Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Positive and Negative

In light of some news I received today I felt compelled to talk myself through it via blogger. You all know I am over the moon about going back to teaching.  My new job teaching part time music and part time PK4 is literally combining everything I've ever known and done since I graduated college.  It really is a nice transitional job until my next dream job opens up teaching full time music in the Branson Public schools if they will have me.  Still holding out for a job at the new elementary when it opens up come Fall 2013. 

Anyhoo...when I accepted this position it just seemed like the perfect fit and it seemed that I would be making EXACTLY the amount I was making doing daycare in my home which made the decision a no brainer and almost felt like a sign that this was the path I was to take.  Today that information changed.  I will not be given the hours I was once discussing with the principal.  Because of my shortened hours I will not be making as much as I was doing daycare in my home.  It has also become very clear that I will not be compensated for even a fraction of the planning time that I will have to do to be prepared each week.  Needless to say,  this private school is on a shoestring budget.  Decisions have been made, daycare kids are gone, and I am set to start Tuesday so no going back now. 

So there's the bad part.  Makes me feel a little sick to my stomach that I will be making less.  There literally was no way to know this until I got my schedule which wasn't until today because they really didn't know what it was going to be until today.  So there is no reason to place blame on anyone for the misinformation I recieved when I accepted the job.

Now, here's my attempt to talk myself through this so it really ends up being positive blog. 

1.  Part time hours mean more time with Bren alone.  Time I NEVER would have had with the daycare.
2.  I really think I will enjoy this job, maybe even love it.  Maybe.
3.  I will be around other Godly adults everyday in addition to the children.  Such a welcome change.
4.  The short change in income isn't so drastic that we are in trouble, just have to be more careful with spending and at least I have a job.  That alone is something to be thankful for.
5.  Even though I will be doing A LOT of work (planning, concerts, etc.) for free, at least I love doing it so that makes it much better.
6.  This job gets me back in the game so I am more qualified to get that dream job.
7.  God opened these doors for a reason so I trust he has a plan and will provide where my job falls short.

When I first accepted this job I was a little conflicted as to whether I wanted to even go for a public school job again.  Afterall, it was a Christian school.  A place where I was allowed to express my faith with my students.  What Christian teacher wouldn't want to hang on to that opportunity?  However, as time has progressed and new information has come to me about compensation for my time, qualifications, and efforts, it is blaringly obvious that this not the last stop on my career ladder.  I am thankful for the opportunity and excited about it, but I am also equally excited about teaching full time music in a public school again someday.  Time will tell.  Until then, I'm going to try to enjoy this new adventure and give it 100% of my talents and abilities.  I will also REALLY enjoy the additonal one on one time with Bren God has granted me even if it means loosing a little income for now.  We'll find a way to make it work.  Sigh!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm on day four of my break (not counting the weekend) before work starts with no daycare.  I have been SOOOO busy!  It really hasn't been a break at all.  I spent the first days just trying to purge and reorganize.  Jeff told me to just relax and really take a break before I dug in, but the most I could do was sit down with Bren for one movie.  I just couldn't help myself.  I was so excited about project purge that I wanted to do it right away.  So far a huge truck load and one van load has left my house with probably another load to go in the next few weeks. 

For the first time since we moved in I feel like everything in our house has a place.  There is no room left over, BUT I have enough room and places for EVERYTHING.  We fit in our house like a glove.  What a wonderful feeling.  The kids' craftroom is almost finished.  We just need to move a puzzle cabinet downstairs.  The walls aren't painted and I don't intend on painting them since the basement is unfinished and we plan on taking down the walls to do electrical work to finish it a couple of years anyways.  BUT....I hung stuff on them anyways just to make the space feel more like a kid space.  It almost resembles a home school room.  The kids love their new area.  Their old area upstairs will be transformed into a guest area in the next week or two.  Yes, you heard it right.  The Bilberries will actually have a guest room close to a bathroom and in air conditioning now instead of in an unfinished basement with no bathroom or air conditioning!  Woohoo! 

