Camp is Over, Lessons were learned

Yay I do apologize for all of the parents who weren’t able to get your children into camp. This blog is not meant to stir up any ill feelings you had having to scramble for your little people.  I feel your pain in that would have led me into pure anxiety.  However I just want to do a dance that camp is over.  Trust and believe it’s not just that the start of school is literally around the corner, it has everything to do with what camp has meant for the Storr household.

My son was in another daycare and with that daycare they have a built-in camp.  He didn’t make it quite to his first full year.  The issue is simple, he was having issues adjusting. He was having issues with some of the kids and that’s all I will say to protect the innocent. However as a parent it was hard having to find alternatives for him.  I had to take him to counseling at some point which worked out since towards the end he was adjusting to life without his grandmother since her passing.  With all that was going on, I personally have to admit, I didn’t remove him in enough time.  Shocker I know. I battled taking him from the daycare because it was convenient for me to take him and his sibling to school and me to work.  The agony of having to start the process of locating another new school made my head hurt.  So I feel that my husband who took my lead and I just didn’t pull the trigger.  That is the one thing to date I regret.

Let me remind you that the very first daycare he was in since he was a baby discharged him and his siblings because they had contracted hand, foot and mouth virus which is a super common virus usually contracted in daycare go figure.  He never got over being in his mind thrown in the second daycare to be honest.  I don’t even ride past that old daycare anymore to avoid the why did she let us go questions.

In the turn of events, since not being enrolled in either daycare, my son has bounced back.  So in my mom heart, it has given me such a calm.  I went from getting calls daily because of my son’s responses to what was happening to none.  Not like a call but it wasn’t bad nope, to NONE.  Let me tell you how happy that has made me feel within itself.  He is back to enjoying going back to camp or as he calls it school since he starts kindergarten next week.  He smiles when you pick him up.  He is excited about all of the trips.  But it’s now coming to an end today.  It was great for him to have this positive experience before he starts school next week.

Let me say and make clear, I do not place blame at the previous daycare at all.  The first one I simply do not have anything positive to say on their behalf.  However the second one just wasn’t a good fit and if I be honest it wasn’t a good full fit for our family in the long run.  The reason is simple the second my son after a few months hadn’t adjusted I should have pulled him.  As a mom I should have set myself to the side on it and followed his cue.  It would have saved time and energy but we all live and learn.

Camp has done both he and his oldest sibling super well.  One its been a great peace not having to pay for field trips in addition to his tuition weekly.  Lawd, trying to keep straight who goes where and spending money for all is a lot in itself.  This camp provided all of that with the tuition and all the kids had the same things except if there was an allergy issue.  Do you know how much of a mom win that is?  A huge one.  So they won me over right from the start. Was it more money?  Absolutely.  But like my husband and I say you get what you pay for.  So we adjusted.  the kids had a blast.  Some of their trips I was kind of jelly over.  They really had a good time and not one provider did I have an issue with. That is a blessing.  Camps and daycare cost too much to deal with bad attitudes and bad vibes.  I tell people all the time, the ones who keep our children so we can work have hard jobs.  However this is something that you choose.  If you get to a point as a daycare worker or teacher and you heart isn’t in it, its time to renew your mind or find a new career.  This coming in and out snubbing parents, acting passive aggressive, or just altogether rude, will not cut in this field.  This goes for administrators too. You have to either love what you do, take a break, or keep it moving.  Nobody should have to come into your place of business and especially if they are paying for their kids to attend to deal with your nasty attitude either.

Here are a few things I want to highlight as we end camp and go into the school year:

