Begin here…

Ranya Henson

bestpicever

  • mother, educator, scientist, behavior analyst, dog/goat/cat owner, rollerskater, nature lover
  • favorite word: iota
  • 5’4″
  • luckiest mama ever- look at that smile!!!

It all began with a baby. Doesn’t it always? And it’s shocking….despite those warnings from people who tell you about life changing events….that actually end up changing your life. And that’s how I came to be operating a family child care business. Two years ago, pregnant: enjoying every kick, somersault and sleepless night….you never could have convinced me that I would be doing anything else but my ‘normal’ job (working with kiddos with disabilities, mostly autism and oppositional defiance disorder). But here I am. Amazingly, I get to practice my skills from previous careers as a scientist, behavior analyst, SCUBA instructor and barista (because it takes a lot of coffee to get me going sometimes).yogurtface

But…back to the baby, a boy, his name is Darwin Atticus. Like other mothers, I had no idea how much I could love something until he arrived. I can’t imagine anyone else getting to spend the most important years of his life with him…thus the child care business. We started it when he was three months and it’s been incredibly hard but worth every tear and disagreement. We have operated it out of our living room. Which means while other families let dishes pile up alongside laundry and less than perfect front yards, we had to clean, cut and organize daily…whoa, many tearful mornings…especially after sleepless nights.

So why a daycare? Why not create and sell something on Etsy? Or just be a stay-at-home-mom? Not sure, but probably because my background looks like this:

-SCUBA instructor- certifying many young kiddos, worked for ~5 years

– Bachelors in Marine Science and Zoology, worked as scientist for 10 years.

– Masters in Education- Special Ed, something I fell into but loved, loved, loved.

-Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (Associates)- behaviors drive everything that we do….super fascinating.

Thus, I figured with my Education degree, along with knowledge of challenging (aka fun) behaviors, and a love for teaching everything from how to breathe underwater to functional skills (like how to use a toilet) I could run a family child care business (which I call a pre-preschool since it is younger kiddos but they are not just being BABYSAT!).

A year into it, I have realized that not only is it the toughest job I have EVER had but the most rewarding. I get to participate in daily ABBA dance parties, eat endless amounts of string cheese (personal favorite), and hang out with the most amazing little kiddos who surprise me everyday.

My hopes for this blog:

A) to show some exciting activities to do with your little ones- toddlers are a difficult group to come up with meaningful curriculum- along with healthy ideas of WHAT to feed the little rascals

B) because we live across the Pacific Ocean from all family members it’ll allow those who love his squishy cheeks to watch Darwin as he grows into the most amazing person

C) it will give me a place to organize all the ideas that I have for our pre-preschool

D) all of the above

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