I was able to get all toys down to one toy box full.  Another toy box is stuffed with dress up clothes and I have one small plastic bin with play food for their play kitchen in their play house.  The IKEA drawers we bought are up and stuffed with all kinds of craft goodies.  Between Kadyn's stash and my stash we filled 20 pull out drawers of arts and crafts which turned out to be EXACTLY the amount we needed.  I also hung up a clothes line for them to hang their creations on.  On another wall I hung up their aqua doodle pad and glow station pad so they will remember they have them and actually use them more often.   In a couple days they will also have access to a big roll of craft paper attached to a holder on a wall. Sometimes their stuff gets put away and then they forget to play with it because it's out of sight out of mind so putting some things on the walls helps with that.  They have their little pink CD player so they can listen to their kid music at any time (I used to have to put this out of reach due to babies).  I am so proud of how it turned out.  To any other onlooker it may appear pretty average, but to me it's AWESOME simply because I know where we started.  The best part is, most of our storage stuff is hidden so it actually looks organized and clean!

Yesterday I got to pick out decorations for my classroom.  Brennan got to spend a little time with her preschool teacher while I sifted through stuff. She loved it.  When I went to pick her up she put out her pouty lip, laid down on the floor and told me how she wanted to stay.  I think she's ready.  Thursday I get to actually go into my classroom and start hanging things. I won't go all out though.  This room will only be temporary until our new building is finished being built in a month or so.

I have finished a month's worth of lesson plans for my music classes.  I haven't begun on my preschool classes yet, so that will consume over the next few days.  Today I meet with the other PK4 teacher to see what she does the first few weeks.  This Saturday is open house so I will get a chance to meet my students and their parents.

Other changes that have begun is that we have started to attend the YMCA as a family for workouts.  Kadyn and Bren go the free childcare room which they seem to LOVE.  In a few weeks Kadyn will begin her first gymnastics class.  We had always wanted to get her involved in this but couldn't because of my daycare schedule.  I am very excited to have her in this because it will prevent me from making excuses to go work out.  If I have to take her anyways, might as well be working out while I'm waiting on her.  Our workout sessions will take place around the time I would typically be cooking dinner so I have had to be forward thinking and make sure I cook before I leave for the Y so there is minimal cooking to do when I get home and we can eat relatively soon after we get back.

Yet another change for our family is packing sack lunches for the girls' lunches.  I don't have to pack Bren's yet, but Kadyn's school is in full swing so I am getting the hang of it now.  I have decided that I will use packing her lunches as a good opportunity to teach Kadyn how to cook simple things and help put her lunch together each evening before she goes to bed.  This really isn't as bad as I thought it would be, although I may feel differently in a couple months.  I figured it would really feel like a burden because it was just another thing to tag on to the end of my day routine.  Since I have made Kadyn start participating in this, it seems more like a fun Mommy, Daughter thing to do now and less of an obligation.   

When my school starts I will have to start getting up earlier than I am now, by an hour.  I'm dreading this. schedule is going to be so much better than it was, it will be worth it.  It turns out that although Brennan will be in a different preschool classroom, I will be getting to teach her music with the rest of her classmates. I wasn't aware I would be teaching music classes to the PK4 students until yesterday. This was a nice surprise.  Getting to put together a music program with my little in it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside ;)

Knowing that people aren't going to come trotting through my door at any moment has been such a nice change.  I don't have to wear makeup if I don't want too.  I can walk around without a bra if I want too.  I can stay in my PJs if I want too.  Where before I used to think, must get those shoes put away now or parents will trip when they walk through the door.  Oh, a little speck on the floor, must pick up or the baby will eat it.  The baby will get into that, must put away.   Must close that door or the baby will get into this.  Can't start that project or the baby will demand to be held and I'll have to stop half way through.  Must put video on for baby during craft time or baby will scream for attention or steal craft stuff off table.  Must put out 100 board books or baby will scream through entire preschool story time.  Must put up those library books or baby will rip them up.  Must not flush toilet or baby will wake up.  Must get into fridge quickly or baby will get into it while I'm looking for stuff.  Must remember to look behind me when cooking or will trip over said baby who always wants to be at my feet when I cook.  The list goes on and on.  Can you tell I'm ready to be out of baby mode? BUT out of that list, my favorite change has been the lack of childproofing.  I took the latches off of cabinets within hours of the baby's departure.  No baby gates or dooknob locks.  I am no longer prisoner in my own home.  Sigh!

