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        Bumbelou Blog

        Babysitters: The Going Rate

        Babysitters: The Going Rate

        So, what’s the going rate for a babysitter these days? This is a question I have asked and been asked many times over the years. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a pay scale somewhere? We could punch in our number of kids and the number of hours we had a sitter and it would tell us the magic number to pay them…

        I’m no expert on this matter, and it may vary depending on where you live, but I’ll share with you all what I shared with a good friend recently. 

        Here’s what I consider when setting my rate for babysitters:

        -How many children will be in their care, and what are the ages? 

        -How many hours will my children be active vs how many hours will they be asleep while the sitter is here? 

        -Will they need to prepare/serve a meal while I’m gone?

        -How old is the babysitter? I will pay a little more for a sitter who is older and able to drive themselves to and from our home.

        -What is the hourly wage for jobs in my community? If our sitter worked at X, what would he or she make?

        -Does this particular sitter go above and beyond? Ie: do they clean up messes, dishes, etc? I will pay a sitter who leaves my house equal to or better than I left it in gold!

        Considering the questions above, you might wonder how to broach the subject of pay with your sitter. I’ve found it easiest to be straight forward! You can start with “How much do you charge per hour?” I’ve found that most sitters we’ve used respond with “I’m fine with whatever you want to pay me!” So from there, I’ll state what I’m willing to pay. This is a good opportunity to lay out your expectations also. Things that are important to me are that they are engaging with my kids and not just giving them screen time, that meals and messes are cleaned up and put away, and that they stick to our bedtime schedule, to name a few.

        There is no right or wrong rate to pay a sitter. What is affordable to me might vary from you. I think the most important thing is that you land on a rate that feels good for both you and your sitter. You want them to feel valued, and you want them to say yes the next time you ask! And most importantly, enjoy your time away and trust that your kids are having just as much fun back home!

        xo,

        Amy

        Fill Your Cup

        Fill Your Cup

        Hey Mamas, how are you? This week has been hard for me, for every reason and no particular reason at all. Motherhood is just like that sometimes. I’ve been home with my kids for two solid months, and while that’s not out of the norm for me, this week it just feels hard. I think we’re all craving some routine (ahem, school) to our days, and some time apart from one another.

        I know the time will come for those things, sooner than I think. The past few days I’ve been irritable and short tempered. I know that it’s normal and even ok to have days like this. But I know that I can’t let myself stay here. I need to fill my cup so that I can continue to keep pouring for my family. Here’s how I’m finding ways to keep going, even when I feel like I want to quit.

        -Go for a walk

        - Go for a drive. Grab a coffee and wander the back roads. Roll the windows down and let the wind whip through your hair.

        -Go outside. We know this one is a game changer for our kids, but it’s also true for us! Over the weekend, I took a book out to the hammock and just sat and read. It was glorious.

        -Carve out time to read for pleasure. After my kids go to bed works well for me. No self help or parenting books…beach reads only.

        -Grab your camera (your phone totally counts!) and take pictures of things that make you happy. I’ve always found it very relaxing to photograph nature. Last night I did exactly this and took photos of our sunflowers popping up throughout our gardens.

        -Hire a babysitter or reach out to a friend to take your kids for a few hours and go do something completely selfish. Walk the aisles of target, get your nails done, meet a friend for lunch. When you’re feeling better, return the favor so your friend can do the same!

        -Find a good show to watch. Might I suggest “Virgin River” on Netflix? It’s like a Hallmark movie, only a series! 

        -Buy yourself a treat.

        -Take a class. Last week I signed up for a class at my friends flower farm. I brought my neighbor along and we spent Friday night walking through flower fields, learning a bit about them, and we got to make our own bouquets to take home. It was lovely.

        -Clean your house. Or don’t. My mind is most settled when there is order to the chaos, so sometimes self care for me means cleaning the house and tackling the laundry.

        -Call a friend or family member, and just have a good ol’ conversation. 

        Whatever brings to peace, comfort, joy, and fills your cup, do that. I know it’s so easy to ignore that little voice inside that’s crying for attention. That is me to a T. But when I stop and listen to it, feed my soul even just a little, I am just a better and happier person all around. You deserve that. 

        xo,

        Amy

        Science for Littles: Creating Sun Prints

        Science for Littles: Creating Sun Prints

        It’s that time of summer where I’m starting to hear “I’m bored. What can I do?”, and I have to dig a little deeper to creatively captivate my kids! I found this sun print making paper, and it was a hit!

