  All is right with our world.

The babies are finally starting to stay awake more.  Not to say they aren’t on their second nap already, and it’s not even 1pm yet, because they are.  The fun part is that they are staying awake for longer periods of time, which means we get to do more activities.  This week, our featured story is Miss Spider’s ABC by David Kirk.  For the longest time, until this very moment actually, I have called it Miss Spider’s Birthday, because all of the bugs are getting ready for her birthday.  I had no idea that was not actually the title…oops.  I’m not usually one to have too  many books based on tv shows, but I love this one for babies.  The words can be read in a sing-song rhythm that babies love and the pictures are large, bright, and colorful.  This week we are also working on mimicking vowel sounds, reaching out for and holding a toy, and I am going to expose them to some different textures.  I will take some toys and blankets and gently stroke their arm with them and let their hands feel them.  I always encourage them to reach out and touch the piece or toy or whatever is in front of them.  Also this week we have been sitting up in a double boppi (two stacked on top of each other) and in the crook of my leg.  The girls love it!  They reach down for the toys in front of them and practice picking them up and bringing them to what else…their mouths.   For Social/Emotional development, I have been placing the girls next to each other and letting them look at each other, and reach out for each other.  Very cute.  We are also going to implement a storytime upstairs in their room as part of our nap time routine.

{June 8, 2011}   Another New Beginning

I’ve spent a month now at my new position, starting all over again.  Another tearful goodbye to an adorable set of twins that I hope to babysit soon.  Transition is always hard, not just for us as nannies but for all parties involved.  The kids, the parents, and we all feel it.  I was thinking about this particular transition, and how many kids were affected.  The nanny that took my place left kids she cared for.  The twins that I cared for, who then became new charges for her.  The new babies I now take care of, who had to transition from being home with their mom.  And my own daughter, who gets a mom around the house more because i cut my hours and found a job closer to home.   Thankfully my sweet little charges were blessed with a great nanny who hung in there and loves and enjoys them as much as i do.  Thanks to modern technology, their new nanny and i stay in touch via text and facebook, sending comments and pictures back and forth.  Nothing short of a lifeline for a nanny that had to walk away from two little girls she spent 50 to 60 hours a week with.  I was so blessed to work for such a wonderful family that they allow me to stay in touch with them and their family.  No matter how much the nanny loves the family she works and cares for, it is ultimately up to the family whether or not they stay in touch after a job ends.  Again, thankfully, I have always been blessed with families that were sad as i was to end the job, and they were generous and caring enough to allow us to all stay in touch.  Some of the kids I’ve had to leave moved across the country, such as the triplet boys I spent 14 months with.  We stay in touch, calling and sending pictures and videos back and forth.  And then there are the ones that live close by and I get to see as often as time and schedules allow, and as often as mom and dad need a weekend getaway.  Soon I will have a sweet brother and sister for a weekend that are now 3 and 5.  I started with them when they were 2 and 4 months old.

My newest charges are a precious set of twin baby girls.  We have just finished our first month together.  At 3 months old, they were sleeping ALL the time.  I had forgotten how much new babies sleep!  The first few weeks were spent getting to know their patterns, the house, the area, and of course, my work dogs.  Now they are a little older and already changing and growing so much!  They still sleep quite a bit, but we are getting more and more awake time to be down on the floor playing.  Miss Sunshine grabs at toys now and Maddie Pie loves to coo at herself in the mirror.  Both are getting better and better and holding their heads up during tummy time and  they love to look at me and “talk”.  They really enjoy being read to and sung to.  Now that we have had some time to get used to each other and establish some good healthy nap patterns, I will make some goals for us and set up our bulletin board.  Although transition is a challenge, I am confident that the strong, caring adults involved will be able to bring the kiddos through smoothly.  And I am very excited about the days ahead 🙂