So anyways, there have been a lot of changes in our house lately and I like it.  Change it good.  I like change.  Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1st day of 1st grade

Kadyn was off to her first day of 1st grade today.  She was very excited and very ready.  Summer break felt perfect.  She was ready to have off of school when it started and ready to go back to school when it was over.  I didn't shed even one tear when she left.  Been there done that.  But then....I saw pictures of little man (the boy I babysat for 2.5 years) going to his first day of Kindergarten.  The tears started flowing then.  Geese!  I know my baby is coming back to me at the end of the day, little man won't. 

I cried when he left for his last day yesterday too.  I really wasn't expecting this reaction.  I was SOOO ready to be done with daycare that I didn't think I'd get too emotional about seeing the daycare kids go.  Who in the world was I kidding?  Spend most of a child's waking hours with him day in and day out for 2.5 years and you're bound to get a little sentimental when they leave I guess.  Makes me realize I am human after all.  Baby had her last day yesterday too, but her and Mama will be back to pick up a whole truck load of stuff I'm getting rid of.  So I didn't allow myself to get worked up about her leaving yet.  I'm about 99% sure the tears will be flowing again when they are ready to pull out of the driveway today though.  Her mother and I have become great friends.  Yesterday for my last day she brought me my favorite starbucks drink.  She kept it together really well until Kadyn ran up to her on her way out the door and gave her a big hug.  Then she lost it.  Baby B was just starting to say my name and give me lots of hugs these last two weeks.  She also decided to cut a bunch of molars so it kind of balanced itself out.  Thankfully, God has provided her another great daycare provider.  Her mother was getting worried for awhile because she couldn't find anyone that met her qualifications.  She had many tearful conversations with me telling me I had set the bar too high!  I will miss our morning chats.  She is a great lady!

I have big plans, as you all know, to start project reorganzation.  BUT....I'm am also going to make myself just take some time to just be with Bren.  To snuggle her, play with her, read to her, do preschool and crafts with her.  I need this time with her all to myself.  I've never had that before.  It will be nice.  We are both looking forward to it.  In the next few weeks I also plan to get my classroom ready to go and finish a week's worth of plans for class.  I'm a little worried how the start of my school year will be as the school is moving to a new building the weekend before school starts.  So I'm not sure how or when I will actually be able to get into my room to decorate and set up; hopefully they'll give me access early.  What's even more stinky, is that we will be moving to yet another building one month later.  Crazy!  BUT....I'm grateful to have a job and I'm grateful to be able to work with such an amazing staff. It's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thankfulness 7

It's been too long.  Gonna have to be a big one.  