        Supplies needed:

        -Sunprint paper kit (I ended up cutting our papers in half to stretch it out for more fun!)

        -cardboard or tray

        -Creative objects! I’m partial to those found in nature, but we also tried using some plastic sea life figures and they were fun too!

        How you do it:

        -Place your sunprint paper on top of your cardboard/tray. 

        -Arrange your items onto the blue paper. We looked for things that had fun lines and patterns.

        -Place the clear plastic sheet on top of your objects (this is included in the kit)

        -Place outside in direct sunlight for 1-5 minutes. We had fun experimenting with the times to see if it made a difference (it didn’t!) 

        -Bring inside, remove objects, and rinse paper under cold water. Lay the paper flat to dry. We let ours sit for several hours and were surprised to see that the paper went from white (in the sun), back to blue, leaving images behind of the objects we had placed on it.

        What is happening?

        -The paper goes through a chemical change when exposed to direct sunlight.

        Pretty neat, right? 

        xo,

        Amy

        Grab and Go Swim Bags

        Grab and Go Swim Bags

        If you recall our Summer Fun Basket, at the beginning of summer I set my kids up with all sorts of fun items for summer, including new towels, googles, and swim suits. But we spent our first few weeks of summer scrambling to find those items every time we needed them. It was just a bunch of unnecessary chaos in the midst of trying to sun screen four kids and get us out the door on time for swim lessons, and I was tired of it. I decided I needed to create a "hack" to streamline this process. And now that I have this system in place, I can't believe I lived without it for so long!

        I found these beach bags on Amazon, which came in a 4 pack-perfect for my crew of 4! I then used this cute name idea I had seen from The Mama Notes, to create your kids' name out of pipe cleaner and hot glue on to the bag. Just assigning each of my kids a colored bag would have sufficed, but I enjoy creating and crafting, so I went the extra step. 

        Next, I filled each bag with a beach towel, goggles, sunscreen, and ear plugs. Add in whatever items suit your needs. I added sunscreen to Orelia's bag, as she sometimes goes swimming at a friend's house, sans the rest of our crew. For the rest of the sunscreen, I keep it all together in a separate bag (It's expensive and I don't want it to accidently fall out!) I have this hook rack hanging in my laundry room, so I designated it as the home for these bags. They hang here, ready to grab and go, and it has saved us so much hassle this summer.

        After a trip to the lake, pool, or swimming lessons, I wash the towels, replenish the bags, and hang them right back here so they're ready for the next time!

        Do you have a great summer mom hack? I'm always looking for ways to make things run more smoothly!

        xo,

        Amy

         

        The Perfect Vacay Souvenirs

        The Perfect Vacay Souvenirs

        It feels so good to be able to travel again, doesn't it? We have a beach vacation planned for August and we've been looking forward to it for months! As much as we love to plan and prepare for our vacations, we also love to document and remember them! Physical souvenirs with four kids can add up fast. I'm not opposed to them, but I prefer these alternatives that we've created over the years. Rather than buying stuffed animals that we eventually toss, or t-shirts that are quickly outgrown, these ideas add up to a meaningful collection to display over the years. 

        The first one we do each time we go somewhere is to keep a travel journal. You can keep one as a family, or have one for each child. My kids enjoy having their own, especially my kids that are able to write independently. We like to write about our highlight of each day, and either draw a picture or take add in a polaroid picture that we've taken of that time. We also collect mementos along the way, like maps, postcards, a restaurant menu, ticket stubs, and tape them inside. The more things we find to add in, the more memorable and meaningful it becomes. I love this one, because it can be used for several trips. There are pockets throughout to add in all the things we love. 

         In addition to our journals, my favorite souvenirs are bits of nature. Whether it be a handful of seashells, a layer of sand, pinecones, rocks, or bits of sea glass...think of all those perfect treasures that your little ones pick up along the way and insist you keep. Collect them in a plastic bag, and once you get home, place them in a jar and label with the destination and date. Over time, you will have a fun collection of such jars, and they make great decor when displayed on a shelf!

        xo,

        Amy