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Choosing the Best Paintball Gun


A paintball gun is the most important piece of equipment in any paintball team, but what makes a gun great? Before you can find the best paintball gun, you need to answer these questions.

The first question you need to ask yourself before purchasing a paintball gun is, “What are my needs?” Most manufacturers offer plenty of guns for every type of play. You may not even need a sniper gun, if you like to hit a wide variety of targets at once. A semi-automatic or pump paintball gun is great for just one person to work on a group of targets.

Of course, you will also need to take a look at the whole unit. You should not purchase a paintball gun that is too big or too small. Any paintball gun that you buy should have a scope to go with it, and a lot of them also come with extra sights that will help you hit those targets.

A top paintball gun should have several different types of airsoft pellets. This will ensure that you always have a high quality load on hand. There are also pellets that can be loaded into the same cartridge to save money.

Before you choose a paintball gun, you should take a look at the recoil force that it puts out. If you want to get the most accurate and consistent fire, then you should get a model that has the most recoil. It also should be lightweight so you can carry it easier.

When choosing a paintball gun, you also need to look at the type of headgear you will use to shoot it. Whether you prefer goggles with a mask, you should choose a model that is compatible with your choice. Many of the best models of all time were designed to be used with gas masks and special face masks.

A lot of companies make guns that use lead acid batteries. These batteries are expensive, but they last longer and they can be charged by solar cells. To learn more about lead acid batteries, you can check out the link below.

Your next question may be, “What size should I get?” Paintball guns are designed to be used with a particular paintball marker. For example, a handgun is fine for most woodsballers, but a sluggun would be best for medium woodsball or other fast-paced paintball games.

If you follow the rules and regulations of the game, then it’s perfectly acceptable to carry a concealable pistol while playing. If you’re new to the sport, then you should start with a pistol that is a lot smaller than the gun you plan to shoot with. After a couple of games, you’ll be comfortable enough to carry a gun that is a lot bigger.

Consider the weight of the gun you plan to use. Some players prefer semi-automatic pistols over fully automatic weapons. These are the same players who don’t like to have to reload when playing.

It’s all about personal preference and what works best for you. You will need to decide how much power you want and whether you want a muzzle break or not. Choose a gun that matches your preference and doesn’t take up too much space in your home.

Don’t forget to consider your budget. No matter what you choose, you should consider buying paintball guns at a local gun shop. They are likely to be very knowledgeable about the different guns and can help you choose the best one for you.

The Best Paintball Gun For You


A popular question that people frequently ask themselves when starting a paintball team is, “What kind of paintball gun should I be using?” There are many types of paintball guns on the market today. The best type of gun for you will depend on what your style of play is.

When choosing the right kind of gun for you, take some time to really evaluate your skills and preferences. This will help narrow down the field. First, decide whether you are an “end user”side-case”. End users are those who buy their own guns and play regularly.

An end user is someone who buys a gun and play it in tournaments, but only to the very limit of the capacity that is allowed. They may also sell their guns in order to invest in a better gun. These are very effective for beginners.

A side-case (or “true end user”) is someone who uses a paintball gun every day. These are often the professional teams.

Teams in a league with a better grade of gear have higher expectations of their players. They will likely have lower-grade paintball guns, but you may find a lower-grade gun if you’re willing to put forth the effort.

There are many different gears available on the market today, so it’s important to determine what you need based on your experience and skill level. When deciding which kind of paintball gun you should be using, there are a few things to keep in mind.

There are two main types of gun, blasters and tank-type guns. Blasters are powered by electric energy. They tend to be more durable and more accurate than tank-type guns.

Paintball tanks, on the other hand, are designed to carry as much paintball ammunition as possible. They are typically powered by gasoline. Although they are cheaper to run, they are heavier and require more maintenance.

Before choosing a gun, make sure you have all the equipment and gear you’ll need. This may include: gel, foam, a cleaning kit, gun-case lining material, paintball marker, cases, oil, batteries, gloves, a helmet, protective gear, and of course, air. Make sure you have plenty of air in your tank, as the tank will be the source of gas.

Although not mandatory, it is always a good idea to keep a person’s shooter’s safety in mind. Make sure that you wear a full face helmet and protective gear if you are using an air tank.

