nana's world

{August 24, 2010}   first day

yesterday was my first day with the twins!  we had a great day as we spent time together and just got to know each other.  they smile, laugh, play and babble.  this week thankfully mom is with us, so i will get all the ins and outs of how they like to do things.  they have been with mom only up until now, so this will make the transition easier.  basically this is just bonding time for us and learning time for me.  at one point i had them both giggling at the same time; it was absolutely precious!  we had a little challange with nap times, but we have plenty of time to work on that.  we pretty much spent the day going from the play room to the sun room, then the other play area….taking a walk when it finally cooled off.  we switched up toys and sang songs.  today we are taking them swimming, and i’m going to introduce some differnt music cds into our routine.  all in all i think this job is going to be a good fit.

{August 22, 2010}   we did it!

in the famous words of Dora the Explorer, i hope to soon say, “we did it!”  and by that i mean, we created a foolproof way to make sure the house stays stocked, laundry is done, fridge is full, healthy snacks are readily available, meals are easy and delicious, and our home, if not spotless, is generally clean.  as if this wasnt enough of a feat, i want to add sharpening my coupon and freebie skills to stretch every hard-earned dollar.  and we cant forget quality time for my daughter and myself, as well as a little fun on the side for me!  how to fit all of this in?  well….we are going to all learn together and find a way for all of this to work.  surely there is always a way, we just have to find it!

{August 22, 2010}   more transition!

things have been extremely busy in my world the last few weeks as i prepare for my new job, and my daughter gets ready for school to start again.  both on the same day of course!  in the mean time i was busy with 4 kiddos during a temporary gig, more on that later.  because this job will be much further from my home, im preparing for a commute of about an hour each way.  maybe less if traffic isnt too terrible, and since i will be leaving pretty early in the mornings, i think it wont be.  i have been working on ways to keep my home running smoothly since i will be spending less time at home.  i need meal plans so we dont fall into the unhealthy trap of eating out most nights.  calendars to keep up with appointments, football games, meetings, and field trip due dates.  dry erase boards to note when we are running out of things so i dont realize we are out of toilet paper as i reach for some and there isnt any.  specific times to do chores and laundry so things dont stack up and we dont have to get dressed off of the couch that becomes a closet (now what working mom hasnt been there at least once, right!  admittedly, this working mom has been there more than once…)  i also thought ahead to some creature comforts that will help ease the stress of a full schedule.  i want something to look forward to.  sometimes when i get home, rather than relaxing as i imagine most people do, i end up stressing over things that arent done, even if i dont have the energy to do them right at that moment.  i want things to be different this time.  i want to create a system for our family of two that will roll smoothly so that when i get home, its not only down time for me, but quality time for my daughter and me.  one of the things we love to do on our down time together is watch movies and chit chat about all sorts of things.  we also love to chill and watch the youtube and music videos she comes across.  so im thinking that if i have less time to be home, i want to spend it doing things we enjoy.  which in the end might mean that though i will have less time at home, we will actually have more quality time at home than before, simply because of good organization of the “have-to’s” of the household.  now good smooth rolling organization is new to us, so you readers will be with us on our journey as we learn.  i would love to hear any comments and suggestions anyone has on this subject!

{July 22, 2010}   “Need Help”

one of my favorite things to teach young toddlers to say is “i need help”.  which usually shortens to “need help”.  i love it because it cuts out a lot of the usual frustration they experience when they can’t do something their little minds tell them they can.  it helps in so many situations, including doing something with a toy, trying to get up on the couch, and picking something up that is way too heavy and usually not something they should have anyway.  but once the phrase is mastered, its wonderful how much less screaming occurs as a result of pure frustration.  they way i teach this is repetition, pure and simple.  i start at about 8 or 9 months, and say “need help” every time i help them do or reach something they can’t do on their own, and clearly want to.  that way the words are already in their mind as they are learning to say things.  i also spend time saying it over and over as we play with a toy or game that is difficult to master, and requires some assistance.  it may be awhile before you hear them say it to you, but any parent or caregiver who has been frozen in their tracks by the ear-splitting shriek of a toddler knows its worth the 50 million times you say it.  trust me.  🙂

{July 22, 2010}   Transitions

Well, as all things do, our situations have changed.  I am no longer nannying for the triplets, as they have relocated across the country.  i would have written sooner, but it was a little more of an emotional good-bye than i expected.  in every good nanny/family relationship, there is a certain amount of bonding, usually between the nanny and her charges, and often between the nanny and the entire family.  this was true in our case!  i will very much miss coming to work every day to be greeted with little people that smile from ear to ear and come running, or in my case crawling, to greet me at the gate of the playroom.  i seriously doubt any office job can make you feel as needed and loved as 3 little one year old boys!  as much as i will miss them, i am very excited about the new charges i will be working with in the future.  I cant wait to see the boys grow up, even if it will be in pictures, emails, and hopefully a few visits.  so on to temporary jobs until the next permanent position begins.  thus is the life of the transitioning nanny.  🙂

