Friday, September 19, 2014

&& So It Begins!

The process of opening Nature Sprouts is actually in full swing now!

Every other month the county holds a large group info meeting about the licensing process and that is where you receive the application. I must have just missed the last one because it felt like I was waiting forever for the next one to come around. Well, yesterday was the day and it was such a great feeling walking out with the application in hand. This wasn't just a dream anymore. It felt like reality!

In the application you need to fill out background info consent forms for everyone who lives in the household, get a physical and have your dr sign off on seeing you in good health for taking care of kids, list references, finish a safety checklist of your home and get the application notarized. So far, all of that is done besides the dr appointment. But come Monday my application will be in the mail!

Once they have received my application they'll send me an invitation to a 3 hour small group meeting where I'll get more paperwork to fill out and we'll go more in depth with the laws and statutes. Is it weird that I'm looking forward to this?!

Along with all of these meetings and paperwork I also have to do about 20 hours worth of training classes. They include: CPR, First Aid, Behavior Guidance, Child Passenger Restraint, SUIDS/AHT (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death/Abusive Head Trauma) and Supervising for Safety. I just registered for all of them today and will have them all completed by the end of November.

From there I will play the waiting game until the licensor contacts me to set up a 4 hour home visit inspecting the daycare set up.

It's officially go time! I have to get cracking on making final adjustments to the house as well as hold interviews for potential daycare families.

Let's hope we can get this daycare up and running in March 2015!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Birdtown Run 100 - Week 1

Right after finishing Week 1

Week 1 has been TOUGH! I've been adjusting to getting up early (you'll never see me running at any other time of day), I'm trying to find a comfortable pace for myself, my body is adjusting to getting more exercise this week than it has in over a year combined and I'm learning how to get through how mental running really is.

Here's the progress to my goal of 100 miles in August [Week 1]:

7 runs (no walking) - 21.15 miles - 3:53:58 total time running - 10:57avg.min/mi - 1,848 calories burned.

I now have TWO DAYS OFF! My body will love me for that but I hope I don't lose momentum.

Goals for week 2:

  • Run 28.85 miles for a total of 50 miles 
  • 10:45min/mi

What I learned this week:

  • I run best when I start my run at 5:30am
  • Stretching is everything
  • My mind will give up before my body does
  • Getting out of bed and out the door is the hardest part

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Making myself a priority

Ever since becoming a mom (almost 6 years ago now!) I really started putting myself lower and lower on my own priorities list. I had completely lost touch with things that I used to love doing. I am happy to say that I've began to make time for myself again lately and as tough as that is to work into the day, what's even tougher is continuing to put myself on the back burner.

So, what's changed?

Well first, I was invited to be part of a book club. While it took me a month or two to get into the swing of things once I picked up and read my first book I didn't want to go a day without reading again! This is something that I used to love doing but life happened and I stopped making it a priority. It really is such a great feeling to get lost in a book and it's a great way for me to wind down during nap time and after the kids go to bed.

Next, I began running (again). I've never really been a runner. I've done a couple 5k's and I did an 8k this spring. It was really the 8k that did it for me. It was the longest distance I've ever ran without stopping and I did it without training. I MEANT to train. But I never made the time. So, I was incredibly sore for almost a week afterwards. The race itself made me feel so great though that I knew I had to start making time for running. Fast forward a couple months (still hadn't made time for running) and I came across a running challenge online. The town where I grew up has become a really tight knit community. They have a facebook group for almost everything you can think of to join their residents together. Yes, I am a part of them all even though I now live in the town right next to it (honestly, one block over). Their newest facebook group is for a running challenge they have right now for the month of August. One of their residents got the idea from a friend to start the Birdtown Run 100. You try to run 100 miles in the month of August and everyone who wants to sign up and do it buys an awesome running jacket they've had designed for it and the group is in place to post your runs and help keep you motivated. I knew this was my calling. I signed up to do it along with 3 friends of mine. So far, so good! I'm six days in and 14 miles down running every morning at 5:45 with a previous neighbor of mine. It has definitely been challenging because I'm not used to waking up that early and my body isn't used to this much exercise but it's worth it. It's becoming a nice routine that I hope won't end once the Birdtown Run 100 is over.

