Reading books before nap or bed time

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Happy Tuesday everyone!!  Here is my nanny tip for the week…

One question I get often is how do I transition into nap time or bed time.  Those seem to be the trickiest times of the day cause kids love to throw a fit when they hear the words “lets get ready for bed”.  I love Jim Gaffigans stand up about having kids and what bed time looks like for them with four kiddos… I laugh so hard every time! (take 7 mins to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and watch the 7 min clip)

Reading two-three books is my go to for when getting ready for naps or bed.  I have the kids pick out which ever two they would like and lay down in their beds with them.  Depending how the room is set up and the amount of kids you have depends on how this would work for you.  During nap my kids would sleep in different rooms so I would do them individually, starting with the youngest.  When I was with the quads I would do one story each unless we decided to all read together on the couch then I would let them pick two to three depending on the length of the book.  By laying down with them this helps give their bodies time to just rest and calm down, plus they enjoy it cause they don’t have to go to bed right away.

I’m excited to announce that Modern Nannyhood has teamed up with Usborne Books to help you find great books that you and your kids will enjoy.  I have been reading Usborne books to kids for the past year and am a huge fan!  They have thousands of books to choose from and each one is made, illustrated and written beautifully!  They have something for all ages, reading levels and different fun activity books.

click on the link below to explore through what Usborne has to offer

Modern Nannyhood Usborne site

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Hope everyone has had a smooth transition into the new schedule of being back at school!

Happy Tuesday!

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Preschool Science Project- “Brewing Bubbles”

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Brewing Bubbles

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Today we tried a new preschool science project.  It turned out to be really fun and easy!

What you need:

* A glass jar and some spoons to stir

* Vinegar (you will use a full small bottle, the more the better)

*Baking soda

*Food coloring

*Glitter (optional but fun!)

*Tray

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Directions:

1. First you will fill the jar half way with vinegar, if you don’t have much vinegar use a smaller jar it will overflow better.

2.  Have the kids pick out which food coloring( 1-2 drops) and glitter they would like to use.

3.  Have them stir it up

4.  Add a big spoonful of baking soda and the reaction will start to happen

5.  To keep it going you can continue to add vinegar and more baking soda to the mix

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check out the video on Instagram, @modernnannyhood,  to see how it works!

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A new life chapter

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I know I can’t speak on behalf of all nanny’s but for me transitioning jobs is hard.  I’ve had to do it four times in my nanny career and I usually have a thought “this time will be easier” but its not.  I’m going on my fifth transition and will be adding four new kids to my tribe of nannyhood.  I can’t believe i’ve gotten to be apart of 18 kids lives these past six years and still get to see them grow up.   As I’m processing and in a way grieving another change, I think I can relate most to foster moms.

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For me I am usually with a family for two to three years and once the kids are old enough to start school is when my position transitions out.  Which is so fun to be apart of these kids lives as they go from being infants/toddlers who are dependent on me to these awesome people who are wanting to be independent (not always ready to be though).  When I start working with a family that has infants and toddlers there is a deep connection that grows because they need me and I begin to love this child as if they were my own.  Soon after I begin to think ” I don’t know how I will do life with out them and not know the play by play of their days”.  The Lord uses these little people in my life to sanctify me and I realize they have taught me more than I ever could have imagined.  That over these few years the Lord has shaped my heart to love these kids so much it makes my heart hurt, I want to squeeze them so hard cause I just can’t get enough and many tears I have cried in prayers for each of them because in my deep core all I want for them is to know & love Jesus because that is the only thing that matters in life.

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As I transition there are many fears that pop up and I think, how am I going to be able to love a new set of kids the same way, are they going to like me, are they going to think i’m the mean one when I have to discipline, are we going to laugh together, how long will it take for them to trust me, am I going to lose touch with my previous family, will my “old” kids forget me, are these new kids going to call me “Mae Mae” too and how can I be intentional with all 22.

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Though transitions in life are hard no matter what the situation is, going from comfort to something new isn’t easy.  As I think back to when I was asking these same questions three years ago the Lord was nothing but faithful.  He some how graciously opens my heart a little wider and gives me a new love for each child and building trust with them will always take time.  Sooner or later they will begin to trust me a little bit and discipline in the moment is not fun for either of us, I will continue to cling to Hebrews 12 “discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness”.  For a little while I know there will be hard days while we are creating boundaries and figuring out each others personalities.  Though there will be many days of sweat and tears (for both the kids and I), the Lord has always been faithful, my ever present help in time of need.  I know that these new kids are going to make me laugh and smile, I know that I will get to celebrate with these kids as they accomplish new things in life, they are going to make my heart hurt cause I have grown to love them so much,  deep in my spirit I will be praying that their ears would be inclined to hear the words of truth that are spoken over them, that they will also fall in love with their Savior and the things of this world would not be more enticing.