1. New job!
2. Answer to prayers!
3.  Perfect fit for now.
4.  Great care and environment for Bren while Mommy works!
5.  2.5 weeks off. 
6.  First time in almost 3 years I've taken off more than 3 days of work.
7.  Reclaiming my house
8.  Purging, purging, purging
9. Recipients that are glad to take my purges
10.  Husband who has been getting handy in the house even though it's not his cup of tea
11.  The loved feeling I get when husband takes on said projects just to make me happy.
12.  Tolerable weather returning.
13.  Bright green yard, beautiful flowers.
14.  Mums, Sigh
15.  Sharing bus duty with the neighbor
16.  K getting to ride bus with her friend
17.  Liking K's new teacher
18.  Seeing K get excited about returning to school
19.  Knowing I'm not going to be a complete wreck about her first day this year
20.  2.5 weeks of alone time with Bren.
21.  Seeing B get excited about preschool
22.  Adoring B's new teacher too!
23.  A friendship blossoming
24.  A supportive daycare client who brings me starbucks on my last day
25.  A daycare client that says I set the bar too high
26.  New daycare for toddler that seems to be the perfect fit just in the nick of time
27.  No one showing up at my door at 7:30 am
28.  No one picking up kids past 6:00 pm
29.  No more screaming toddlers at my heels while I cook supper
30.  No more screaming toddlers period!
31.  A slow down of super hero play and more princess play
32.  Plenty of time to get ready for new job
33.  Cashing in a restaurant gift card on my last day to celebrate
34.  Anticipation of a alchoholic beverage to celebrate my last day
35.  No more high chairs at my table!
36.  No more pack n plays in the girls' room
37.  No more hiding toys with little parts
38.  No more worrying about toddlers running in the street and rolling down our hill
39.  Seeing a little girl save up by cleaning toilets and using birthday money for a ballerina music box
40.  Knowing said little girl wants to save up next for a locket to put a pic of the family in and take to school
41.  Playing with Bren =cuteness
42.  Renewed adoration of my own kiddos
43.  Finshing a month's worth of music lesson plans without access to a curriculum
44.  Finding great deals for Christian music to use in my class with my own money
45.  Getting shutters up, finally and LOVING them!
46.  Feeling like my house is one of the cutest in the WHOLE neighborhood.
47.  Packing healthy lunches for my girls for school
48.  Ability to get a hair cut in the middle of a day instead of having to wait for the weekends.
49.  A different schedule that allows me more alone time with my kids and the time to actually work out
50.  Having Spring breaks, summer breaks, and Christmas breaks off with my kids!  WOOHOO!
51.  Loving the new staff I get to work with
52.  Having a new boss thas is super easy going and trusting in me and my abilities
53.  Being inspired to be my best in my new job and make a lasting impression and share the gospel with the little ones
54.  Getting a taste of being a regular classroom teacher and a music teacher at the same time
55.  Getting to catch up with an old friend over ice cream after 12 years
56.  Anticipation of seeing more old friends on our trip to Manhattan in a couple weeks
57.  Snuggling with my hubby
58.  Goodnight kisses and goodbye kisses from hubby

59.  Sharing funny moments with husband over funny kid antics
60.  Random texts from husband that are sweet and loving
61.  A husband who works hard and makes me proud
62.  A husband who I admire for the man he has become
63.  A upcoming visit from the inlaws this Sept.
64.  Taking cute pics of the kiddos
65.  Feeling optistic about the future instead of dreading it
66.  A few tears sadness, but mostly tears of joy over changes
67.  CLR
68.  Watching the girls do the actions along with Sesame street.
69.  Having a practically weed free front yard. 
70.  Enjoying the release picking weeds gives me.  You can get as violent as you want with a weed ;)
71.  Seeing a friend after 1 year and only feeling like it was yesterday since we last saw each other thanks to facebook
72.  Seeing Bren finally take more responsibility picking up her toys without being reminded a thousand times
73.  Finally biting the bullet and teaching Bren how to wipe number twos.
74.  Hope that the wiping lessons will go quickly and I will be done wiping butts....forever!
75.  Knowing there could be the possibility for me to get my dream job in less than a year....maybe
76.  Thankful that God opened doors that are perfect for me to prepare for said dream job
77.  Having a colleague that is willing to share lesson plans with me and show me the ropes of teaching PK4 in a school
78.   Watching two little girls suffer severe heartbreak over a little beta fish
79.  Seeing those little girls light up when they carried new little beta fish home
80.  Hearing my oldest say her favorite animal is a rat
81.  Listening to B talk about "when I was a baby"
82.  Sharing a story with my little B about how God made her and having her act like it was no big deal
83.  Laughing with my husband (to the point of tears) over a particular personality trait of his and admitting it's one of the things that attracts me to him the most
84.  Having a family funeral for a little beta fish
86.  Moving Bren up to a bigger trike
87.  Anticipation of planting more plants this fall
88.  Seeing a relationship in at the beginning stages of healing
89.  Volunteering to help with children's worship with my husband for church
90.  Having an uncomfortable conversation with someone and they didn't get defensive
91.  Kiddos not resisting schedule change to get ready for school
92.  Having a plan for school lunches
93. Changing the way I grocery shop to make things easier
94.  Knowing my house is about to stay WAY cleaner
95.  Bringing home McDonald's happy meal boxes for the Ratties!
96.  Seeing a little Ratty stop a little girl in tears in less than 10 seconds
97.  Elmo
98.  Pizza  family Movie night
99.  Toilets that FINALLY stopped running

100. Feeling very supportive by all family and friends over new job. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We finally meet

If you'll remember, my new boss hired me sight unseen.  Last Saturday I finally got to meet her and the rest of the staff.  The tiny school I will be working at consists of 5 teachers including myself and the owner/principal.  My boss is extremely easy going and very nice.  The other women are Godly women who I think I am really going to enjoy working with them.