My mornings are as follows: wake up at 5:15, quickly get ready to go run, run from 5:45-6:20, Kaylee get's dropped off (sleeping) at 6:30, I start the coffee pot, take a shower and relax with my coffee while watching the news until the kids wake up. All before 8 o'clock I get friend time, exercise, a shower and me time. 

My promise to myself is that I will never put ME on the back burner again.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Nature Sprouts Daycare - Mission

It has been so fun coming up with my mission statement and putting policies together for the daycare.

As you can see, it now has a name! It was so difficult to come up with something. First I had to like it and then I had to Google it to make sure it wasn't already in use. Let's just hope no one takes it before I get it registered!

I really want to focus my daycare on nature, personal health and being eco friendly. I think all kids at a very young age should be taught the importance of recycling, reducing waste, using eco friendly products, eating healthy foods (with as many of those as possible being organic) and getting kids interested in nature and being outdoors.

We live in an age where kids are constantly wanting to be plugged in an when we moved into our house, we made a big change. That change was keeping TV's out of our main living space. It has made a tremendous difference to our kids lives. Not only do they spend a ton of time running around and exploring outside now but they're also interacting more indoors and becoming more creative with their play.

So, when creating my mission statement I kept all of these things in mind.

NATURE SPROUTS MISSION : is to create a wholesome environment which promotes every child's social/emotional, physical and cognitive development. We offer high quality childcare in a toxin free environment and offer a wide variety of healthy foods. Our educational focus is not only on core subjects but also on being eco friendly and discovering the wonders of nature through exploration.


Safe, non-toxic cleaning products
No artificial food coloring allowed
As much local and organic food as possible
Cloth diaper friendly
Breast milk friendly
Bio-degradable wipes
Cloth towels for hand drying
Cloth napkins for meals
We re-use and recycle

If you've ever looked for childcare before, what were you looking for in a daycare environment for your child? If you haven't looked before, what would you look for? What's important to you?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

& then there was one

Tonight I received a message that changed things a little bit.

The woman who I was partnering with to do daycare has had a change of heart.

It helped me to think of the pro's before the con's.

  • I don't have to try and figure out tax stuff with having an "employee".
  • I don't have to consult with anyone before making any daycare related decisions. 
  • I don't have to worry about our relationship going sour from working together 50 hours a week. 
  • I don't have to split the money with anyone. 
  • Not having a back-up for sickness and vacations. 
  • Not having an extra set of eyes during the day.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I'm still going to open this daycare and I hope I'll look back feeling happy with my decision to make this huge leap! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wishing I had kept Rex's baby gear..

I haven't posted in a while because life has pretty much taken over. I've been awful by not making my blog a priority since I really do love it so much. What a better way to get back into the swing of things with a [somewhat] huge announcement?!

Drum roll please!

I'm applying for an in home daycare license!

Not what you thought I would say?

So yes, I'm really wishing I had kept Rex's baby gear because I could really use a baby swing, highchair, bouncy seat, etc. for the daycare.

It was a little sudden how this came about. Let me explain.

I've been watching a little 4 year old girl for the past couple of weeks and it's been an absolute blast! We're all loving having her around. Plus, I've also interviewed/met with another family who needs short term care coming up this fall. It kind of got my wheels turning. What if I really did this for a LIVING and not just an extra few bucks?

We had a get together at our place with family and friends and a couple brought up how they can't start trying to have kids until she has a day job. I threw it out there: "What if we started a daycare?!" That way I could still stay home with the kids, they could start their family and she could bring her kids to work PLUS by doing this together we can have each others back when one of us is sick, on maternity leave, wants to go on vacation, etc. so that the daycare families wouldn't be left in a scramble. She LOVED the idea! Even said that she's always wanted to do daycare! So, that was that!

I have been doing nothing but research since. I had NO IDEA how long of a process this would be and how much training is required. It's going to be tough and stressful at times but it will be so worth it.