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Regarding my “old” families, I’m still going to be apart of their lives and just like any other relationship it takes being intentional.  Though it might only be once a month or every other month that I get to see them, the kids know me, love me and I get to be more like an aunt than a babysitter.  We get to catch up on life and I get to see these little people turn into people I want to be friends with.  I am so honored to have 22 children that I for some reason get the gift of being apart of their lives and seeing how the Lord will use their gifts and talents for His kingdom.  Plus, I have 5 best friends who I get to support as they continue to raise these awesome people.  I am so thankful for these moms who taught me and will continue to teach me, who have loved me so well and care about what the Lord is doing in my life.  I am forever grateful for their friendship.

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I am excited for the opportunity to continue to be in the nannyhood and to invest in a new family.  The Lord has big plans and it will be exciting to see what the new adventure ahead will be!

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Cheers to a new life chapter!

Blessings always follow obedience,

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Snail Mail activity

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I have been in Watercolor,FL this past week and been having a great time with one my families that I use to work for.  It is always sweet when I get to reconnect with the kids and get to know them more.  I am thankful for this time and have been enjoying the sunshine.

There is a fun book store, Sundog Books, down here in Sea Side that I always make a stop at.  They have my favorite cards and always something new.  This year my friend Lindsey and I bought a great box of post cards.  I found a box like this last year by the same company “Happy Menocal” that has patter designs and so I got excited to see these animal prints!  The box includes 100 postcards that are designed by ten different artists.

I have always loved writing cards and sending mail along with receiving letters.  It always brings a smile and makes the day brighter knowing that someone was thinking about me.  If you walk into my room you will see many cards and post cards hung up as decoration.  Writing letters has become a lost art with technology and though I enjoy sending an e-card (Paperless Post is my favorite site for e-cards) or writing an email letter to friends cause with the hustle and bustle of life with kids it’s sometimes tricky to find time to talk on the phone or get together.

During the summer you sometimes need a break from being out in the sun and have some indoor activities on hand.  Having a stack of postcards is a fun indoor activity that ages 2+ can enjoy and will teach them many different things:

1. Teach kids to think about someone else

2. To pick out a card that someone else would enjoy and make feel special (this is a teachable moment on how we honor others)

3. For toddlers (2-3yr olds) this will help them learn their alphabet letters and though you will have to write the message out.  They can use markers, crayons or stickers to decorate the picture or to make a card to send.

4. For preschoolers (3-5 yrs old) this will help them with their alphabet letters, practice writing their letters, learning how to make words and the excitement of accomplishment.

5.  For school age (5+ yrs old) this will help them practice writing, sentence structure and keeping in touch with their friends from school.

6.  For you!  You can sit next to them and write a quick letter to one of your friends.  You get to be the example and when they see you excited about it and enjoying the time they will too!

Ideas of people to send to:

  • Friends
  • Grandparents
  • Cousins
  • Missionaries
  • Teachers
  • A child the family supports
  • Someone in the hospital
  • A get well card
Happy Summer!!

Love,

MAE MAE

Milk Painting

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I have been following a blog called Babble Dabble Do and it has some really fun kid activities.

Today while baby brother was sleeping we needed an activity that was something other than our normal go to’s.  Thankfully the boys enjoy doing science experiments and art crafts (they know how to speak my love language).

It turned out to be a little bit messy for the two year old but the 4 year old had no problems.  Thankfully I found out that food coloring doesn’t stain clothes (I soaked one shirt in cold water and it came off) but does stain the skin… hopefully a couple bathes will take care of that!

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Your ingredients:

Milk- almond apparently works best

Food coloring

Dish Soap

Q-tips

a shallow tray

watercolor paper

and foil or butcher paper to dry on

First step: pour a little bit of milk in the tray… enough to cover the bottom

Second step: put in a couple drops of different food coloring colors

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Third step: The science experiment part

Add drops of dish soap and watch the colors burst and spread… Use the Q-tips to swirl the colors around (don’t mix too much or the colors will blend together and turn brown…though the boys thought it was really great)

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Fourth step:  I didn’t get a picture but you simply place the water color paper face down in the liquid and when you pull it up it looks like these…

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Really easy and fun!  We then just swirled the colors around and played with it.  We dumped our mixes out a couple times to start over, this will be happening again!