  1. Know your money has power.  Although in daycare kids come and go, never forget that you are still paying for a service.  If you don’t like it, give notice and find somewhere else to go.  It’s simple.  You don’t have to argue.  Know your own money power and do what you have to do.
  2. Along with money power know the background and this is really for other camps and daycare.  A lot of camps have parents and families who run off of government assistance.  I am not knocking it, but never treat others better than or worst because of it.  Just because of a subsidy they have the same buying power.  Keep in mind that to the ones who pay cash can sometimes keep your daycare afloat if the government furloughs. Government has and will furlough again and if that happens it’s sometimes the cash paying clients are the ones that take the sting off behind the scenes.  How do I know this, my twin has been in the field since we were 18, we are now 36 I know a lot more than I let people believe.
  3. You can make a grievance with the daycare and if they don’t hear you, they are governed by laws that they have to uphold.  In Pa there is a star system and anything done that doesn’t align to that system that the daycare is on can be reported and you don’t have to simply take what they give you.  They can’t retaliate against you or withdraw your child.  Always check with the department of welfare or the state to see if the daycare has had any violations.  This is your duty as a parent and your right to do so.
  4. Find a daycare that has everything in writing especially for how they will handle instances of bullying or behavioral.  If you do not you will be battling air.  The reason is without these practices in writing daycare and camps can do as they please and you will only be able to complain or make static if they don’t abide by the laws.  Most daycares will abide by the law but not by a moral and human standard if they don’t feel as if things weren’t an issue.  Trust me.
  5. Never sign a non disclosure agreement if you leave.  Don’t sign it.  Get a copy if they ask you to and take it to an attorney.  I can’t even think why they would have one but trust and believe I keep an attorney on stand by and I will sign Donald Duck before I sign my name to some trash like that.  Daycares and camps run off a word of mouth for the most part.  Sorry not sorry.  We are talking about human lives. How the facility acts when things are less than stellar speaks about how they truly run.  I for one think others need to be cautious and asking those who was there if you have the ability to do so is key.
  6. If you are ever in a position where you don’t get along with administration even if its one or more of the persons in charge, made the decision if you are willing to stay with all things the same.  In other words, if the person (s) you do not get along can you deal with that for the sake of your child.  Sometimes you can and other times you can’t.  You should never feel like you are stuck.  IF you do, your child will pick up on that resentment.  If I am honest I know my kids have done so and looking at the situation I may or may not be sorry about that. I wrote about vibes and for me vibes matter.  I have had bad vibes with a person and how that person continues to act may suggest if I should correct the issue or let it go and move on.
  7. Do not allow your child to do something that you didn’t sign for.  For instance the Summer has been filled with drowning deaths.  One event comes to mine with the daycare from the South who was supposed to hike but then took the kids swimming and the child drowned and died.  This type of stuff infuriates me.  Do not send home a permission slip, get permission from the parent to do that activity and change without notifying and getting permission from the parent.  That was a free nugget for any daycare or camp.  This is a huge lawsuit waiting to happen. Even more there is a family that is experiencing life without the life of a child who could still be here had they followed the laws and rules.
  8. Do not be afraid to find another camp, daycare or school.  Listen as we go into the school year, my kids have the privilege to go to private school, with that we literally mean business when it comes to their education, and how much we spend and what we expect.  We do over and beyond on all fundraisers, attend all meetings, engage all year without a parent teacher conference, attend all parties, come to all functions, and pay our fees during the year as asked I literally will put up with ZERO foolishness from administration.  We mean zero.  No one has to chase us to be involved with our kids lives and with that in mind I demand that the school hold up their end of the bargain at all times.  There is no pat on the back for what we do and neither will it be for those who teach them.  So we all have to be held accountable.

I want to shout out the second and last daycare/camp for the time they have had with my children.  As we transition into the next phase of our children’s journey, there is no hard feelings whatsoever but its time to continue down the path of excellence.  The kids have been super happy and that makes us super happy as parents.  This blog was not a means to air out any grievances.  This blog is to empower parents to never forget your power when dealing with daycare, daycare providers, camps, or schools.  Just because for those who work, and having someone to keep our kids is a must, doesn’t mean you have to take junk just to get through.  You were in control the minute you signed the contract and you are in control until you discontinue the relationship.  I hope that this blog gets you engaged on what some providers will do, what you don’t have to tolerate, and why you need to be on the lookout for in the future.  If you are fortunate to have someone who you trust keep your kids, do not let your guard down just because they are family or friends either.  Be vigilant in what you need, what importantly your kids needs, and realize that business is business and the business of healthy, happy, and engaged kids is most important.  Lastly trust your gut, and listen to your child.  Do not do what I did and air on caution for yourself.  Trust yourself.  Goodbye to Summer Camp but come through 2017/2018 school year!!

Oooo Oooo Organized Life

So Fall is coming.  I am super excited.  Fall and Summer play step sisters with me on who is the favorites.  With that in mind, its time to end the last quarter of the year.  Literally 2018 will be here before you know it. I know we don’t want to think about it but its true. So while some will focus on making new goals the goal in that is to complete the ones you have started.  Yes how can you make 2018 and just throw caution to the wind on 2017. Let’s end 2017 off right.

