My year in review- 2018
My daycare business grew A LOT (enrollment and such) and I’m very happy that I’m at a point where I can add in neat and new program features as well as have a good quality of life.
- We took a trip to Washington D.C. for a week in May and it was great. My mom watched the kids for us so we could go and we enjoyed having kid-free time, being able to go-go-go all day, try tons of new food places, see the history and past that D.C. has to offer, and just taking a vacation was so pleasant… we hadn’t had one in like 4-5 years…
- I added in 1-2 more holiday closures and a few more vacation day closures to the contract
- Went to the beach with the kids on President’s Day. We all had a blast!
- Raised prices $10/week/child in January 2018 for existing customers
- Got numerous house projects done: got a water softener and had it installed, light blue shutters installed on front of house, had to replace the garage door and framing because it broke (that one was no fun), got a new “window” mirror for above the dining room table, new shelving above my desk for stuff and to also organize the seasonal/themed daycare books,
- I started cloth diapering my younger son (which I love!) and it’s been great 😀
- We got a new living room couch (sectional), a new king mattress, and gorgeous king headboard and bed frame. Also got new blackout curtains for our bedroom and I painted 2 walls a light blue color (my favorite). Got a new metal bed frame for the bed since the wooden slats that came with the bed were flimsy.
- Switched over to reusable/washable mini towels for the daycare children for hand washing (saves the environment, less waste, less buying of paper products)
- I re-positioned items in the front entry hallway so that there’s more room for parents and children and got rid of the check-in table and installed a coat/bag rack instead
- Been working on making healthier food choices and cooking more from home
- Kitchen: Bought an Instant Pot, an Instant Pot steamer insert, a cookie press, a spiralizer slicer, a 45 degree angle knife sharpener for my kitchen knives, a red tablecloth for Christmas, and new rubber spatulas (cause all my other ones were falling apart or breaking), 36-48 magnetic spice containers that I have mounted on the kitchen backsplash by the stove, bought a $35 of real vanilla extract from Costco and about died (haha!), tried avocado oil for the first time
- Am slowly switching out disposable products (ziplocks, clingwrap, etc) for reusable ones. Recently just got washable velcro bags (ziplocks), and larger size food-grade silicone bags for storing (sandwich and gallon sizes). I will not be buying more ziplock bags once I run out.
- I no longer buy American “cheese”. I instead buy thin slices of real cheddar and use them for grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, etc. Healthier option since American “cheese” isn’t really cheese anyways…
- Got a 9-hole storage cubby for back-up clothes, diapers, and etc. in the front hallway
- Did a room redesign and moved things around in the daycare room to get a different feel and with less running from the children
- Started using Brightwheel App for picture updates, news, messages, and important information/reminders, as well as accepting payments there as well using my iPad that I hadn’t touched in years. Got a stand for the tablet and a special charging cable just for it to be used exclusively for check-ins and check-outs
- I got new equipment/toys for the daycare: wall shelf for diapers and ointment, a huge and amazing commercial changing table, a vinyl kids couch, a Flisat IKEA sensory table for the kitchen with 2 bins (can have 2 sensory bins in the same timeframe, but only open up 1 at a time), a tall “pantry” cabinet that I use to house all the art supplies and equipment which means that it’s accessible and we can dive into art more often, wall-mounted bookshelves that I use to house the themed/curriculum books that we are reading for the week
- I switch out the 2 sensory bins in the kitchen every month. We’ve had: pumpkin acorn wooden rounds, dried black beans and mini pumpkin containers, dried pinto beans with cotton balls and spoons and metal mugs, dyed green rice with jingle bells and scoops, salt and large wooden ovals and arctic animals, blue aquabeads with marine animals and cupping scoops (the kids love to “catch fish” with these- it’s so cute!), and tons more coming up!
- Started going to the library to supplement the books that I already have and the ones that I buy for curriculum reasons. Typically I’ll buy 1-2 books a week and so library books help give more oomph to the book selection and help me stay on budget
- I’ve been more intentional with the time I spend with my kids and family- trying to get as much done productive-wise during the workday so that I can give them some special attention after the workday and on weekends
- We go almost every weekend to get breakfast at Tuskawilla Breakfast Club and it’s kind of nice being a “regular” and seeing familiar faces there with the wait staff. We all get the same thing every time because it’s so good and is my favorite and that’s why we go there. Their pancakes are so good, I only WISH mine could be that fantastic!
- I signed up my older son for Cub Scouts and we’ve been having a lot of fun with that with the events, meetings, and such. I am the secretary committee chair and have helped coordinate and bring supplies for events. I love having a leadership role in something again!
- Both the boys were enrolled in swim lessons for about a year at Goldfish Swim School in Winter Park. They had a lot of fun swimming and learning about the water and we had fun watching them learn and explore and enjoy seeing Bubbles (their mascot- a goldfish).
- I’ve been more intentional with money this year and started using mini accounts to move money around to save for different things (emergency fund, mortgage, daycare supplies, house fixing/upgrades, kids medical, etc.) and this has helped IMMENSELY since I believe we sometimes need to save us from ourselves! (haha)
Here are my 2019 goals:
- Write more blog posts on WholesomeNest.blog. I want to try and do 1-2 posts a month because any more than that is too much for me and any less than that and I feel like it’s too long in-between posts.
- Travel more in small spurts. I want to (attempt!) to do small trips over a weekend with the family and add in a day or so to make it a 4-day weekend. This is easier scheduling for a lot of reasons but also because we can use my already-off days to our advantage. I have some plans in the works of where we want to go and what we want to do- some ideas of things I think the kids would like and enjoy as well as myself. Plus it means I can (hopefully) make arrangements to stay with friends and family and save money.
- Be more active. I have been saying that I want to exercise and get back into shape and get back to pre-baby weight (40 lbs) but I haven’t met my other needed goals (enrollment, money, life satisfaction, and socializing) but now that those needs are being met, I’m finally ready to tackle this one. Since time is limited for me, working 10 hour days, I figure that I need to work out at home. So I bought some free weights, a weighted ball, and exercise jump rope that I intend to use to get myself back in shape. So far I’ve done yoga and intend to broaden my list of active things to do and keep a fitness journal to track my progress and to see where my journey takes me. I also want to do more active things with the kids, like hiking and walking and such. Maybe bring back evening walks in the neighborhood again too.
- Read 3 books/audio books. I have not read many books for the pleasure of reading alone and I want to start on my bucket list. I have tons of titles on my bookshelves that I’ve yet to crack open and I’m excited to read some of them. I especially want to read more F. Scott Fitzgerald since Gatsby is my favorite book of all time. ❤ Or audio books, cause time is of the essence.
- Get my first-level daycare credential. On a path towards improving and betterment, this will be me getting my toes wet for when it comes to getting my CDA and/or Director’s Credential. Because if I expand, I’ll need one and/or both of these to be able to apply for that type of license. So I figure I’ll dive in and see where it takes me.
- Continue being smart with saving money. If my past has taught me anything about life and money, something WILL come up where you’ll need savings to pull from. It’s just a matter of time. And so with that in mind, I will continue my weekly savings goals to build up my mini accounts to be ready for when disaster strikes so I’m not left high and dry. It’s causing me to be more disciplined but I’ve been doing a great job so far with it. From here, I can only go up!
What are your life, business, and travel plans for 2019?