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Happy Nanny Day!

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Today I was surprised at work with this sweet and thoughtful gift from one of my families for “Nanny Day”… yeah I don’t think thats a real holiday, they just decided to make it up… I’m humbled that I have been brought into so many families over the past several years to love on their children and though I don’t know what a mothers love feels like (I’m sure my heart will explode if that day comes), I have grown attached to these little people in my life.

I have also gained forever friendships with their parents.  The moms I have worked for have encouraged and taught me everything I know about parenting.  They have seen my good, bad and ugly days and yet they have so graciously trusted me to care for their children. I don’t know how long the Lord will have me in this profession but I can tell you this, He has changed my heart to have passion for these little people who are growing up to be amazing men and women.  My heart aches to the core for them to know Jesus, to grow in righteousness and wisdom, to be courages, to be kind, to live fully, to chase their dreams and to love others as themselves.

So from here on out Modernnannyhood is going to mark May 7th as “Nanny Day”!!  This will give us a year to plan for some fun things to celebrate nannies all around the world… yep the world!!  I’m not sure what this will look like but how fun would that be for nannies to celebrate each other.  I am always encouraged and motivated when i meet another nanny’s who love their job and care for their kids.

cheers to all the nannys out there.  you matter.  your enough.  your making a difference in the next generation

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The Purpose

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For a while now I’ve been processing through what purpose do I want for Mae Mae Designs.  I started this tiny shop because I enjoy working with my hands to create things and the items I started making went great with my line of work, nannying.  I love and truly find joy in seeing little girls get excited when they first see their baby doll carrier and knowing they are going to be making memories with something that I made brings great satisfaction.  I have been continuing to think about how can this be about something more than just sewing…

This week I have lost sleep and haven’t stopped praying for a family that on Monday had a husband/father and on Tuesday the Lord planned for that to be his last day with us.  The tragedy of it all, the pain, the hurt, the unexplained and unexpected death.  A reminder to me that I am not guaranteed another day and that the Lord is in control.  My heart aches to the core though for now she is a young widow that is going to have to learn to depend on the Lord in a new deep way.  That these next years are going to be filled with pain and through the tears she will be asking the Lord for a new kind of super power strength.  I praise Him because I know He will be carrying His beloved daughter through the storm and will grace her with strength and trust that is not of her own might but by the power of the Holy Spirit. I am learning that God has created women in a way that our greatest need is to belong and matter along with having a since of security.    I realize that our identity is not found in a husband and that we belong and matter to our faithful Heavenly Father.  I understand that Jesus is our security and that the beauty is her husband is with Jesus now in glory.

As you read through scripture the Lord has great love and compassion for the widows and orphans.  Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God is looking out for the orphans and widows in their distress. I have been designed to love and care for moms and their children.  I truly enjoy my job and am thankful the Lord has lead me in this path that I would never have picked on my own.  I am realizing that my heart wants to stand in the trenches with widows as well and to some how serve them in some small way that reminds them they matter, they belong and they aren’t walking alone.

Mae Mae Designs now has a purpose, 10% of all purchases will be donated towards widows.  I’m trusting the Lord is going to show me my next step in this and how it will flesh out.  This could be sending a fun card in the mail, surprising someone with flowers, a box of goodies filled with her favorites, paying for a babysitter to relieve her for a couple hours, sending a gift card for gas or groceries, having dinner delivered,sending her a membership to the zoo or some where the family would enjoy, a target gift card for her to buy a new outfit or something fun for her house.  I need to brain storm more about this and I’m always up for suggestions!

I’m working on getting inventory made and posted in my shop.  Things more than likely will continue to move slow but I hope to get items made quickly starting next month.  I have a couple stay at home moms who are helping me with making the baby doll diapers and hopefully over time this could turn into opportunities for one or two stay at home moms to help me regularly.

Dreaming big

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Coloring books for girls

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I found these coloring books a couple days ago and my heart got excited!  I have been following an Artist, Valerie Wieners, on Instagram for several months.  I enjoy her art, the way she beams God’s grace and how she uses her gift to share her story of redemption.