What I like about the fact that 2017 still has a few months left is that you have time to make some great strides.  Think about September is around the corner so that leaves 3 months to literally get your life.  Didn’t work out?  You have 3 months to still lose some pounds.  Time to get it right and tight can still happen.  How?  Dedicate yourself.  That is half the battle.  In the Fall there is a thousand activities to aid in that.  Remember you got to get something down pack before the Winter blues enter in.  Do it before the snow and cold will convince you that you can’t go outdoors.  Where to get your motivation? Instagram? Facebook?  YES and no.  Your biggest motivation is in the mirror?  When you get up and hate the way your clothes fit no matter what your size, that is motivation saying hey fix this. Motivation is always around you its a matter of not drowning motivation’s cries as you reach for that second donut.  Trust me I get it, my husband brought donuts home last night.  I had one today and walked away before motivation could kick me in the behind.

One of the other ways of getting organized is preparing.  For all of the parents who are about to send their children off, get organized now.  Start labeling your school supplies and clothes.  Every year thousands of dollars are wasted because some other kid had your child’s stuff because it wasn’t adequately labeled.  I cut this mess in half by ordering labels from Dinkleboo and getting the offer through Groupon for 5.00.  I will not be sitting around labelling things with a sharpie this year.  It’s time-consuming.  Now I can have the kids slap their own labels on their stuff and bag it up.  Yes for a mommy win. You can do the same in your adult life.  Can you prepare before hand?  Sure can.  Many people complain about not having time to cook, I call BS on it.  Yes I said BS.  We know what that means.  It’s called not enough preparation.  I am super busy with 3 kids all under the age of 10, I blog, I work full-time, I work out, I have a husband, and I have a social life.  Go figure.  So how do I manage? A plan, a crock pot, a planner and a changed mindset.

So armed with a little motivation I plan ahead and work my plan.  I make it into a game. Right now 9pm is the end game.  Which means on Sundays I do laundry, meal prep by making 3 meals with 3 different selections at one time, and get all of the running around of life done by 9pm.  Why?  I personally treat myself every Sunday to a glass of wine and I “wine down” with my Sunday shows.  This is how I get through it.  I have the music on, I dance around but I get it done.  I look like a Tornado has hit my house but by 9pm, all bags are set on the couch to grab including gym bag, lunches are ready, breakfast plans are done, and dinners are already set.  This ensures that if I have a hectic Monday, I will at least have my life together on some spectrum.  I will at least cut down on a thousand items being forgotten and left. Oh and I start out with writing out what needs to be done by looking at my calendar ahead of time.  Too much work?  No, but having stress over the things I could have prevented is worth it.

Speaking of list, a planner will aid in this. I already ordered and designed my 2018 planner.  You can order one from  personal planner and they are on sale now.  Why? Back to school.  You can catch a sale now. This is the time to get your entire life together. College and back to schools make getting your home, and personal life right.  The sales I have gotten for new running sneakers, athletic gear, home, apparel, etc is crazy right now. I believe that life doesn’t have to cost that much and I rarely pay full price for anything.  Get to these sales.  Get to the makeover of your personal life.  I truly believe in order to be a better wife and mother I have to be a better me.  As I get things in order for my own heart’s desires the happier and more settled on the inside I have become.

Get involved.  My biggest compliant if there is one is not having local friends to do things with.  I have literally gotten out of my shell by attending events on my own.  I have signed up for all kinds of events for the Fall already.  I have (4) 5Ks set, a blog conference, and just some socializing that my Fall and Winter are about to be too lit.  Yes lit.  I am excited as I look at the colors flowing on my planner of fun non mommy, non wife activities that are building me up.  So what are you waiting for?  Are you planning on beating yourself up for the rest of the year?  Are you planning to be super sad come 2018 over the lack of planning that you did in 2017?  Get it right.  Get it tight.  Get your life and organize the hell out of it.

Make a list of things YOU need.  Make one for your home.  Make one for your job and any organizations you are involved in. Have you gotten your physical and all of your health appointments set or did you start?  If you say no to either question, you can start by getting your personal health together.  You should have seen your doctor, your eye doctor, dentist, and any other physician for any other underlying health issues you have? Have you been to the gym or met with a nutritionist?  Make it happen.  Have you set all of your kids appointments for the same?  Then you have some work to do.  If you are in a relationship do you need to outsource for help?  This could mean counseling.  This could mean scheduling some US time.  US time is actually great medicine.  My husband and I was finally able to get a little baecation and it did wonders.  We were able to refresh our love, get away and not have to share food with little people, and relax.  We set relationship goals for the rest of they year.  We spoke TO and not AT each other. This is going to be helpful before the school year kicks in.

