Camp is Cancelled–Now What?

The current pandemic has changed the landscape of virtually every thing we do. Not only have schools shuttered for the year but now many summer camps have made the tough decision to close as well. This leaves working parents, who depend on summer camps as childcare, in a lurch. Especially because under the various phases, if all goes well, many business will reopen–and many parents will return to work.

This is where PlatinumSitters can help! Whether you remain a work-from-home employee or are headed back to the office, we can send you a recurrent sitter who can not only “babysit” but provide engaging activities to help keep your kids active and learning during the summer months. 

Our sitters are vetted via background checks, reference checks and interviews with our PlatinumSitter staff. Additionally, we are talking to our sitters about additional safety precautions–correct hand washing and sanitizing techniques, staying home when ill and maintaining social distancing when in public. We also give you the opportunity to state your preferences during the hiring process so you can make sure whoever is coming to your home knows and abides by your expectations!

Many of our sitters are college students who have graduated (some earlier than expected) from college or high school. Some are child care providers furloughed from other positions or looking to supplement income while they wait for the things to return to normal. In such an unknown time, there is actually a bright spot–there are energetic, experienced child care workers who would love to help ease your workload this summer. 

We offer one time, full-time or part-time placement. Please contact hello@platinumsitters.com for more information. #wegotya

Dating your Spouse–at Home

The social distancing that has become our new norm can take its toll in a lot of ways. We are all working from home, trying to implement “virtual learning” and trying to tackle the mountain of dishes that accumulates from cooking 78 meals a day. Its amazing just how exhausting it is to…go nowhere. One of the conversations that as begun amongst my girlfriends and I is how it feels like theres nothing left to say to our spouses at the end of the day–I know what you did…I was here, too. However, more than ever, it is so important to be intentional with your relationship. Here are a few tips for dating your spouse from home:

Canva - Young Couple Relaxing in Bed at Home

  1. Pencil in your Date

Add it to your google calendar alongside your 400 Zoom calls. Make it official, otherwise the Groundhog Day-esque feel to each day somehow gets us all to 9 pm before we even realize it. 

 

  1. No Phones

This is the song as old as time but more than ever, it really matters. Put your phones in the other room and really disconnect from the endless stream of bad news and social media opinions. 

 

  1. Plan an activity

Plan to play a game or tackle a small project together. The night will feel no different if you’re staring into the abyss that is Netflix. It’s about elevating this experience. 

 

  1. Get dressed

I know, sweatpants are the new suit. Let’s up our game for one night, shall we? It seems utterly ridiculous but go through your usual process–the hair, the makeup, maybe even the heels? Honestly, its fun to rememeber what getting dressed up feels like. 

 

  1. Change the scenery

If you always hang on the couch after bedtime, don’t host your date there. Play your game at the kitchen table, play darts in the garage, have wine on the porch. Actually “go somewhere” and appreciate a new aspect of your abode together. 

 

  1. Avoid Complaining

This is the hardest one but I am certain, if you’re like me, you’ve already aired your grievances about how much this situation stinks at multiple points during the day. Use this hour with your spouse to make plans, reminisce on better times, or just talk about the common interests that brought you together–there’s a ton of new books, movies and tv shows out there these days!

 

There is no doubt that the world is changing–and it’s HARD. Building in some date time with your spouse will go a long way to establishing a feeling of normal. And, when the time comes, we will be here to help you find a great sitter so that you can leave the house in those heels. We can’t wait. #wegotya

 

The “new normal.” Day In the Life of a Work-From-Home Mom

6:00 am –Open eyes to the sound of your toddler yelling “EEEEEAT!”. Wonder what day it is. Realize that no longer matters. 

 

6:15 am — Shove yogurt at the toddler and fumble through making coffee. How are we so tired when we go nowhere?

 

6.30 am –Despite all of those online schedules that imply meal time lasts an hour, its over and now you are scrapping breakfast off the table while the toddler watched Frozen for the 48th time…this week. 

 

7:00 am –Check email. So many emails. Converse with spouse about who has a Zoom call and at what time. Debate over who needs more quiet time. 

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7:15 am –While you chose to have a conversation with your spouse, the toddler has upended the container of Duplos and is now chasing the dog. 

