Hello, my name is Nina and I’m a Workaholic!

I wasn’t always like this. At one time, I’m sure I was just your normal average run of the mill kid. I liked to play with my friends, go to the park, have sleep-overs, and all kinds of great things. Then when I took that first job… FoodLand grocery bagger it all changed. I went to school and worked. I liked making money, and actually being able to put gas in my car and buy the things I wanted.

When I started college I went to school full-time (which was like a job), worked on campus part-time, and worked off campus part-time. Not to mention I was in the theatre department and was constantly involved with a show which took up most if not all of my evenings.

After graduating college (in exactly 4 years) I decided to continue to work on campus full-time, and take a few more classes (just for fun) while working part-time at the local high school teaching tech theater and tool safety! Oh yeah, and I was still constantly involved with a show, but instead of it being on campus I was producing, directing, and acting in shows off campus with a theatre troop I helped found.

When I finally moved out to California to try to make it BIG (insert laugh here) I took on a full-time job along with daily auditions and twice weekly acting classes. But, I kept on trucking…

I left Hollywood, and started a family with my amazing husband! Okay, so just because being a mom doesn’t pay – doesn’t make it any less a job. I happen to love being a mom, and it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for the world, but it can be tiring and hard and stressful just like any other job, and you don’t get off after 8 hours of work its a 24 hour a day job for the rest of your life! So, I do that… and a full-time job, and a part-time job, and of course I am trying… when I have time… to be a writer.

Okay, so my progress in the writing field can’t really be seen over these last few months, but it is still a dream.

I have recently sent my latest version of book 1 to my editor Jamie Aitchison (haven’t heard back yet). I am working on book 2 rewrites… I plan to pick it back up in the second week of January. My goal is to have book 2 rewrites done by the end of February. Then I will start back in on book 3. I’ve already written about 10 chapters, but due to all the edits in the first 2 books, I think I’ll pretty much be starting from scratch, oh well.

So, you see… I’m a workaholic! Wish I wasn’t, but there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I need to do.

If anyone out there can think of a way to add two more hours to my day, let me know.

My Latest Endeavor

Child Care Weather Watch – Understand the Weather!

The Department of Human Resources (DHR) lays out clear regulations and procedures for every licensed child care facility throughout the state. Regulations include, but are not limited to; size and available space of facility, equipment within the facility, transportation provided by the facility, disciplinary practices utilized within the facility, student to teacher ratios, staffing and qualification requirements of staff and volunteers, health and safety needs of the students and staff, and so much more. The list just keeps going. There are so many areas that are covered through the legal authority of the Department of Human Resources.

As the director of a licensed child care facility I can honestly say that I work in partnership with the Department of Human Resources. I rely on their insight and knowledge in all aspects of my job, and seek out their guidance when necessary. I hope that I am able, through this blog to share some of what I have learned through my experiences as a center/school director, and through working with our DHR Representative.  

According to the DHR Minimum Standards for Day Care Centers, all children (Infants/Toddlers and Preschool/School-age) shall spend time outdoors daily when weather permits. With that said, winter time is known for the dropping temperatures and the runny sniffly noses. Although all of our little ones want to play outside, we want to make sure they are doing it safely, and I believe that is what our families want as well. Therefore, it is important that parents remember to bundle your child(ren) up in weather appropriate clothing (layers layers layers), to include a jacket/coat, gloves, and hat.

The information below should give everyone a clear picture of how to understand the weather and what temperatures are comfortable for out-door play during the summer-time and winter-time, and what temperatures are not. I use this guide at home with my children, and at the school with all of our students.

