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Monday, October 17, 2016

Letter from Ms. Jenn: My Journey to Being Mindful

At the beginning of this year I decided to try to live a more mindful life, to try to focus on each moment and look for the good in each situation.  Sometimes in our busy lives we forget to take time to just be in the moment.  So many things busy up our lives now.  Between work, family, daily obligations, social media, the news, traffic, and all the other things that consume our time it is hard to focus on just one moment without thinking about the next.  These things also sometimes make it hard to see the positive things in our lives. Work can be stressful, family demanding, too many daily obligations, seeing negative things on social media and the news, and so many accidents on the roads.  With all of these things going on I wanted to try to see what I could do to help myself lead a more mindful, happy life.  It has been a process trying to train my brain to be mindful.  I know a lot of you are feeling the same pressures of life that I have been feeling so I thought I would share with you a few things that I found helped me on this journey.

The first thing I had to do was make a decision to take some time for myself and know that I wanted to enjoy the moment I was in.  This was super important for me because I was having a hard time separating parts of my life.  When I was teaching in the classroom I wanted to only be doing that and not thinking about all the other stuff I had to take care of as the director.  When I got home I wanted to focus on my family and not think about what I had to do at work the following day.  This took a lot of practice. It still takes work but it is worth it.

One way I practice this is through meditation.  I found this app called “Calm” and it taught me how to meditate and it has a lot of guided meditations that teach you how to be more mindful.  If this is something you think you could get into I would really recommend it!

Another thing I do is say “no” more.  I still say yes a lot but sometimes I know that I need to say no.  This was really hard.  Really, really, hard.  But it was an important step.  You have to have time for you to do what you want to do and just feel like you can be in that moment. 

Being mindful doesn’t mean to meditate, it just means to be in the moment, to give your full attention to what you are doing.  Whether this is playing with your children, exercising, or cleaning the house, you can be mindful.  When I run I used to think about work and ways to solve problems. Now when I run I try to focus on my run.  How I feel, what I smell, what I see, what I hear, and I focus on my breathing.  This is still hard to do too, but when I do I fully enjoy this time more than when I was thinking about work the whole time.  Being mindful has the same effect when I am doing other activities too like playing a game with the children or writing this blog.

I found a series of books that I could really relate to too.  They are the “f**k it” books by John C Parkin.  I really liked the “F**k it, do what you love” book.   These books won’t be for everyone but I really liked how the books talked about letting go of things.  I read this book really slow and took notes as I did.

One of the last things that helped me with this is putting away my phone.  I was way too connected to my phone and becoming more disconnected from my life.  I found I was so focused on the news and social media that I wasn’t focusing on the life that was right in front of me.  So I have made a conscious effort to put my phone away while I am in the classroom and only check it periodically while I am at work and to get off news apps and social media so I can focus on home when I am home.

All these things were hard to start and still can be challenging at times but the reward of being more mindful and just feeling happier is definitely worth it.  Just thought I would share this with you all in case anyone else is interested in starting to live a more mindful and happy life.

“Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace”

- Ms. Jenn

Monday, October 3, 2016

POTM: Sunscreen & Other Topical Ointments

The following is taken directly from our handbook.

Jellybean Daycare & Preschool will apply sunscreen to children (over 6 months) twice a day on sunny days. Other topical ointments that may be applied would include but not be limited to; insect repellent (over two months), diaper rash cream, or triple antibiotic ointment. If your child has sensitive skin or allergies, you are welcome to bring in some from home to keep here for your child. It should be labeled with their full name. By signing this form, you are giving Jellybean Daycare & Preschool permission to apply these items.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Letter from Ms. Jenn: Zoophonics!

We love Zoo-Phonics at Jellybean! If you haven't heard of Zoo-Phonics, here's the jist: every letter has an animal associated with it and every animal has a sound that they make and a gesture that goes along with it. For example, Allie Alligator is for A and she makes the aaa sound while you move your arms like an alligator's mouth. The process is very smart in the way that it associates the animal, name, sound, and movement with the letter.

We've had so much success with it since we began this journey last fall. It's a part of our curriculum as well as our daily group time activity, both in the preschool room and infant/toddler room. We have gone over it so much that our one and a half year olds do the correct movement and sound whenever they see an elephant or a gorilla. It's remarkable how well they remember all of it.

There are so many ways you can utilize this program in your child's day to day activities as well. Along with the obvious (flashcards, posters, demonstrations during dinner, etc), you can play along with these animals during play. Such as: dressing up as Allie Alligator, putting on a puppet show with the zoo-phonics friends, coloring Allie Alligator after practicing writing our letter A's, picking out the letter A's with tweezers and dropping them in Allie's mouth, etc. Learning about our letters and letter sounds can be so much fun and so easy!

If you want some more resources and want to know how to purchase your own zoo-phonics set, please visit their website for more information! You won't regret it!

Monday, September 5, 2016

POTM: Medication Procedures

The following is located in our Parent Handbook. If you have any questions, let us know!

Jellybean Daycare & Preschool can not dispense any medicine without parent permission form filled out. 

Jellybean Daycare & Preschool can administer medication if the following criteria are met: 
1. Medication permission form is completed and signed by the parent. These forms are available at the front desk. The directions must be specific. 
2. At least 24 hours of the medication has been administered at home prior to administering it at the center in case of adverse reactions. 
3. Prescription medication must be in the original bottle/container and have the original pharmacy label attached. Over the counter medication must be in original container (containing dosage information) and labeled with the child’s first and last name. In cases where medication will be administered at home and at school, the parents may request a second labeled container from the pharmacy for the 22 convenience of having medication in both places and so that it’s not forgotten at home or the center. 
4. Dosage and instructions written on the medication permission form must match the bottle/container information. 
5. Medication must not be expired. 
6. In certain instances, a doctor’s note may be required to administer over the counter medication to your child. For example, if your child needs an over the counter medication on a continuous basis. 
7. Parents let staff know the last time the medication was given to their child.

We will not give medication in bottles/food unless it is indicated on the prescription label. We will not administer cough/cold syrup to children under 2 years of age. 

If your child is teething and you would like Jellybean to apply Oragel to your child’s gums, we will only do so 2 times/day max. 

If your child requires special medical procedures (such as use of a nebulizer or blood sugar testing), you must provide written guidance for the teaching of staff.