The principal decided to go ahead and bump Brennan up to the other PK4 classroom instead of the 3 year old classroom because her birthday is in the first half of the school year.  The other PK4 teacher also has a 3 year old daughter with an early school year birthday.  She will be in my class.  I think it will be good to for Brennan to have someone teach her who isn't her mother and I think the other PK4 teacher feels the same way.

I am looking forward to working with the other PK4 teacher.  Even though we will both have separate classes, we can plan lessons together and bounce ideas off each other as well as swap centers so our classes don't get bored with the materials we have for them.

A request was made for me to show a picture of myself in my work clothes.  So I here is a picture of one of my outfits.  I was on my way out the door to meet my boss for the first time.  It is nice to go places feeling put together instead of feeling like a worn out frumpy Mommy.

There's a big ruffle on the front of this top, can't see it in the pic though.
This is going to be a great year!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2 gifts in one night

Tonight we got a healthy dose of rain.  We needed it.  Heck, the whole nation needs rain right now.  This summer has been brutal. I have been faithfully watering my plants and my grass this summer.  I still lost 3 plants thanks to the heat, and 3 are still looking pretty scraggly so are in question.  My pepper plants are almost goners too.  It's depressing.

But alas, God is finally starting to come through for us in the rain department.  The past three weeks we have gotten a little bit of rain each week.  The best part of this last soaking was the surprise that showed up afterwards.  Not only did God bless us with the rain, but he left behind a special surprise just for the girls.  If you look hard, you can see the two tiny people standing right underneath it.

Thanks God!

Almost 3 years later and...

...our house isn't naked anymore!  We will have reached our three year mark in our home this November.  We're so close.  It's a big year because we were in our first home three years, our second home three years, and now our newest home three years with no intentions of moving any time soon.  I feel like if we can just get past 3 years it will actually feel like home, home because it we will have lived in it the longest.

Anyhoo, I digress.  The point is, the shutters are up.  Jeff painted them to match our door and we hung the last of them tonight, in the rain.  It was a real bear getting them up.  We had to track down and borrow a 24 foot ladder to get the job done.  Our ground is NOT level so that made it even more nerve racking.  Jeff came through.  He's my superman!

I'm not entirely pleased with my garden. I'm not entirely displeased either.   I still have more to add to it this fall and I want to rearrange some of the flowers.  It doesn't flow quite right for me.  I'll get it eventually.  We are also going to eventually try to plant bushes, small trees, or big ornamental grasses around the electrical boxes.  The rock will also wrap around the entire house at some point and then be landscaped with other bushes and plants.  Lots still to do.  But little by little we are making this house look like our home.

I have been working VERY hard on the yard this summer picking buckets and buckets of weeds.  Spending countless hours dragging a hose around to water it so it didn't die in this ridiculous heat.  Nobody in our neighborhood waters their lawn.  Many of the lawns around here are dried up, weedy, and over grown with former attempts to landscape.  Our yard is kind of a rarity around here.  Oh well.  At least we have the freedom to do whatever we want with our little peace of earth.  We get along great with all our neighbors so can't complain much.  They're WONDERFUL people.'s some pics of how far we've come so far.

Mothership of preschool ideas

I have been searching for additional ideas to use in my PK4 classroom this year.  I did a lot of searching yesterday and then ran into this website:

This sight is A M A Z I N G!!!