What about your finances?  Do you have life insurance, health insurance, and an emergency savings?  These are goals that should be in place or things you are actively working towards.  Also no more go fund me accounts for funerals.  Get life insurance. It’s a shame we put more emphasis on what we have on our bodies and what we eat than for the future.  Also what about wills, powers of attorneys?  None of that? Then it’s time to get in touch of a great attorney.  If you live in PA and want one that can work remotely in helping you along, than email me toitimeblog@gmail.com for a great contact.  Trust me life is too temporal to be out here not handling your business.

You have options on where to start.  Start with your health, finances, personal growth, new job searching, anything but start now and finish the year strong.

Mid Week Recap: June 7, 2017

Since the days have been a little crazy and I haven’t blogged in a few days I figured why not today?  So if you read my last recap than you know that I am preparing my house and myself for my hysterectomy.  I figured since I have now had my gall bladder and appendix removed and outside of child-birth would be done with surgeries, but I am not. As I handle the logistics like meal prepping, laundry and cleaning (as if that will ever be done) my mind is all over the place.

Another issue that has come up is that I had to get a mammogram.  I have never done it before until yesterday’s appointment.  Let me dispel all of the horror stories and say that it isn’t life changing in the fact that you hurt so bad you can’t think.  It is uncomfortable. It feels what ladies feel at the first few days of your menstrual when you are sore.  It was painless and didn’t take long.  I was pretty optimistic that things would go well until I got the results 30 or so minutes later and now I have to go back next week and have the procedure redone.  Now before I allowed my mind to take me there with a grandmother and mother who have had their dance with breast cancer, the technician warned me since it was my first time I most likely would be called back.  The reason is simple, there are no images to compare if there really is something wrong.  So next week I will be back.  Until there is a reason to worry I won’t.

One of the things I can’t stress enough is for ladies, please do monthly self breast exams. They are yours-touch them and make sure all is well.  Breast cancer is devastating but what’s more devastating is having a line of defense to feel when something isn’t right but not use it.  Be vigilant about your reproductive health as well.  There aren’t a lot of do overs in the reproductive world.  You need to care about yourself enough to check yourself.

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So in the next week things are going to get crazy.  My kids will be starting camp and finishing their last week of school.  I will have had the surgery and my husband will be the one that the kids run to the most until I heal.  I am okay with it.  I have talked to many women that have all suggested a few things and one of the top things that all of them have stated was to be good to myself during this process.  It’s a bit nerve-racking when I think and wonder if I will have to do hormone therapy and how that will affect me and my family mostly.  I will be talking to the doctor about that in-depth.

Emotionally one of the things that I have felt was like wait I really can’t have anymore kids.  It went away but it was a bit overwhelming.  It wasn’t something I felt when I got my tubes tied after my 3rd child.  I had no sadness in me until I found out about this hysterectomy.  I can’t explain it but I know that other women have gone through it. It was like I was at a funeral.  You know me and funerals never get along.  So after about 15 minutes of this semi despair feeling I was okay. I got myself together.  I was able to move on.

On a happier and lighter note, my son, my bubs graduates from preschool today. If you know me know nothing else I make all celebrations big.  Now don’t get me twisted I am not inviting the masses or throwing a party.  I do things like decorate his room, and just make him feel overall special.  He has picked where he wants to go out to eat, just a day of showing him how super proud of him we are.  He moved from one school to this amazing school and since he has been super happy.  Seeing how unhappy he was before and now is such a relief.  Listen let me say on a side note when you have good kids and they start getting into trouble, do your research.  Find out what is going on.  I noticed with my son he would tell us things and we would ask things and it wasn’t adding up. However what I should have done months ago was moved him.  I felt it inside of me and didn’t act.  I was more concerned with having all 3 kids in different schools.  It’s a lot trust me but his happiness is worth it.  He is smiling everyday at drop off and pick up. He has friends who parents are more geared to how we raise our kids.  That matters trust me.

My job as a parent is to correct him when he needs it and celebrate him always.  We are going to do that.  He is super ready for kindergarten but I am not sure if kindergarten is ready for him!! This beam of light is going to be something amazing and not just because he is my child, but because he is determined to be great! Super congrats MJ!!

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