 

7:30 am– Morale is dipping. Head outside for some chalk and bubbles. Exchange weary looks with your neighbor as they pass by walking their dog. Here we go again!

 

9:00 am — Decide to take a walk. Try to maintain balance between walking as far as you can humanly handle while also not going so far from home that you’re stuck out with a toddler who has to pee, refuses to stay in the stroller or insists on picking up trash. 

 

11:00– Lunchtime! You made it! Lunchtime is the gateway to nap time. PB & J with a side of justification that they’d eat no better at school. 

 

12:00– Ahh, naptime. This used to be your weekend break but now its your daily chance to cram 8 hours of work into an hour and a half. This is so daunting that you spend the first 45 minutes blissfully staring into space while no one touches you. 

 

2:00– Toddler is up. You unwrap one of the many items you panic-bought on Amazon. You basically have  a treasure chest in your hall closet now with the hopes of buying another hour to work. 

 

3:00– Toys and Frozen have lost their appeal. Your house is a total disaster and the idea of cooking dinner AGAIN is looming. Time for walk #2! Even the dog is tired of walking. 

 

4:00–Time to start dinner prep. In an effort to assuage some Mom guilt from all of that TV time earlier, you invite the toddler to help with dinner. 

 

4:05– Lose patience with your helper. Turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 

 

5:00–Dinner time. Conversation is hard to come by–I’d tell you about my day but like…you were here. 

 

5:30– Fight over  who gets to do this dishes as this is now classified as “alone time” while the other spouse entertains the kids. 

 

6:00- Back outside to burn off some more energy. Soccer, cartwheels, tag. All the classics!

 

7:00– Baths! Pour a glass of wine and enjoy your thirty minutes of contained entertainment. 

7:30–Kids in bed. Sit side by side with spouse while you both try to wrap up your nonexistent work day. 

 

9:00–Get in bed. Scroll social media to see that every single person you know did the exact same thing as you. Realize everyone is essentially the same and vow to remember this when life resumes. 

 

10:00–Fall asleep watching The Office for the 38th time because desperate times call for soothing sitcoms and the news is absolutely off limits. 
So, what does your day look like? Comment below to share!

Maintaining Sanity: Social Distancing with Young Kids

These are strange times–recent world events have impacted our daily habits and schedules in ways no one could have forseen. And now, staring down several weeks of quarantine with your family can feel overwhelming. But, we have ideas. 

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Learn something new

Que up YouTube for something productive. Look up videos on how to draw animals, finger knitting or kid’s yoga. This is a fun, easy way to pass a half an hour for free! 

 

Travel to a check out a museum 

Yes, travel–virtually! Let your kids scope out art and culture in various locales. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum are two that host online tours. You can also use Google Arts & Culture for walk-throughs of dozens of international museums.

 

Use those free resources

Your first web search should be for your local library. They have tons of of online resources, including access to audio and e-books. Next, check out your child’s school webpage. Likely, their school pays for access to various learning platforms. If all else fails, try this resource. 

 

Other Goose

Want to take that learning one step further? Other Goose is providing three free weeks of access to their online homeschool curriculum. Their site places an emphasis on play and structure. 

 

Talk a Walk–but make it fun

Some sort of daily outside time is going to be imperative for everyone in the coming weeks. Try a nature trail, explore new routes in your neighborhood, play “red light, green light” or “eye spy” as you walk. Pack a lunch for a picnic down the street. Draw a map of your neighborhood when you get back. Keep it fresh!

 

FaceTime

We typically FaceTime grandparents but reach out to those you would normally see in person. Schedule a “Facetime Playdate” with a preschool friend and let them show each other their rooms. FaceTime with aunts and uncles who can show off different cities. Call up your college bestie and let your kids play twenty questions. 

 

Indulge!

Lastly, shed the mom guilt and try to make the best of it. Enjoy the extra cookie, play the movie, nap when the kids nap, let them make the mess. Just like this situation won’t last forever, neither does childhood. Make those treasured memories–and also give yourself some grace. You’re doing great! 

 

Here at PlatinumSitters, we value family and kids. We know how important it is to keep them safe and so we are taking extra precautions to ensure our sitters know proper CDC guidelines and are not reporting to work if they are sick. We are passing along extra ways to keep kids engaged without taking them to parks and public places and most of all, we are still here. If you’re a parent who needs to work or has another need for childcare–please reach out. 