Now, this daycare needs a name and I'm open to suggestions! Once we get a name picked out then I can start our daycare blog to share this journey with everyone. Have any ideas?!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Saying 'goodbye' to our apartment

Our keys needed to be turned in at our apartment by noon today so yesterday afternoon I took the boys there so we could say a final 'goodbye'. As we were driving there it all of a sudden seemed like such a long drive. Most likely because we are so close to everything now. When I was pulling my car into the garage I was flooded with the memory of bringing Rex home from the birth center. I instantly started to cry.

It's just amazing after not living there for almost a month how much you can forget. Like how the door squeaks, how Rex always giggles at Levi walking up the stairs and how the place smells. The kids ran around chasing each other and giggling like crazy the whole time we were there. When it was time to go Levi went into every room and yelled "GOODBYE!". I went there thinking that Levi was going to have a really difficult time with saying goodbye and leaving but it hardly phased him. Instead it was me that started crying as I was reminded of so many different memories. When I shut the door for the last time, trying to fight back tears, I put the key in to lock it and realized that I was trying to lock it with my house key. They don't look anything alike. My house key is bright pink, hello kitty. Glancing down and seeing the house key in my hand instead of our apartment key made me realize that as hard as it is to say goodbye, I'm about to go HOME. To our house. The place that we will call our home for years and years and years. The place where we will make far more memories than we had at our apartment. As special as those memories are, they go with us where ever we go. And that's what's most important.

Last time at our apartment - Levi (5) Rex (17.5 months)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Before and After Photos - Part 1 (Kitchen and Formal Living Room)

Kitchen Before
Kitchen After
Living Room Before
Living Room After
Living Room After

In the kitchen we painted all of the walls and the trim, replaced a small dishwasher with a full size one, replaced the porcelain sink with a stainless steel sink and replaced the hood above the stove with an above the range microwave. I also added hooks on the half wall for Levi and his friends to hang their snow gear up when they come inside from playing.

Future kitchen plans:
-new light fixtures which will include a ceiling fan above the table and a chandelier in the kitchen.
-new countertop
-tile backsplash
-look into putting the fridge by the stove to open up the space
-black double door fridge
-valance for window above sink

In the formal living room we only painted the trim and the closet door. It still has one coat to go.

Future formal living room plans:
-floor length curtains for the windows
-more decorating on the walls
-black chair to replace the off white one (or a chair cover)
-make up my mind about a solid rug or a solid print chair (both of those prints don't seem to be working together..)

So far, it's been fun! I can't wait to knock more off of our to-do list!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The transition to our home

The first night in our home was kind of chaotic. We had family over until after 10:30pm. They were such a huge help in us putting things together and at one point I realized they had completely taken over my kitchen putting contact paper on all of the shelves and I was sitting at the dining room table relaxing! Yes, they really are that amazing! Not to mention my mom came by unannounced with all of the fixings to make pancakes in the morning and had even gotten us our favorite beer and a bottle of champagne to celebrate. My aunt and my grandma also made a run to the store for us to get last minute supplies and brought pizza for dinner. We are so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives and for them to take such wonderful care of us!

Levi went to bed just fine that first night. It took me 4+ attempts to get Rex to sleep though. I was finally able to rock him to sleep and put him in his crib without him waking up at 10:30pm. After that I got Levi down for bed and I had no energy to do anything so I went to bed myself.

Rex got up in the middle of the night every night for the first several days. I always put him in bed with us when he woke up to comfort him. He was so content this way but I do not sleep well with him in bed with us. It was rough. He also went from breastfeeding 1-2x/day down to not wanting any interest in it at all. It was very sudden. I wasn't going to force it on him. I had made it to my goal of breastfeeding for 12 months and told myself that we would be done when he wanted to be done. This was it. He breastfed for 16.5 months and I'm thrilled about that but it was really hard on me at the same time. This baby making phase of my life has officially ended.

There have been a few times (even today) when Levi gets upset about the house and says he doesn't like it here. He misses our apartment a lot. It breaks my heart that he feels this way and that there's really nothing I can do to make it all better. I try to list all of the good things about the house and I tell him that I miss things about our apartment too. We are going there tonight to say our final goodbye and turn in our keys. I'm preparing myself for many tears from him. I thought of sending him to grandma's when we go and do this because I know it will be hard but I think it's best for him to get the chance to say goodbye. To get closure. I hope that eventually it will help him in knowing that we really can't go back there, it isn't ours anymore and someone else is living there. It might be harder for him right now knowing that it is still ours and we still have the keys.