Even if you aren't into formal education for preschool and teaching your child anything, it has wonderful ideas for play and activities to keep your kiddos busy while at home.  I especially like the centers ideas.  My biggest concern about teaching a whole classroom of preschoolers is how to keep everyone busy while I help individuals, so that behavior can be better managed.  I imagine their skills may be all over the board so they will need a lot of hands on help from me.  At this age you can't just show them how to do something and expect they will be able to do it on their own.  Until fine motor skills are completely developed everything from holding a pencil to using scissors will require my assistance.  Therefore, having centers around the room will allow me to keep everyone busy so I can work with a smaller handful of students on a certain skill.  I imagine this could be a really valuable resource to home schooling mothers too.  What home schooling mother hasn't had trouble on occasion keeping the little ones busy while they school the other ones?

I only wish I had found it sooner.  Anyhoo....when you find a resource this good, you have to share. Hope some one out there will find it as useful as I think I'm going to.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A new me

As long as you have a sense of humor and don't mind a little talk about certain body parts, read on. Otherwise, skip this one.

I got to go on a huge shopping spree Saturday!  For the past 6 years my clothing has gone downhill.  All of my work clothing is gone.  Most of the clothing I have is worn out and disgusting from doing daycare and a lot of it is hand me downs from other folks.  Needless to say my wardrobe wasn't exactly prepared to go in the workforce again.

I had NO luck at TJMax.  I had a little luck at Target and then I hit Kohls.  I love Kohls!  I heart you Kohls!  Their clothes are just beautiful and perfect for a teacher like me.  I wish I started at Kohls to begin with.  I may not have even needed to go to the other two stores. I'm not a die hard shopper. I know what I want. I go in and get it and get out.  Not a big fan of fighting the crowds.

Here's what I learned from my shopping trip (or already knew but confirmed):

1. The lighting in my little bathroom is bad. Like, really bad. Like, I had no clue my butt looked that bad, bad.  Like, must lose weight now bad. LOL.  This all thanks to the bright lights in the dressing rooms.

2.  Tops are way more expensive than they used to be.  I used to be able to get a nice top for 15 bucks.  Now it's more like $25.  Gulp!

3.  Even though I love knits, just not flattering on my derriere.  Shows.every.single.ripple.   I already knew this, but I confirmed that nothing has changed in this department.

4.  Regular fit pants are too long, petites are too short.  Grrrr!  What to do, what to do?  I guess I'm an inbetweeny.

5.  I am a pants gal.  Dresses are pretty, but for me not comfortable or practical for that matter.  How in the world would I do circle time on the floor in a dress? It would have to be WAY flowy and long, didn't find any of those, so no dresses for me thankyou.  Plus, I HATE heels.  Dresses usually require you to wear fancier shoes.  I'm not a shoe lady either.  No thanks!

6.  As I heard a mother say in the dressing room to her daughter,  "Do you love it?  If you don't love it you, won't wear it."  So true lady.  Listen to your mother kid.  Those words rang through my head the entire time.

7.  If it is going to be a pain to wash, stay far, far away.  You'll regret buying it and rarely wear it.

8.  Most women must have much larger boobs than me.  I felt like half the tops showed my bra straps though the arm pit holes.  Even the smaller sizes.  Only thing I could figure, the more you poke out, the less the fabric sags in the armpit area.  So.darn.frustrating!!!  Wearing a tiger striped bra to my fittings was a bad idea.  I will be altering at least one shirt for this problem. 

9. Who in the world can wear mid rise pants and not show crack when they bend down?  That seems impossible to me.  I prefer to get the waist huggers and just wear a longer shirt so no one knows.  Better safe than sorry.  Learned my lesson awhile back when a certain toddler decided to see if their finger fit in a certain area that was showing thanks to mid rise pants.  Nope, never again.

10.  If it is a top that wrinkles easy, forget it.  The iron and I only get chummy for Jeff's work clothes.  I would rather just wear it wrinkly than pull the iron out for my own clothes.  I don't know how many times I just throw something in the dryer again to avoid getting out my iron.

11.  I swear everyone wears my size.  They're always out of my size.  It's almost the same phenomenon of everyone buys the same brand of groceries as me.  Drives me nutty!

