9 Things to Look for at Day Care


Looking for child care? I was too and so happy to report we found one we love! use this handy guide to help you weed through all the options and decide on a place when you and baby are happy!

Way back when I was pregnant I wrote this about child care. Now that Camille is actually in day care (today’s her first day…eek) I have a different perspective on things. Not to say that post is trash, it has some useful tips, but now I have more tips. Grab some tea and read along.

  • Is the center and staff licensed?

    • This matters! If the center is not licensed through your local city/county/state they can pretty much do anything they want to/with your kid. The teachers/employees may not be CPR certified or even like kids. They could just be chasing paychecks. If the staff isn’t licensed they may not know how to work with children properly.
  • Is the center safe and secure?

    • When we walked up the walkway to the center we chose B said “this is a bit jail like”. I said “that means no one can come take our baby”. You get where I’m going with this? People are nuts! And little kids are going missing by the hour. We have to do what we can to keep our kids safe.
  • What’s the evacuation procedure/route?

    • I never thought about this but during our tour the directors of the center pointed this out and showed us the plan. Each classroom has a teacher’s backpack with all the kids emergency info. If they have to evacuate I know the route, where to find them and they have my number (and the other 10 people we had to list for emergency contacts) to let me know.
  • What’s the curriculum?

    • The last thing I want is to acquire another mortgage in day care expenses and all my kid does is watch TV all day. Nope! Be sure to ask about lesson plans, activities, field trips and things like that. I must say the center we chose really won me over with the curriculum.
  • Day in the life?

    • Just because you have a lesson plan does not mean my kid won’t be watching TV most of the day. Ask what a typical day is like, is there a standard schedule? We looked at one center where about 75 minutes of the day was spent hand washing. Really?! Also, pay attention to how long activities take place. Smaller kids don’t have a very long attention span, we don’t want boredom to set in.
  • Meals included or no?

    • This was heard for me but I’ve been convinced to let it go. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks are supplied at our center. I was so nervous about my little picky eater but I’ve been convinced she’ll eat because a) she’ll be hungry b) everyone else will be eating and c) she’ll be hungry. We’ll see. If meals are included ask to see the menu. I love that our center offers healthy meals and it’s so much variety.
  • How is conflict handled?

    • This was B’s question, never crossed my mind.  I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the method but I can describe it. So, if two kids have a disagreement, or one hits/bites/pinches, the kids are taken to a corner to discuss what happened. “Do you see Tommy crying?” “Why do you think he’s crying?” “Did you make him cry?” “How do you think he feels?” “Would you want to feel that way?” “Please apologize to Tommy.” I like this method.
  • Potty Training

    • Camille is showing some interest but I’m more nervous to get the ball rolling. Our center will start when I start or at 2 and they set a timer for 15 minutes throughout the day. If they find the a kid can’t hold it that long they shorten the time. If a kid has a stronger bladder they lengthen the time. I love it!
  • What do I need to bring?

    • How many changes of clothes? Food/snacks? Milk? Diapers? A sheet and blanket? Favorite toy?


In addition to this we all wanna know how much this is gonna cost us, the hours and will my kid be happy here. I’ve learned in my search the better the center, the more you will pay. Camille was SO happy when we took the tour and came back for Meet & Greet that I knew what ever the cost we had to make it happen!

Am I missing anything? Please add in the comments and let me know how you handled the first day of day care. Camille is almost 2 so it wasn’t too hard, I didn’t cry but still bittersweet.

Oh yeah! I also made this a printable just for you! Now you can take it with you on day care tours! You’re welcome!


Grab this awesome printable!

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June 12, 2017

Have You Ever Been In The Circus? UniverSoul Circus Can Make That Happen!


Be in the UniverSoul Circus

You mean to tell me you’ve never been IN the circus? No? Me either. But if you go see the UniverSoul Circus you stand a chance of scratching that off your bucket list!

Last week my cousin, her daughter (age 4), Camille (age 1) and I went to see the UniverSoul Circus in Baltimore, MD. We had a ball! Of our group, I was the only one that’s seen the show before. I’ve actually seen it about three times over the past 20 years.

As always the performers were AMAZING and the crowd participation was awesome. The Ring Master and performers randomly choose people from the audience to participate in a dance contest, improve skits, a beach ball toss and more. So yes, you could end up on stage participating in the UniverSoul Circus! Now check that off your to-do list.

How the kids reacted:

Rai (age 4) enjoyed it all! Her eyes lit up, she clapped and sang along. The cotton candy was the icing on the cake for her.

Camille (age 1) had to figure what in the world was going on. She really had to warm up to the crowd, lights and loud music. After she came around she enjoyed herself. She danced and laughed herself sleepy.

How the adults reacted:

Elle enjoyed the diversity more than anything, as did I. All the performing groups were from different parts of the world and all brought a different flavor than the next. Men danced on stilts, women did the limbo under a fire, there were dirt bikes flying through the air, contortionists and much more!

For my animal activists:

I couldn’t help but think about the animals myself. I know many animal people boycott the circus and I understand why. I must say UniverSoul has limited the number of animals and time the animals spend on stage over the years. I know, not completely animal free but it made me feel good and gave hope that animals may no longer be a part of the circus in the coming years.

Would I go again?

Of course! I loved that the UniverSoul Circus was a family event that had a little something for everyone.

Have you seen the UniverSoul Circus yet? If so, let me know what you thought. If not, click here for showtimes and tickets.

Oh yeah, check my Instagram for pics & video clips from the UniverSoul Circus!



June 7, 2017

Family Fun Day In Baltimore


Hey Mamas! I hope all is well! I just wanted to drop in real quick to let you know about Family Fun Day in Baltimore at Power Plant Live! It’s happening this Saturday, June 3rd from 12-4.

Who: You and your family

What: Having a blast at Family Fun Day! There will be face painting, pony rides, games, an inflatable obstacle course and more!

When: Saturday June 3rd, 2017 12 noon – 4PM

Where: Power Plant Live (Downtown Baltimore)

Why: To get the kids out of the house, get Summer off to a great start and most important to support Volunteering Untapped.

Cost: Yup, just $5 and all proceeds go to Volunteering Untapped

The Best Part: This is only the first event of the summer! There will be a Family Fun Day July 9th and August 5th as well!

So…will I we see you there? I sure hope so. Tweet me @_TheMamaDen so we can meet and snap selfies together!

June 2, 2017

Have you tried frozen meals by Luvo?


Quick, nutritious and affordable frozen meals by Luvo. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! | TheMamaDen.com

I know right? Why on earth would I feed my kid frozen meals with all those “ingredients” and sodium? Well, I didn’t…and don’t plan to. But no shade if that’s your thing. When I was given the opportunity to try frozen meals by Luvo I was skeptical. I definitely checked out the website before committing. Obviously I was impressed enough to accept the offer and I’m so glad I did!

I was able to read the entire package without pulling out my science dictionary and the nutritional facts didn’t make me feel like I’d need a lifetime prescription for HCTZ post consumption. Was that too much medical jargon? My bad. Anyhoo, after reading the packaging and website I was a bit concerned about taste. Could a freezer meal that’s not terrible for you actually taste good? I had to wait and see.

Read more…

May 12, 2017