Watching the weather is part of a child care provider’s job. Planning for playtime, field trips, or weather safety is part of the daily routine. The changes in weather require the child care provider to monitor the health and safety of children. What clothing, beverages, and protections are appropriate? Clothe children to maintain a comfortable body temperature (warmer months – lightweight cotton, colder months – wear layers of clothing). Beverages help the body maintain a comfortable temperature. Water or fruit juices are best. Avoid high-sugar content beverages and soda pop. Sunscreen may be used year around. Use a sunscreen labeled as SPF-15 or higher. Read and follow all label instructions for the sunscreen product. Look for sunscreen with UVB and UVA ray protection. Shaded play areas protect children from the sun.

CONDITION GREEN – Children may play outdoors and be comfortable. Watch for signs of children becoming
uncomfortable while playing. Use precautions regarding clothing, sunscreen, and beverages for all child age groups.

INFANTS AND TODDLERS are unable to tell the child care provider if they are too hot or cold. Children become fussy when uncomfortable. Infants/toddlers will tolerate shorter periods of outdoor play. Dress infants/toddlers in lightweight cotton or cotton-like fabrics during the warmer months. In cooler or cold months dress infants in layers to keep them warm. Protect infants from the sun by limiting the amount of time outdoors and playing in shaded areas. Give beverages when playing outdoors.

YOUNG CHILDREN remind children to stop playing, drink a beverage, and apply more sunscreen.

OLDER CHILDREN need a firm approach to wearing proper clothing for the weather (they may want to play without coats, hats or mittens). They may resist applying sunscreen and drinking beverages while outdoors.

CONDITION YELLOW – use caution and closely observe the children for signs of being too hot or cold while outdoors. Clothing, sunscreen, and beverages are important. Shorten the length of outdoor time.

INFANTS AND TODDLERS use precautions outlined in Condition Green. Clothing, sunscreen, and beverages are important. Shorten the length of time for outdoor play.

YOUNG CHILDREN may insist they are not too hot or cold because they are enjoying playtime. Child care providers need to structure the length of time for outdoor play for the young child.

OLDER CHILDREN need a firm approach to wearing proper clothing for the weather (they may want to play without coats, hats or mittens), applying sunscreen and drinking liquids while playing outdoors.

CONDITION RED – most children should not play outdoors due to the health risk.

INFANTS/TODDLERS should play indoors and have ample space for large motor play.

YOUNG CHILDREN may ask to play outside and do not understand the potential danger of weather conditions.

OLDER CHILDREN may play outdoors for very short periods of time if they are properly dressed, have plenty of fluids. Child care providers must be vigilant about maximum protection of children.

Understand the Weather

The weather forecast may be confusing unless you know the meaning of the words.

Blizzard Warning: There will be snow and strong winds that produce a blinding snow, deep drifts, and life threatening wind chills. Seek shelter immediately.

Heat Index Warning: How hot it feels to the body when the air temperature (in Fahrenheit) and relative humidity are combined.
Relative Humidity: The percent of moisture in the air.

Temperature: The temperature of the air in degrees Fahrenheit.
Wind: The speed of the wind in miles per hour.
Wind Chill Warning: There will be sub-zero temperatures with moderate to strong winds expected which may cause hypothermia and great danger to people, pets and livestock.
Winter Weather Advisory: Weather conditions may cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, these situations should not become life threatening.
Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter conditions have begun in your area.
Winter Storm Watch: Severe winter conditions, like heavy snow and ice are possible within the next day or two. 

Wind-Chill

30º is chilly and generally uncomfortable
15º to 30º is cold
0º to 15º is very cold
-29º to 0º is bitter cold with significant risk of frostbite
-20º to -60º is extreme cold and frostbite is likely
-60º is frigid and exposed skin will freeze in 1 minute

Heat Index

80º or below is considered comfortable
90º beginning to feel uncomfortable
100º uncomfortable and may be hazardous
110º considered dangerous

All temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit

Child Care Weather Watch was produced by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Healthy Child Care Iowa. This guide was produced through federal grant (MCJ19T029 & MCJ19KCC7) funds from the US Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration, Maternal & Child Health Bureau. Wind-Chill and Heat Index information is from the National Weather Service.