{November 4, 2010}   ew…

So today was a pretty crazy day.  It was one of those days that make one thankful to start over the next day.  Not terrible necessarily but definately not great.  It started with a drizzly cold rain as the twins and i set out for storytime.  The girls were fussy and we were running late anyway so when we arrived storytime was about halfway over.  No close parking was available, meaning we had to park across the street.  On a typically DRY day this is a rather nice little walk for us.  As it was, I decided a jaunt in the rain was not on the list of things we wanted to do today.  I pulled into a handicapped spot for a SECOND only and dropped my books in the outside drop right there on the curb.  I was less sure about the movies.  Considering that i might get in trouble or worse, be responsible if they were damaged, I asked a lady going into the library to drop them for me.  she smiled, took them ever so nicely, and went in.  I called to verify that they were deposited and guess what.  They were not.  I then proceeded to park across the street, go into the building, and retrieve the movies from the “nice lady” and returned them myself.  Thats what I get for being lazy!  I guess she didnt understand me…. Now the girls did incidently enjoy the brisk little slightly drizzly walk accompanied by every rainy day song i knew, so that part turned out nice. 

Upon reaching home I discovered Miss Annie Pie had a complete blowout that covered her from her diaper to her socks, all inside of her pants.  As I hurry to get her cleaned up before any real damage is done i hear little pats of bare hands on a wooden floor.  Its Katy Bug, crawling her way to freedom and new BREAKABLE treasures.  In my hurry to attend to the mess at hand, I forgot to put the gate back up.  I can’t let her go into that room unattended, and i cant leave Annie Pie on the changing table.  Feet still in the air, and still messy, i take annie pie in both of my hands and scoot katy bug with my feet, thankful that babies slide nicely on polished wood floors.  At last we were able to finish up and conclude the chaos with cuddles and hugs.  And thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.  🙂

{November 2, 2010}   WELCOME NOVEMBER!

Finally!  Here in Texas the summers are so long that fall is a welcome arrival.  I’m looking forward to the baking, crafting, and themes we can do with the kids, big and small, this season.  The babies, toddlers, and preschoolers I care for love all of the creative projects and fun that we have just as much as my teenage daughter and her friends!  I didnt check in much for October, but trips to the Halloween events at the zoo were among the most popular things we did.  Also fun was the pumpkin patch, special Halloween themed photographs, and decorating everwhere with pumpkins, real and otherwise.  Our household has also begun Christmas shopping and I would like to begin crafting some ornaments and decorations as time allows.  My plan is to make and craft many if not most of our gifts this year.  Of course my main idea in anything I do is to be thrifty, but more than that i want things to be meaningful.  Another thing i love to do at Christmas is ornament exchange.  This can often be less costly than a gift exchange between friends and starting this early means I can take my time to find or make something that will be special and meaningful to the person I’m giving it to.  I also love being able to unwrap each special ornament the following year and remember the special person that gave it to me.  My tree becomes something like a scrapbook of memories and love, making it something I treasure and truly enjoy putting up each year.  One thing will be a little different this year, however.  Instead of putting up a traditional tree, my daughter and i are going to string garland near the ceiling all around the main room of our home.  Our special and priceless ornaments will hang there, safely tucked away from our rather rambunctious and somewhat destructive male cat, Mick Jaguar.  I will post pictures up when we finish it, hopefully Thanksgiving Weekend.  Happy Fall!

{September 15, 2010}   September 13-17,2010; 8 mos. old

exciting things happening this week:  baby A is pulling herself up on her knees on large toys!  we have increased her tummy time so she is gaining upper body strength and she keeps her head and shoulders up for longer periods of time.  she is also rolling aroung more and more, whereas before she was mostly happy sitting.  yay!  baby B is pulling herself up also…on the furniture!  i got the cutest pic of her today pulling herself up to her knees on the ottoman, then falling back on her bottom and clapping.  so cute.  trips last week included the library for storytime and the zoo with a nanny friend of mine and her charges.  this week we have visited the children’s museum and had a great time with a playgroup made up of area kiddos.  ok for this week we have:

THEME:  Nursery Rhymes

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:  we have the book Baby Mother Goose, by Gyo Fujikawa.  its an oldie but goodie!  i have used this book with all ages in the classrooms ive taught in and as a nanny.  it has a host of rhymes and little sing-songs that are interesting for baby to listen to.  the girls love it.  the rhymes and rhythms give babies interesting ways to grasp language and want to repeat it, even if they dont yet.