Since guns have come a long way in recent years, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money. The paintball gun of your dreams can be purchased for under $200 and can serve you well!

Make sure you buy the brand you like, and go to a reputable retailer. Also, do not forget to test fire the gun before purchase, as it will save you from a lot of embarrassment in the future.

Why is VPN Shot One of the Best VPN Software Programs You Can Use?


VPN Shot is one of the most trusted and popular free VPN software products on the Internet. They are known for providing high quality VPN service with both reliability and customer support. Read on to learn more about their features and their value as a tool to protect your online privacy.

VPN Shot was created by two good friends who wanted to create a product that would improve the security of the Internet. Their primary objective was to allow users to bypass firewalls and keep their private and sensitive information private while surfing the web.

Softwares like this are not easy to find. For example, you will only find free VPN services available.

This is a very odd approach. Shouldn’t free VPN softwares are the most preferred choice? Why not make it the most important purchase you make in your life and instead spend a lot of money on things you don’t need?

That is not to say that the price of VPN Shot is a knock against it, it simply means that they overstate their client’s security and can end up providing bad advice to users. Once you are using one of these software softwares you will quickly realize that the client does not offer any sort of add-on features or value-added features that will help protect your privacy.

It is simple to want to protect your data. A lot of people do this at work. The worst part is that when they install VPN Shot they could end up storing their email addresses and credit card numbers. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to run the risk of doing this.

If someone wants to steal your identity, you will be left without any way to protect your personal information. The best thing to do is to take the easy way out and use an encrypted VPN service.

By using a VPN, you can reduce the risk of being compromised in your private information and you can also save a lot of money in terms of using an unprotected alternative. The reason why VPNs are so important is because of the laws implemented by different governments around the world. The governments do not like VPNs because they provide an alternative way to accomplish surveillance without having to tap phones or spying on computers.

In recent years the United States Federal Trade Commission has created a website called the Privacy Shield where all the standards established by the Public Interest Group are enforced. This site offers a platform for the companies involved to have a clear and uncomplicated communication with customers to provide better service.

It is important to note that if your company is not located in the United States it is strongly recommended that you choose a company that is part of the Privacy Shield to avoid paying tax on the taxes you owe. It is also important to choose a VPN software program that is free from spyware or adware so you can remain protected even when you aren’t connected to the Internet.

VPN Shot is not open source software. A lot of users will have had some sort of negative experience with closed source programs and will simply be hesitant to switch to an open source. But since they are paying for the software they obviously will need it, just look at the cost of VPNs.

Finally, to all the users out there please consider this when choosing a VPN. Open source VPNs are definitely the best. Consider it!

Why Choose Recliners?



Why Choose Recliners?

Recliners are useful, comfortable, and also stylish. But for those who are contemplating on buying this type of bed, you should know a few things first. The reason why people use these types of beds is because it offers better comfort. You can also save a lot of money if you buy these seats. There are many reasons why people like these types of seats.

Nowadays, people prefer to go to the lounge because it is their comfortable place where they can sit in. People have been using recliners for years and now, they are very popular. It is the right time to buy a recliner since it is fashionable and trendy. The reason why people prefer these kinds of beds is because it offers good comfort and luxury. It has been increasing a lot over the past few years and now, you can easily find them everywhere. When shopping for these seats, make sure that you go for the best quality seats, not for the cheapest.

There are different kinds of these chairs. They come in different shapes and sizes. You can choose the one that is comfortable for you. Also, some of them are also very stylish and elegant. So make sure that you are doing everything that you can do in order to choose the best one for your own needs. In this way, you will be able to get the perfect seat for you and your family.

BlueHost Review – Why You Should Use Them


When you first start looking at BlueHost review, you’re probably going to be a little puzzled. Why would I want to use them when I can find great results by using another company? Well, let me explain that to you. I know for sure that there are many people out there who are crazy about BlueHost review. It makes perfect sense to me, and I don’t think that most of the people out there are going to get all the way confused, and that will affect their results. Just imagine how wonderful it would be if you could have blue skies with all of your web hosting needs.