I found in her shop these really adorable coloring pages that you can download and freely print whenever you are in need of an activity.  She has two different girl “books” with various designs.  I became a quick fan because I thought these  are great to bring with me to work and spend time coloring while also being able to talk to little girls about God’s truth and who God says they are, not what the world says they are.  That is a battle they will have to fight for the rest of their lives, starting young to teach the truth that they are God’s BELOVED and that it is not just another name among a list but that is the name that he calls His children.   Teaching little girls that beauty comes from their heart and that its not about what color their hair is, what clothes they wear and what color their skin is.  I’m not sure a parent can tell their daughter enough that she is beautiful and point out to her the beautiful ways God has made her unique.  To stop and look her in the eyes and say “hey I really appreciate _________ about you”  “Hey you know what, God gave you a sweet gift to be able to _______” “Hey I really love that God created you to enjoy________” “I love that you like to wear you hair _______” “I am so proud of the way you handled _____ situation, that was really beautiful”  “I love that you laugh with your siblings” “I enjoy doing ______ with you” “I think it is really fun that you enjoy collecting ________” “I enjoy how creative you are with _______” “you are beautiful because ______”  “I really like how God gave you _____ color eyes”  “I really like your fingers and toes”  The list goes on but to be able to help them believe that God has made them special, they will begin to see and trust that their identity is from the one true God who loves them far more than they can ever imagine.  (I think boys need that encouragement too)

These prints would be fun to hang up in their rooms or around the house to have daily reminders and depending on their age these can be great for memory verses.  Here are a few examples of the prints:

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You can find them(plus a whole lot of other pretty prints) here: Valerie Wieners Art

Happy Wednesday!

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How to: Swaddle

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Hello Nannies!

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.  I’m excited to write my first post on my “new” blog, I decided to give Modern Nannyhood a little bit of a modern makeover.  I hope that it will be easier to find posts and I was able to add a shop for Modern Nannyhood Designs!  I hope to have the shop up and running with new baby doll accessories in a couple of weeks.

Today I am going to write about How To: Swaddle.  Swaddling is usually used from new born till about 8 weeks or so.  It is something I have used with every baby I have worked with and has taken lots of practice.  It is used to help sooth, calm and help a baby sleep better.  After multiple times you will be able to do this smoothly and quickly which will help when you have a squirming, sometimes screaming and kicking baby.

What you need to swaddle:

– A swaddle blanket.  You need a big blanket that is big enough to fold in half into a triangle and that isn’t too thick.  The thinner the blanket the easier it is to work with and safer cause it is breathable.  If your new to swaddling you can find blankets online and in most stores with children items.  Aden + Anais  have wonderfully soft and cozy swaddle blankets that are easy to use, you can find them at Target, Kohls and Amazon.

 

Step 1: Lay out a swaddle blanket in a triangle shape with the tip pointing downwards.  Depending on your baby’s size is how far down you fold.  For new borns you will need it probably folded in half (as seen in the picture) and as your baby get long your fold will get shorter.  

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Step 2: Place baby right in the middle with their shoulders at the top edge of the blanket.

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Step 3: Smooth out the blanket and make sure baby’s arms are down next to their sides.  You are going to bring the left side of the triangle over to the right.

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Step 4: This part you want to do pretty tight, you are going to tuck that left triangle tip under the baby’s back.  You slightly roll the baby over to the left to bring their back up and tuck the blanket smoothly under their back.  

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Step 5: Your going to bring the bottom tip of the blanket up towards their right shoulder.  Depending on the baby’s size and the blanket this step can look different.

You would like to have extra blanket to be able to tuck the blanket over their right shoulder which will also hold their right arm down.  In this picture I don’t have enough of the bottom so I’m going to pull it up as high as I can with her right arm out still. 

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Step 6: Now pull the right side of the blanket over tightly…. this will make sure their right arm stays in if you were not able to pull the bottom part up tight enough to tuck.  

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Step 7: And finish it off with a tight tuck under the baby and they will look like a really cute burrito. 

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There are a couple different ways to swaddle, this one I find the easiest and what I have been taught the most.  Some families use the pre-made swaddle blankets that look like a sack you put the baby in and then you just have to wrap their arms.  Those are great and easy too!

 

I hope this small tutorial helps you build a little bit more confidence when you are working with infants.

 

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