All in all it's been a rough few weeks. Moving, getting settled, our long to-do list, finding our routine, the end to breastfeeding, getting fired and not to mention the awful frigid winter we're having. Things are getting better though. Rex is sleeping through the night (knock on wood), we have a pretty solid routine to our days and Levi is making friends in the neighborhood and playing outside as much as possible.

The fog is lifting and I'm starting to get really excited about our future and all of the memories we'll make here!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We're homeowners!

After 2.5 years of working on credit and getting our life in order we were finally pre-approved for a mortgage as of October 2013. We had been "looking" for months because we knew it was near but when we got approved we only had two outings with our realtor before we found THE ONE! I'll be honest though. Andy fell in love with the house before I did. It was pretty much instant for him. I didn't completely fall in love until we had painted and it started feeling like ours.

The cons: I really had my heart set on a house in Robbinsdale. I also really wanted a formal dining room for extra space to entertain, a 2nd bathroom and a 2 car garage. This house doesn't have any of those things. But, we can put in a 2nd bathroom and build a bigger garage. And it's a block away from Robbinsdale. I can live with that. Especially because our house is closer to downtown Robbinsdale than the Robbinsdale house I grew up in.

The pros: It's a 1.5 story. I love the layout of these homes. There's a partially finished basement and room to add another bedroom/bathroom. The backyard is the best! It's fenced in, spacious for the area, has a beautiful deck and came with a swing set. All of the light switches except for the kitchen and the laundry room have dimmers on them. I don't know how I ever lived without this feature! It's so great and especially when you have kids. 6:30pm is now dim the lights time. It makes getting through bedtime routine so much easier! And how could I almost forget about the hardwood floors?! Love, love, love!

We closed on Friday December 20th (my grandma's birthday) and it was officially ours on Friday December 27th when the sellers had all of their things out. We went that weekend to pick out paint and all day Sunday I prepped for painting while Andy was at the Vikings game with his mom. That evening we had a painting "party" with my mom, grandma, grandpa and Andy's mom. We got quite a bit done but didn't actually finish painting until 3 days later. And even then, we still stopped with a coat to go on most of the trim and we didn't paint stripes in Rex's room like we had intended. We were so over painting and figured we could easily do that once we were moved in. So, moving day came on Saturday January 4th! We had a bunch of family and friends to help us and it took pretty much all day (and that's with us already bringing 3 van loads ourselves in the days before). I worked that afternoon so I wasn't around for the final unloading. I was bummed to miss out on things but then it was great at the same time to be able to come to the house after work and have beds put together and family hanging out.

The first few nights were not easy. Now that I think about it more like the first couple of weeks.. but I'll save that for another post!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I got fired..

I've been missing from my blog for quite some time now. After yesterday's events I'm feeling really inspired to get back into a routine here and continue to document our wonderful, unpredictable, chaotic life.

Yesterday.. I was fired from my job.

I saw it coming. I had the meeting set up for two days and that gave me time to process everything. Make a plan.

A recent change of childcare had me planning on going in on my next shift and tell them I could only work Saturday/Sunday now instead of Friday/Saturday. It was going to get in the way of us ever having a family day together but it was going to be temporary. I planned on quitting come this April when the lease is up on my car because I won't be getting another one and it will cut my bills down to next to nothing. I wasn't okay with working weekends all summer and missing out on all of that family/cabin time. My family and the memories we make together mean more to me than a few extra dollars every month.

Before I could change to only working weekends, I was fired. It's definitely feeling like everything happens for a reason. I don't feel comfortable going into the details (publicly) of why I was fired but I'm not keeping it a secret. So, if you want to know feel free to ask :-)

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm now an official stay at home mom (SAHM). I am going to make the most of this phase of my life because it's going to go by faster than I can imagine. Before I know it both of my kids will be in school and I'll be back to work. 43 months to be exact. Only 43 months..