Adventures in Childcare

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When things dont go so well anymore

In-home childcare is such an emotional job. You’re looking after little people who develop serious attachments to you; you’re privy to the personal aspects of your employers lives (and if you’re unlucky like me have seen most of them naked! But that’s for another post) and you’re more than am employee but not quite family. Domestic employment is unlike any other employment and when things start to get bumpy it can be even more difficult to solve.

This is why I like a thorough contract when starting a position,but if like most aupairs you don’t have a contract or your contract is very basic and doesn’t cover what steps to take when you hit a few potholes,then it’s time to sit down and make some changes.

Most of the time, issues are due to resentments or expectations on either side which are not communicated for whatever reason. Often,just by writing your concerns down and coming up with ways to solve the problems these can easily be resolved once you discuss them.

Sometimes however, the problems cannot be resolved and then it’s time to move on. Do it professionally, you need the reference,and you’ll feel better about it afterwards. Always strive to be the bigger person.

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Mothers Day

This past weekend was mothers day. I know not many aupairs are mothers themselves,but they play a major role in the lives of the children they look after and are often the stand-in mother figure for those children when their mothers cannot be there.

Did you do anything for your employers this mothers day? We painted flower pots and planted bulbs. I enjoy doing crafty activities with my charges,but sometimes the activities and home-made gifts are not received as graciously as we would like them to be and it’s not pleasant to come in and find all your hard work forgotten in a cupboard or even worse thrown away. I do however,keep on creating and giving as I feel it is important to teach children the intrinsic value of making and giving something from your heart rather than just buying something from the shops.


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Valentines day

Oh dear, I”m too late again.  I had this whole post planed out for you in my head so you could get creative with your charges and things got busy and suddenly Valentines day is passed and it’s already Friday again!

I will share anyway, maybe you can still use the idea for a birthday or other special occasion (Easter is only 38 days away 🙂 )

My boss always likes to get the teachers something nice for Valentines day.  So this year I suggested I bake with the girls and we do biscuits / cookies.  Nice and easy and the teachers usually appreciate the effort.

I followed this recipe and idea: http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2013/01/how-to-make-valentines-cookie-pops.html

We made the dough the day before and popped it in the fridge.  Following day we made 120 cookies (faint).  60 big ones and 60 small ones.  The best part of course is rolling out the dough and eating little bits lol

I iced majority of the biscuits  cookies whilst the girls were at school because I know my girls and they could easily take an hour to decorate 4 each, so 40 each would take FOREVER!

Rolling out

Cutting out shapes (she’s only 2, so cute, did this all by herself!)

The big ones

Big ones decorated

The little ones

Pretty good for a 2yr old hey…done totally on her own

And then, we put some florists oasis into 2 little pink tin buckets, and stuck 30 big ones in each bucket and the girls took them to school to share out.  Teachers got little jars with little ones in 🙂


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100’s of things to do with toilet rolls

When I have some time, I like to browse on pinterest.  I think that if I had much more time on my hands I would be doing a lot more browsing!  If you want to follow me, go here 🙂

After finding a huge stash of collected toilet roll inners, I was wondering what on earth I could do with them besides the usual (I use them to start off my seeds so I don’t disturb the seedling roots when I transplant them like this)  So, Google and Pinterest it was!  I found loads of ideas.  Some of my favourites are these:

 

Make little owls: http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562116404203/  I love owls!

Bird houses: http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562116464126/  Could also be made into little fairy houses or somehow incorporate a candle for a pretty night-time effect.

Have your toddlers practise threading: http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562115140432/  I’ll be trying this one with my daughter this week.  Use tape to make the end of the wool firm.

Pretty jewelry or decorations: http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562115177858/

Stamping: http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562114977993/  Make your own wrapping paper 🙂

And these are just gorgeous:  http://pinterest.com/pin/4292562114747138/

 

 

Another link with some ideas:  http://www.thedailybuzz.com.au/2012/03/20-things-to-do-with-toilet-paper-rolls/

Aaaah Pinterest! lol

 

 


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Chocolate Quinoa cake

OK, so this one I haven’t tried yet, but I have been told by someone I trust to know about these things that it is yummy and I do inted to try it, when I have a weekend free!  So, here it is.  If you’re looking for something grain free, give it  go.  Can easily be dairy and sugar free too if you swap the milk for rice or soya milk and the sugar for xylitol.

 

Made from quinoa and more like a brownie, this cake is gluten-free and completely delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 c. (150 ml) white or golden quinoa
  • 1 1/3 c. (340 ml) water
  • 1/3 c. (90 ml) milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. (170 g) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 c. (375 ml) white or cane sugar
  • 1 c. (250 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (7.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) salt

DIRECTIONS

  • Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Combine the milk, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups (500 ml) of cooked quinoa and the butter and blend until smooth.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan before serving. Add icing if desired. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. Serves 8 to 16.

 

http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2415918-Moist-Chocolate-Quinoa-Cake?full_recipe=true


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Monthly Kit Club thru Edu-Kits

Have you lovely people seen this: Monthly Kit Club

I think it is an awesome idea.  Being at home all day with little ones is tiring sometimes.  Our brains are marvellous  but sometimes they need a bit of a helping hand to think of something fun and creative and educational to do.

When I work with little people, I like to have a theme to follow, these kits will give you an activity as well as supplemental activity ideas depending on the age of the child and the kit you sign up for.  You can build on each activity by adding in activities, outings, crafts, baking etc that will enrich your charges learning.  What a bonus for the parents, not only is their child being lovingly cared for at home, but also learning through fun activities every day.  And once you’re done, may I suggest you make a note of the activities you did and file it away.  Soon, you will have an amazing resource of child-friendly fun at your fingertips.


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10 ways to entertain kids on a rainy day

* bundle up and go for a walk.  Splash in as many puddle as possible!

* go for a drive to find the end of the rainbow.

* use old apple boxes and paper plates to make cars.   Make popcorn, choose a move and go to the ‘drive-in’ in the lounge.

* snuggle up with hot chocolate and read books till everyone falls asleep.

* close the curtains and play with torches.

* build a fort from bed linen and furniture.

* play hide-and-seek on tip-toes

* bake bread

* have an ever-lasting bubble bath.  Add glitter 🙂

* make pizza or soup from scratch