Friday, August 15, 2014

Cover Reveal and GiveAway

I'm so excited that I get to do a cover reveal and giveaway post! I've loved to read for as long as I can remember. I read my first novel by Danielle Steele when I was in 6th grade and I was hooked. Reading opened up a whole new world to me and became a huge part of my life, a favorite way for me to relax and escape to a better place with happy endings and gorgeous heroes.

If your like me, your always looking for new authors and exciting new books to get lost in. I'm so happy I get to share this cover reveal and excerpt with all my readers!

Saving Tatum by Micalea Smeltzer
Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.
Follow Micalea:
Twitter: @msmeltzer9793
Instagram: micaleasmeltzer

Even tough girls need saving.
 Jude Brooks is bad news. He’s the kind of guy that leaves behind a string of broken hearts and Tatum O’Connor is not about to be one of those girls, despite all of Jude’s advances. They have a past, and Tatum’s determined to make sure they don’t have a future.
Unfortunately for her, “no” isn’t a word in Jude’s vocabulary.
The more she backs away, the more he pushes.

But what if he pushes too far?
Tatum’s hiding a pain that no one sees and holding on to a hurt that may never heal. Letting Jude into her heart could shatter her completely—and what if she opens up to Jude and he can’t handle her baggage?
Love is never easy—especially when the person you’re falling for is the person you blame for the worst event in your life.
Love, heartache, and despair.
That’s the name of the game when you’re Saving Tatum. 

I can't wait until September to read the whole thing!  Want more? You can read a whole excerpt here.

Now for the big news, the cover reveal! The cover of a book says so much about it, and this one is amazing!


Whats that? Why yes, I did mention something about a giveaway! Click below to enter the rafflecopter giveaway and win some great prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can pre-order now on amazon for the amazing price of $1.99!

If your excited as I am about the release of Saving Tatum in September, make sure you follow the author on her social media and show her some love!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What your daycare provider wants you to know....

I've been a home daycare provider for a long time now. When my kids were 1 and 3, the daycare where they went closed and I was stuck trying to find someplace to send them.  They went to the only big center in town and when it closed all the little home daycares filled up fast. Being the awesome procrastinator that I am,  I waited so long that the only ones left with openings were kind of scary.

That's when I decided to start my own home daycare. I've had many years of experience dealing with children and parents. I know how hard it is to find someone you can trust with your child's safety. I also know when you do find someone, parents generally want to stick with that provider as long as possible.

I'm having kind of a bad day today, so I thought it would be fun to share a little PSA for parents to help with building a great relationship with your daycare provider.

So without further ado, I give you my top 5 things every parent of a child in daycare should know.

Be respectful of your providers opening and closing times.
Know what hours you need daycare for so when you are meeting new providers, you can find one that meets your needs. Don't choose a provider that opens at 7 am if you need a 6:30 drop off time. Her hours are generally chosen with her family in mind, so it's always important to be there on time. Dont' ask her to stay open late, or worse, don't just show up late.
On the same thought, let your provider know if your child won't be present when they are expected to be at daycare. Respect your agreed upon hours of operation and everyone will be happy.

Keep your child home when you can.
Its important to have back up for when your child is sick. Don't send your child to daycare if they are sick because you really don't want to be responsible for giving 6 or so other people the flu.
If you take a week off for vacation, keep your child home with you. Despite what some parents think, your child will not have more fun at daycare than they do at home with mom and dad. Pick them up early when you can. Parents have no idea how excited children get when they know their parents are coming to get them early. Don't be the first to drop off and the last to pick up if you can help it. Kids notice these things, surprise them with a half day off once in a while.

Remember, your child is not the only child in her care.
Yes, your child is special to you, and I'm sure your provider really enjoys them too, but remember your child is only one of 6 or so children. Your provider will probably do all she can to accommodate your child's special needs, but there are some things that are just not doable. Special meals can't always be made because your child only eats chicken. Or nap time can't be skipped because your 2 year old is on a sleep strike. Kids tend to follow what their friends do, and your provider can't have 6 kids wanting 6 different things for lunch because your child won't eat whats served.
Think long and hard when sending toys from home. In most cases, your child will be expected to share and that's not always easy for little ones. Most toys from home here end up back in cubbys until pick up time because they just cause tantrums. That's never fun for your provider or your child.

Pay day means the same to us as it does to you.
This one is common sense. Pay your provider on her payday. You knew how much your provider charged when you signed up with her, and she depends on that money to pay her bills. Her bills include food for your child, heat, lights, supplies...ect. When you don't pay her on time, she may not be able to pay her bills on time, and she will activity try to fill your child's spot. If you like your provider, pay her on time or she might just find someone else who will.

Your daycare providers only human.
Be nice to your provider. Say please and thank you. Not only is it a great lesson for your child to learn, but this is the person who cares for your favorite people in the world, why would you not want to be extra nice to her? A few nice words can really go a long way. Tell her thank you, let her know you appreciate all she does for your child. Sometimes providers have bad days too. We have personal problems just like everyone else. But we try to put that all aside to care for your children.

So there is my PSA for parents who use daycare. Yeah, there's a lot more, but these are the first 5 that came to my  mind.

My main point is, be nice, be respectful, and remember this is the lady that takes care of your kids. You want her on your side.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kids and Childcare

I've been around children for as long as I can remember. My  little brother is 8 years younger than I am and I was babysitting him all summer long from the time I was 13 until I got a job. I have two kids of my own and I run a small daycare. I've pretty much seen and heard it all.

If I had a chance to give all the parents I know a few words of advice when sending their children into the care of others, I already know what I'd say.

For the love of all that is holy, watch what you say and do in front of your children. Kids repeat EVERYTHING.

Just because they can't speak doesn't mean they don't hear. I can't even begin to tell you how many different children I've had here that say things they really shouldn't.

Recently, I had a child here who used to say t-w-a-t  all. the. time. He was only 1 and had no idea what it meant of course, but it got a reaction. That was fun. Taking a child to the park to play and having him call other kids words that you never want to hear from a child. Good times.

Yesterday, the same child  called his mother a different very bad word. He's 3 now. He knows better, but he heard it somewhere, and like I said, kids repeat EVERYTHING!

Kids don't just repeat words, they repeat actions too.

I have a 2 year old here who picked up a Nerf dart while ago. He held it between his fingers and said, I'm smoking. And he was. He's also picked up a toy phone, pretends to smoke while talking in mostly fast baby gibberish but every once in a while he'll throw in a colorful word to mix it up.

Its not always bad things. Kids are super funny, anyone who has ever spent time with the under 5 crowd knows this. I've had a potty training child tell me his pee-pee was like a squirt gun and he had to shoot the potty with it. Hey, what ever works!

It can be fun to watch kids in the dramatic play area because they come up with some of the most random and silly things. I never really know what they are going to say, but you can sometimes get a sense of what goes on at home by the way they play.

The kitchen center for example. One child with be the mom and pour herself a glass of wine and then bring me a glass with pretend beer because I'm the dad and we've both had a hard day. Or a child will pretend to be mom while cooking dinner and mumble something about not being a restaurant. Things that I know all moms have said at one time or another.

So just remember, kids will copy you. They will act like you. And that's not always a bad thing really. Because you want your kids to follow your good example, right? That's what we strive for, raising children who use manners and are polite.

I'm just saying, if your going to smoke while talking on your cell phone using your sentence enhancers, remember your kids will repeat you.

And hopefully who ever watches your child for you has a sense of humor because sometimes all you can do is laugh.