Bluehost review

At first glance, you’d probably think that it wouldn’t do a lot. However, I’m not saying that. It’s just my own personal opinion. The main reason that I went with BlueHost is because I’ve found some really good results that worked perfectly for me. And you can’t deny that I did save a lot of money on hosting fees. I also don’t think that there is any reason to doubt that I am getting the best price out there. A lot of people will try out different options, but some of them will only stay with one.

BlueHost is not only one of the most popular web hosting services, they are also one of the most trusted ones. It’s true. They are also known for being reliable. The reason why most people don’t use them is because they don’t trust their own product. However, it is understandable that you might have your own beliefs, but it’s just good to know that they are on your side.

The Buckeyes Fall in BCS Championship for Second Time in as Many Years


Two losses in consecutive years, both blowouts, and both against the SEC leaves Jim Tressel’s Ohio State Buckeye team looking more and more like Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills in the 1990s. The “team of nobodies” as Ohio State started calling themselves looked like superstars on both offense and defensive for the majority of the first quarter. Ohio State running back Chris Wells took it to the house on a 65 yard touchdown run early on to give the Buckeyes a 7-0.
LSU’s first possession went no where, in fact they lost yards after a botched snap on 3rd down went all the way back to their own 5 yard line. Even after LSU punter Patrick Fisher netted a 62 yarder it left Ohio State in great field position at the OSU 41. A huge pass was completed to back up running back Brandon Saine for 44 yards and wound up giving the Buckeyes a field goal and a 10-0 lead. Tressel’s Buckeyes started out the 2006 BCS Championship in quick fashion as well when former OSU wide out Ted Ginn Jr. ran the opening kick off back for a touchdown. Then it was all uphill after that when they couldn’t get anything going on their way to a 41-14 disaster mostly blamed by fans as having to long of a layoff in between their final game and the BCS Championship.

Looking as though deja vu was happening all over again LSU scored on consecutive drives to tie the ball game up with 13:00 left in the 2nd quarter. Jitters seemed to play a major roll in the first quarter for the Tigers, but once they were set in their game plan it was smooth sailing the rest of the game. The Buckeyes did fire right back on their ensuing drive, but a 15 yard penalty nullified a huge chance to cash in for another score, instead it left OSU with a 37 yard field goal which wound up being blocked.

The only thing that was left was: LSU touchdown 17-10, LSU touchdown 24-10, halftime. LSU touchdown 31-10, Ohio State punt, LSU ball, interception by soon-to-be NFL draftee Malcolm Jenkins, touchdown Ohio State 31-17. Then of course the punch in the face with two minutes to go; LSU touchdown 38-17. You get the idea here as it was not what you wanted to see out of a BCS National Championship game to say the least. Congratulations to the LSU Tigers for becoming the 2008 National Champions after a ridiculously crazy season. After watching Monday night’s game there is only one more question that needs to be answered to put an end to the 2007-2008 NCAA football season. Would LSU of won the National Title if there was a playoff in place?

Wait, did Ohio State just score with 1:13 left?

LSU 38 Ohio State 24


So much for a sporty post! Next week, please check out my post about my new investments in the house and during adventure traveling–my all new

tactical flashlight. I bought it from Amazon and I think they are great. Will post details soon!

Backpacking Sleeping Bags: A Beginner’s Guide



There are many different types of sleeping bags available on the market. Not only are there different shapes, but they also come with different forms of insulation and different weights.
There are many things to consider when looking for a sleeping bag:
– What temperatures do you expect to encounter?
– Are you a warm or cold sleeper?
– Do you need weatherproof materials?
– What shape will work best for you?

Sleeping bags are generally filled with either synthetic materials, down or a combination of both. Each fill type has its advantages. Synthetic materials are more resistant to heat loss when wet while down gives a better temperature rating for less weight and is highly compressible. Some companies now offer mixed synthetic/down bags to capture the best of both. If wet weather is a concern, down bags can be contained in dry bags. You can even put in your latest  The PNW Ultralight Backpack.

