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A day in the life of a family day care educator

I think people often wonder what I do all day now that I’m at home for most of the week running my family day care. So I thought I’d share a bit of insight on my typical daily working routine…6.45-7.15am Wake up, wash and get dressed for the day.7.00-7.30am My own kids start waking up. Get them dressed and fed.7.30-8.30am Day care kids start arriving. Free play (outdoor/indoor)8.30-9.00am Mat time and story time. First round of nappy changes.9.00-9.30am Morning tea.9.30-10.00am Put babies down for morning nap. Older kids have some TV time.10.00-10.30am Structured activity or learning experience for older kids.10.30-11.30am Babies wake up from morning nap. Free play (outdoor/indoor).11.30-12.15pm Second round of nappy changes. Lunch time.12.15-12.30pm Pack up toys together. Older kids have some TV time to wind down.12.30-1.00pm Story time. Get ready for afternoon nap/rest time.1.00-1.30pm Wash dishes and clean up table, kitchen and play area. Prepare afternoon tea for kids.1.30-2.00pm …
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Hello Mister Seven!

Before we get further into 2018, I must take a few moments to marvel over how big my Christmas baby has grown.Seven years to be exact.Just look at that!I’m already getting teary just looking at that picture.But let’s not get into all that now.First let me show you the awesome birthday cake I made for my birthday boy when we celebrated his birthday last month.He had asked for a Lego Nexo Knights cake. After trolling Pinterest for a bit, I came up with this version of a chocolate knight’s castle cake. The embellishments were created with the aid of the printer, laminator and my trusty washi tape kit. Next to the goodie bags, the birthday cake was probably the biggest job I had to do. Because this year, Nathan specifically requested the most chilled out birthday party ever.Nathan: “Just three of my bestest friends…”Grace: “But what about MEEE????”Nathan: “Of course you’ll be there… you are always there!”Grace: “Okay! Good.”The party itinerary consisted of a play at our local swimming ce…

Sabah holiday highlights

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, we flew up to my hometown, Kota Kinabalu, to hang out with family (and satisfy our Tuaran mee cravings).For the first time in my life, I am now a real bona fide aunt to a gorgeous little niece, whom we were looking forward to meeting. Nathan and Grace just loved the fact that they had a true blue cousin to add to their generational count.Nathan and Grace had unlimited hang-out time with their grandparents. Enjoying nightly sleepovers with them in their bedroom and staying up for late night pillow talks together. Chilling...A post shared by Serenely (@livingserenely) on Dec 26, 2017 at 11:31pm PST On Christmas Eve we let the kids stay up late to attend a candlelight service at the church I grew up in. They were super stoked that they could hold an actual flickering fire-lit candle on their own.We took the ultimate family photo together at a famous photographer’s studio. Nathan picked up some slick photo posing tips during the session.I couldn’t …

Our lucky sign for 2018

Hello! Hello! Hellooooo!Here we are on the other side, crossing over into the new year. We had a lovely, unplugged, chilled-out break over Christmas and New Year’s spending time with family back in my hometown.I kept the social media updates to a minimum to allow myself to just ‘be’ in the moment of whatever moment I was being in. I might have less Instagram-worthy moments captured for posterity. But I hope the memory of the feeling in the moments that meant the most have been imprinted more deeply instead.I used the down time to breathe and reflect on the year that had just gone.I remember the year before was a year of hard knocks.I think after that tough year, last year was kind of a ‘breather’ year for us. We were still reeling a bit and recovering from the blows from the previous year. So last year was a year of sitting back and taking it easy for a bit. Not that we were lazing around.Hubs had started a new job and was getting his feet stuck right in.Nathan and Grace were enjoying…

Signing off for 2017

The month of December has always this trick of just whizzing by. The stress and momentum of everything just builds up and everything seems to come together at once... shopping, cooking and baking for Christmas and year-end festivities, birthday party planning, working through a massive Christmas gift shopping list for the children, teachers, friends, family, kris kringle and everything in between.
I generally loathe the commercialism of the whole thing. So I try to pause and picture the faces of these nearest and dearest people and who they mean to me. That usually helps.
And now it's time to unplug and just chill for bit until we get to start all over again in the new year. See you on the other side!

Monthly play roundup: November

It’s November! That time of year when that holiday feeling is just around the corner. It’s been quite a busy and interesting month, packed with lots of fun activities. Here’s a glimpse into some of the things we’ve been up to this past month…
Moana month!
A number of children in my group have been very much into Disney’s Moana lately. I decided to extend on this current interest of theirs and we ended having quite a Moana month.We made…
‘Heart of Te Fiti’ necklaces with salt dough;
Shiny paper plate ‘Tamatoa’ crabs, which tied in perfectly with Eric Carle’s book ‘A House for Hermit Crab’;
Funny ‘Hei Hei’ chickens from paper roll tubes;
Fierce ‘Kakamora’ paper plate masks, which I used as a lead in to talk about managing angry feelings together with this book.I also extended on the sea turtle scene from Moana to do a little featurette on turtles. We learnt a new turtle song and I told them the classic Aesop’s fable of the turtle/tortoise and the hare, then we made some turtles with paper bow…

Sunshine and hurricane

It’s about time to turn back the spotlight on my baby girl.
I just realised I have only a couple of months left before she shoots off eagerly to school next year.Of course I’ll still have her home with me on her non-kindy days, but it somehow feels like the beginning of the end of another era. A beginning to yet another stage of that continued striving for independence out of my arms.For now, her strings, though they are beginning to stretch out, are still knotted tightly to mine.Here are a few funny anecdotes and conversations we’ve had lately…Grace had been reprimanded (quite mildly actually) by her daddy one afternoon for  some infraction. She’s an expert at turning on instant waterworks in cases like this. Immediately afterwards she hopped up to me and asked sweetly “Mummy, please can I have a lolly to sweeten my tears?”.One night during one of our usual bedtime talks, Grace was trying to string our talk out for as long as possible. I usually set a quota of how many topics they can…

Monthly play roundup: October

We’re halfway through spring. The past month of October has been busy with a couple of festivities. Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve been up to this past month…
Moon Festival
The month of October kicked off with the Chinese Moon Festival (also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival). I retold the favourite legend The Moon Goddess using my homemade felt story kit. This year’s paper lanterns craft activity were real bona-fide lanterns which had a tea light candle holder inside to facilitate a proper moonlight walk (link to paper bag lanterns tutorial).Here’s a snapshot of our own two kids taking their lanterns for spin around the neighbourhood. I have many fond childhood memories of lantern walks during the Moon Festival. So it was nice to be able to share this little tradition with the children.
Birdwatching
We’re back to our birdwatching routine around this time of year. We enjoyed taking weekly strolls to the small wetlands area nearby to say hello to the different variet…

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Catch up with me on Instagram @livingserenely