 

Reasons My Toddler is Crying

Kids are crazy, man. And nothing is crazier than a toddler with a limited grasp on the english language and absolutely no impulse control. So, now presenting Ten Reasons My Toddler is Crying

crying child, depression and sadness

  1. She asked for a cheese stick so I took the wrapper off. I TOOK THE WRAPPER OFF.
  2. I am trying to change her diaper. She would prefer to keep her dirty diaper on.
  3. She wants to jump head first off the back of the couch. 
  4. I am peeing and won’t hold her in the process. 
  5. She threw her milk cup in frustration. She wants her milk cup. 
  6. I wouldn’t let her lick the cart handle. 
  7. I won’t give her a sip of my freshly brewed, piping hot coffee. 
  8. She can’t pet the dog on TV. 
  9. Frozen waffles have to be cooked before consumed. 
  10. I insist she buckle her car seat straps. Every. Single. Time.

 

5 Free Ways to Treat your Valentine

Valentines Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are five easy ways to show your love. 

Charming boy posing with heart

1. A totally unsolicited compliment

Go beyond “You look nice”. Be detailed and better yet, put it in writing. Describe the ways your significant other keeps your household running, reminisce on what you made you fall in love, take note of something they’ve achieved recently and express your pride. 

 

2. Take over

You know the coupons you used to make mom for Mother’s Day? Ramp it up a notch. Instead of promising to load the dishwasher, take over something that will really pay dividends–agree to find the kid’s summer camps, handle the weekly grocery shopping, or finally finish that long-awaited project. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

 

3. Implement a new tradition 

Maybe you take the kids for a playdate at the park on Valentines Day. Maybe its the night you take over cooking.Maybe you make a date of watching a cheese rom-com and eating pizza on the floor. Something to shake it up without breaking the bank. 

 

4. Enlist the kid

Have your kids write ten things they love about your spouse. Search Pinterest for cute crafts or ways to use handprints. Taking the time to create something with your kids is an act of love itself and certainly something your spouse will appreciate. 

 

5. Babysitting

Okay, so admittedly this is not always free but you can get one hour free with the coupon CUPID! Just log onto platinumsitters.com and pick your date night! You will be matched with qualified sitters in your area. The rest of the date can be totally free–make some coffee at home and stroll your local bookstore, check your local library for free lectures on fun topics or simply spend some time together doing your regular errands–its always nice to mix it  up!

 

It’s Cold! Need an indoor activity?

Paper Plate Snowflakes- via i heartcraftythings

Supplies:

-Snowflake paper plates (We purchased ours at Target.)

-Push pin

-Steel yarn needle (these don’t have a sharp of a tip as normal needles.)

-Yarn

-Scissors

-Tape

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Directions:

  1. Start by using your push pin to poke holes in all the end points and intersecting points of the snowflake on your paper plate. See picture below. We have found the best way to do this is to place our paper plate on the carpet and then poke the holes. This way the push pin easily goes through the paper plate and you don’t have to worry about the pin scratching or hurting the surface below. (NOTE: if you can’t find these paper plates simply draw a snowflake patter on the front of a regular paper plate.)

Or better yet– let the sitter do it! Our sitters love to craft and engage in fun activities with the kids.

New Year, New Me?

I listened to The Lazy Genius podcast as I headed back to work after an extended holiday break. I was thinking about all of the things I wanted to accomplish–stay ahead of emails, get in my steps for the day, cook the healthy meal I had planned. As I was mentally staying on top of my fresh resolutions, the host, Kendra, was talking about seasons. And something she said really struck me: Everything is a season. Be where you are and learn what it has to teach you. 

Young Hispanic family sitting on sofa reading a book together in their living room

I think the beginning of a new year–and a new decade–can feel like a beautiful fresh start. But it can also bombard us with images and sentiments about a new body, a new outlook, a new approach. What if it’s all…not entirely necessary?

I can admit that I have been guilty of struggling to just be content. When I was a young, single person, I desperately pined for the days when I would have a family. When my children were born, despite wholly knowing how quickly time flies, I would still wish for them to reach milestones, to sleep through the night, to be done with bottles. The area where this hurried approach shines brightest? My treatment of myself. I couldn’t wait to grow up, couldn’t wait to have that big baby bump, to lose the baby weight, to have time for the facial, to just become the next thing. 