12.  Shopping without your children is WAY easier.  Had I brought them they would have been playing in the clothing racks and inevitably tripped over the racks thus leading to a sobbing pile of kid on the floor from a bummed up knee.  Happens every.single.time.  And I always feel embarrassed and play that I'm such a horrible mother game with myself when it happens.  You hope the other shoppers are other understanding mothers, but my mind says, "They're all staring at you, get that kid to stop crying!"  Let's face it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep your eyes on your kids 100% of the time when you are clothing shopping for yourself.  Do it alone if you can. 

So anyways, I had a good time.  A new friend of mine, who we discovered lives just up the street and has two girls the same ages as our girls, AND I will be working with this year (yay!) volunteered to watch the kiddos for me.  Such a blessing.  Looking forward to looking more professional and put together this year.  It's going to be a good year!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Words can't express excited I am to purge in 2.5 weeks when I am done with daycare.  For most normal families, one of each baby thing suffices.  However, when you run a daycare you have to have multiple of everything.  3 high chairs, 3 car seats, 3 trikes, and a buttload of toys.  When one baby outgrows the exersaucer or swing, you still hang on to it just in case you have to use it for the next client.  Needless to say, all that stuff takes up a lot of space and I have been dreaming about the day I can just get rid of it.  I can't believe I'm almost there.  Just because I'm so excited, I have started making a list of everything that's got to go and I'm sure I've missed something.  There's just so much.

In addition to all the stuff I get to purge, I also get to deep clean and touch up walls (although that I'm not sure of as our paint is so old now it may make the walls look worse if I try to touch them up).  Even though I keep a very clean house most of the time. There were just some things that were a never ending battle, like handprints on my sliding glass door, etc.  I just thought to myself, clean it every now and then, but don't stress yourself out every day because it will get ruined again in 10 minutes flat.  My girls are at an age where baby stuff, running toys into walls, and touching my windows is a thing of the past.  What made doing daycare so difficult as the years went on is that even though my girls were moving into different phases, my house couldn't.  There were still gates blocking rooms and latches keeping the kids (and sometimes us) out of cabinets and drawers.

No longer will I have to shut doors to my bedroom, laundry room, and bathroom.  No longer will I have to wipe snotty noses (my kids wipe thier own).  No longer will I be snotted on, slobbered on, or spit up on. I don't have to watch kids wipe their snot on my couches or sneeze all over each other's food. No longer will I have to have a trash of stinky dirty diapers.  No longer do I have to change those diapers.  No longer do I have to potty train anyone.  No longer do I have to constantly discipline for kids standing on my couches, hitting, pushing, or stealing toys (just not stuff my kids do).  No longer will I have to devote half a drawer to bibs or half a cabinet to sippies.  No longer will I have to bark at my kids to stay quiet because the baby is sleeping or deal with a cranky baby because the kids accidently woke her up. No longer will I have to have all my van taken up by car seats. No longer will the girls have to give up their room to sleeping daycare kids or have their room taken up by pack n plays.  I could go on and on and on and on.

It seems that once I finally made the decision to be done having kids, I mentally moved on and embraced the next season in my life whole heartedly. Instead of looking back and sobbing over things that would be gone, I eagerly anticipated what having older children meant for our family.  Getting this job is was the was the first step into officially moving on to a new season and stepping out of an old one. It is a breath of fresh air. It is exciting.  I have the family of my dreams.  I got to stay at home with my children while they were little (a dream fulfilled) and now I have arrived at a time when I am able to move back into a career that I love.

At first I was very nervous about leaving Brennan in someone else's care before she was in Kindergarten.  But God has eased my heart about this transition by showing me how exciting and great this will be for Brennan.  For the first time, she will be able to be in a class with children her own age, never older or younger.  She will be in a structured environment learning about God, her ABCs, and 123's and Mommy will only be a classroom away.  She is literally just as excited about this change as me.  And lastly, we will both be given about 2 hours of alone time together each day. Something Brennan and I have never had because of daycare and something Kadyn had for a while before there was a Brennan.  I feel so blessed.  I couldn't have planned it more perfectly myself.  Thanks God.  Your blessings overflow and you are always good.