MAKING DISCOVERIES:  our discovery activity this week is water play, specifically pouring water from a cup.  this can be done during bath time or in a pool.  we will most likely pick the pool.  we will have cups of different sizes and colors, and as i fill and pour, i will encourage them to do the same. 

MOTOR SKILLS:  we are still incorporating tummy time into all of our activities, but for a specific skill we are rolling a ball back and forth.  they already try to “roll” it, however, it doesnt usually arrive to its destination!  they get really excited to try, and they do get better with each throw!

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:  happy time with bubbles.  we are going to use bubbles to create a happy, warm, fun atmosphere.  because we will all be together, it will also be a social activity. 

HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION:  i am introducing simple signs.  the first one we are working on is the sign for “more”.

{September 7, 2010}   sept 7-10, 2010; 8 mos. old

THEME:   Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:   we will read the story each day, usually at least twice per day.  we will read it in a rythmic format, patting knees or clapping softly to enhance language development through rythm and music.  i will also change voices with each animal as it presents itself in the story to create interest and also introduce animal sounds.  I will make sure the girls can see the pictures for an introduction to color recognition and stimulation, but i do not expect them to follow along with pictures at this stage.  my voice will have to be be the primary interest keeper at this point!

MAKING DISCOVERIES:  our discoveries related to the them will include feeling a teddy bear.  i will offer several different types of teddies to feel.  we will clear the area of toys and distractions, and for the moment only have the bears out.  i will talk about teddy bear, saying the word “teddy bear” over and over, both plainly and in sing-song manner to reinforce the word and to help form a connection between the word and the bear.  we will also have some play time with them, allowing the girls to explore them at will.

MOTOR SKILLS:  Baby A will be working on strengthening her back and neck by having tons of tummy time!  one of her favorite activities is looking into a mirror (she giggles at herself, it is the cutest thing!) so i will have mirror toys out for her.  we will also use whatever stimulating toys and sounds to help her tolerate tummy time as long as possible.  Baby B will be working on reaching for a toy while on her tummy.  currently she is pretty accomplished at scooting…backwards.  so we are going to work on scooting forwards, to reach a toy or someting else she really wants.  in my experience some of the best tempters for this exercise are a television remote control or my cell phone!

SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL:  our goal for this one this week is soft touches with others.  i will place baby’s hands on my hands, my face and have the girls do the same on each others’ hands and face and say soft touches.  this encourages..well..soft touches.

HOME-SCHOOL CONNECTION:  i guess a more accurate description for this category would be parent-caregiver connection, but this is what our lesson plan sheet says so im going with it.  this weeks’ task will be strengthening the skill of using sippy cups. 

other activities that we do this week will be blogged seperately.

{September 6, 2010}   Happy Fall!!

well, i guess it’s technically not really fall yet…but i can’t wait a minute longer to get the decorations out, start cooking things like chilli and roasts, and start planning halloween projects.  today we pulled out the box of carefully wrapped pieces from the closet.  opening each piece was like getting a present; feeling first through the paper and guessing which item it is.  could  it be the little woodland sprite with the pointy hat holding a hedgehog and some acorns like a great fall treasure just waiting to be placed upon a table for a great feast?   or the gorgeous resin pumpkin with wonderful scenes of fall carved into it, detailed pictures of scarecrows, farmhouses, fall produce, and a beautiful harvest moon.  as i unwrap them im flooded with memories…the sprite was a gift, as was the pumpkin.  another pumpkin piece was also a gift…to myself.  i have always believed that every piece in my home should speak to me, of a friend, family member, special occasion, or special period in my life.  sort of like living in a scrapbook.  in this way my home is always warm and cozy.  and that is a very good thing.

et cetera