 

And…spoiler alert: when you’re constantly trying to become a new person, you never get to enjoy the person you are and the people you have right now. It. Is. Exhausting. It’s well intentioned, sure. The pursuit of a better self is certainly an age old noble one. But, our culture has somehow over glorified the transformation. 

Which brings me back to Kendra’s reminder. I am not a person whose livelihood rests on my glowing skin and rock hard abs (LOL, am I right?). I am a person in a season of being a working mother to two small children, shuffling piles of laundry and crockpot meals.I am in a season of trying to date my husband, getting the doc to the vet and registering for soccer.  I have arrived at a place of having what I have always wanted–so why not slow down and enjoy? Learn what it has to teach me. The temptation is to transform but what is wrong with right here?

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Don’t get me wrong, I still plan to work out. It does wonders for my health. I plan to cook healthy meals when I can because it’s good for all of us. But I don’t think it serves me to make some stringent resolution about losing 30 pounds. Instead I am simply resolving to live in the season, learn what it has to teach me, and give myself some grace. 

Here’s to a new year, a new decade, a new perspective–and good ol’ me.  

 

5 Productivity Apps To Help You Get Things Done

We’ve all been there. You thought your husband was picking up from soccer camp. He thought it was your turn.  No one remembered grocery pick up and you aren’t sure when you’re up for snacks.

There is so. much. going. on. And lets get real–it only gets crazier when school starts back! Here are some great apps you can add to your phone to help keep yourself (and your family) on track.

Trello

Trello is awesome because its entirely what you make it–it can be a way to plan your family vacation with out of town guests, a place to store photos or make grocery lists. Think of it as the modern day kitchen cork board–snap a picture of the book sale flyer, generate your packing list, store your favorite sitter’s info. Then, take it with you!

Cozi

Cozi is more geared towards families with multiple users on the app. You can assign tasks and calendars so specific members of your family. That way, your teenage son doesn’t get the notification that you have an OB appointment but your husband knows so he can handle picking up the younger kids.

Grocery IQ

This genius apps lets you share grocery lists and has a barcode function that lets you scan in what you need before you toss the empty. Save yourself a trip for forgotten items and better yet–avoid ending up with two dozen strawberries because you and your husband both grabbed them.

Two Happy Homes

Working with two homes due to custody schedules? This app helps streamline the coordination of playdate, teacher conferences and sports schedule. You can share child-centric information here and not worry about giving access to your personal calendar to co-parents.

OurHome

Delegate! This app allows you to assign various chores and tasks to members of your family. You can follow up to see what has been completed or prove to your kids that you REALLY did ask them to move the laundry.

 

 

Five Baby Products You Absolutely Do Not Need

Look, the internet is going to find out you’re pregnant and start showing you all kinds of unsolicited ads for things you don’t need. Let me save you some hassle and eliminate the following from your registry:

Novelty Pacifiers.

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Very few babies will take these things. More than likely your baby will not take a pacifier or will only take one specific kind. While cute in theory, this is a waste of your time.

The Peepee Teepee.

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The fact that someone has made millions off of this keeps me up at night. This is as added step in the diapering process you just don’t need (and won’t actually use). When your baby is first born, you’ll be too tired to remember and by the time you do, you’ll be at the “wrangling a rabid cat” stage of diapering and this will be useless anyway.

Wiper and/or bottle warmer.

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Again, this will take more time than it is worth. By the time you have warmed the bottle in this contraption or carried your baby across the house to the designated wipe warmer, you’re both crying in frustration. It’s a cold, cold world, baby. Best find out via the wipes, ya know?

Designated Changing Table.

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This may be controversial but I just think this is a waste of space. If you add a changing pad to a dresser, you’re making good use of space. This piece of furniture, on the other hand, will be a thing of the past once you join the ranks of parents who just change the baby on any available flat surface. Trust me, you won’t want to make the trek to the nursery just for this task.

Baby Bath Robes.

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Oh, the are so cute. The animal ears, the fuzziness, the teeny belt. I get the appeal but you will literally never use this and if you try to, you will regret it because you will have a wet, slippery baby who is real mad. Grab a towel and head straight for pajama town.

What would you add to the list?