{July 9, 2010}   rainy day fun

today was a good day.  the babies started off a little cranky, which is not all that unusual since when i get there at my usual time of 8:30, they have already been awake for sometimes 3 hours.  they have finished bottles and are ready to eat, and ready for their day to start.  so as i’m feeding them cereal and fruit, i keep looking out the window hoping it will change from the steady downpour we have been getting for days to something less formidable…no such luck.  no pool this morning, and no walk around the block in our cute triplet style wagon, with its 3 colorful seats.  racking my brain, dad comes up with a great idea.  we take the gates we have, the ones that connect into one huge circle, and put it outside on the patio.  lucky for us the patio has a HUGE cover and complete with ceiling fans, we could almost pretend it was breezy out instead of humid and hot.  so we stay out for a while, playing with toys, reading books, and observing the rain and overflowing pool until it’s time to come in.  after that we played in the kids’ bedroom, instead of the play room, for added stimulation on this day where we will be held captive inside for most of it.  we get out some toys we haven’t played with in a while, opened the closet door, tumped over some storage bins housing bibs and blankets, and had a blast.  all while being serenaded by the Wiggles.  once in the play room, we “camped out” in the tent, practiced rhythms along with jack on Jack’s Big Music Show, and tossed a ball around.  literally, as they are learning how to throw a ball back and forth, so cute!!  we blew bubbles, built towers, looked out windows, and sang, sang, sang.  big milestones today, baby R pointed to his nose for the first time, and of course i went crazy so he did it 4 more times!  and baby B pulled up on his own for the first time.  his brothers have been doing this for a while, so it was very exciting to see them all standing at the gate as mom and dad came into the playroom.  all in all it was a great day for all of us.

{June 24, 2010}   sick days

yesterday and today, the triplets have had a slight summer cold.  not bad enough to keep them in bed, but the low grade fevers definately kept us inside and out of the pool.  on top of this, they got shots today, which only added to the crankiness and discomfort they were feeling.  so super-nana had to be even more creative!  now as they are only one yr old, i felt somewhat limited on what we could do.  for intstance, we are starting to explore with things like crayons, and soon i will be introducing some simple glue projects.  but when babies are cranky, the last thing they want to do is hear NO when they want to lick that tasty green crayon.  we have taken advantage of all the rooms in the house.  traveling room to room, toys in tow, we have explored every inch of the livingroom, the hallway, their bedroom, and our playroom.  some of the bigger toys, like our basketball goal (about 2 feet tall), and a big dinosaur ball thing, have gotten new homes as we placed them in different areas of the playroom, to give things a fresh feel.  Jack’s Big Music Show helped, as we all sang along and clapped hands and patted a beat out on our legs.  we also had our snack in a different room today.  i thought this would be a fantastic idea, but it turned out that high chairs make the best place to eat slightly liquidy yogurt.  bubbles, songs, and rhymes were interspersed liberally between activities, and all in all, if we had to be sick, it was not really such a bad day!

{June 19, 2010}   A Different Perspective

have you ever wondered how your young child sees something?  or any aged child for that matter, but i had this thought recently, concerning the one yr olds i work with.  about two weeks ago i had the babies in their bedroom while i was changing sheets, stocking diaper stations, etc.  one wandered into the closet to explore a new space.  its pretty much childproofed and i was in there putting away clothes, so i let them have at it.  one of the remarkable things about the boys that i have not noticed in other babies is the marked expressiveness of their hands and feet.  whenever they are stimulated (and this has been going on since they were just months old) they twist and wrench their hands and feet as if their lives depended on this motion!  the more excited they become, the more the hands and feet are twisting and turning, reaching and toes clenching.  so anyway, as i was putting away jammies and organizing hanging clothes in sets of 3, i noticed the smallest of the three boys laying flat on his back in the closet, looking straight up, and working his hands and feet in a symphony of excitement.  all i could see him looking at was the clothes.  so i decided to see it from his perspective.  i laid down on the floor beside him and looked up to see what he was seeing.  he turned to me and the sheer delight in his eyes made me know that he appreciated a grown up coming down to his level.  so i look up and see not what i saw before: the predictable parade of shirts and rompers, overalls and outfits organized in sets and types.  rather i saw dangling bits of color and textures, moving and swaying as i had been hanging things up and moving them back and forth.  and how high it seemed, so out of reach and yet so inviting as i imagine he would have liked to touch them and pull them and toss them.   never underestimate what you can see from your child’s perspective.  the closet has never been the same since!

{June 19, 2010}   Bubbles of Fun!!

One of my favorite activities for kids of all ages is simply blowing bubbles.  i use it currently for my one yr olds, triplets, at various times.  it works really well for transitional times, such as the 15 minutes after we have cleaned the playroom but still waiting for lunchtime.  for some children i think it works nicely for a wind down time, watching the bubbles float slowly downward as classical music is played in the background, but not for the triplets however.  blowing bubbles is a time of thrilling excitement!  they are completely amped up after a session of bubbles, so for them, i would never do it before nap or bedtime.  another fun thing i have done with bubbles goes with another post i wrote about seeing things from your child’s perspective.  the boys, age one, were lying on the floor looking up at the bubbles floating down to them.  i kept wondering why they didnt want to sit up or crawl around and try to catch them.  so i decided to investigate.  i lay down on the floor beside them.  the smiles i got for this was more of a reward than seeing the actual thing i was trying to see!  head to head, my vision was exactly lined up with them.  i blew the bubbles straight up into the air and then…just watched.  how magical.  a torrent of spherical light reflecting orbs dancing and teasing, sometimes coming right to me, and other times floating just out of reach…do this with your children.  even for something as simple as a bubble, see it from your child’s perspective.   for these guys, and other ages, bubbles can also enhance all other activities.  use in the playroom, outside, on a stroller ride or walk, in the park, in the pool, even in a parking lot before getting out of the car and heading into a store.  who cares, its your time right?  enhance every activity for learning and mind expansion for the kiddos.  and bottom line is…its fun!

et cetera