Many new bag are also made with an outer waterproof shell to prevent soaking while the bag is in use. This can be a concern if condensation from the tent is an issue or if open sided shelters are used. Wet down is not a pleasant thing to deal with. Down tends to clump up and loses much of its insulative properties. This shouldn’t scare you away from down though as down is a great fill material. Synthetic on the other hand works wet or dry although a wet synthetic bag will still be unpleasant, it just will not have clumping issues. Synthetic doesn’t compress nearly as well as a comparable down bag and they also tend to be heavier. For those with down allergies, there are a few companies that are now carrying hypo-allergenic down bags.

Sleeping bag shapes and lengths are more varied then fill types. It is possible to get sleeping bags in a half length (also know as an ‘elephant’s foot’), a three quarter, a petite, kid sized, regular (generally fits up to a 6′ person), and long. The half and 3/4 length are best paired with a jacket and hood, or cap. Kid sized bags are scaled both in height and width and should be considered for kids over an adult bags as kids will have a hard time heating up the extra space in an adult bag. The petite bag is also a new addition on the market and is geared for women (or short men/big kids). A petite bag represents the opposite side of the sleeping bag spectrum from the long, it is smaller then a regular. Women’s bags generally have a slightly larger cut in the hip area, less width in the shoulder area and sometimes have additional insulation in the foot box and sometimes the chest area.

The old camping standard is the rectangular bag. It is basically a large square with a zipper down three sides allowing it to zip into a one person rectangle or to mate with another square to form a two person sleeping bag. Rectangular bags have seen a face lift with more modern materials, a trimmer shape and a hood. They are mostly still rectangular but they now have a zipper only down one side. While they offer more space for movement, that extra space can be harder to keep warm and may lead to a cooler night’s rest.

Mummy shaped bags have a more streamlined shape tapering in at the legs and feet. The cut is not very generous but with less interior space to warm up, it is easier to stay warm throughout a cold night. Mummy bags also tend to weigh less then their rectangular counterparts due to less materials. Quilts are similar to the mummy shape but don’t have a zipper or hood. They are open down the back. In order to use the bag, it is tucked under your shoulders to keep it wrapped around your body.

There is now a new category of sleeping bag, the best term I can think to describe this category is the ergonomic bag. This isn’t a totally new concept, there are now several bags on the market that allow for mobility while staying contained in your cocoon of warmth. The Selk sleeping bag body suit is the most conforming while the Exped Wallcreeper more resembles a large down vest that you can pull down and cinch below your feet.

Bags come in different weights ranging from summer weight, to expedition weight. Summer bags are best only for warm summer nights, generally rated from 50F and up. They can be combined with a heavier bag to extend the temperature of the heavier bag. Spring/fall bags are meant for cooler nights but can still be used over the summer with the zipper left down. The ratings for these bags falls between 35 and 45F. Winter bags, good for cold winter nights generally work over the 0 to 35F range. Expedition bags are rated for below 0F use. Most recreational backpackers can get away with a 35F bag.

Someone who chills easily when sleeping will require more insulation then someone who overheats easily. The best bag to buy that will work on most 3 season trips will be a bag that keeps you warm in the spring and fall with thermal underwear on, and can be draped over you in the summer to ward off a chill but still allowing for air flow. The bag should be light enough that you want to carry it without sacrificing on quality or warmth. While most people do not have a need for waterproof exteriors, it can come in handy to have some waterproof material on the hood and foot box to protect against tent condensation.

Any bag can be extended through the combined use of thermal underclothes and liners. The silk liner is great for keeping a sweaty, dusty body from dirtying up a bag. A fabric liner adds a few more degrees of warmth and fleece liners can add up to 10 degrees of additional warmth. Going to bed warm and even tossing in a water bottle full of hot water into a sleeping bag can help keep you warmer over a cold night.

Never under estimate the power of shared heat. The old Coleman style car camping sleeping bags could be mated together with one bag on the top and one on the bottom, it is still possible to mate two bags together, but today’s bags mate side by side. Each sleeper still stays mostly contained within their own bag but the bags are open to each other on one side. Most bags come with zippers either on the left side (which is ideal for right handed people) or zippers on the right side (ideal for left handed people). Numbering among the minority are center zip bags, and bags with no zipper (ideal for the gram pinchers).

There is no one perfect sleeping bag. Everyone is different and every bag caters to those differences.

(Web) Design Your Success



Straight out of college Jeremy Khan wanted to start a nationwide business. The greatest weapon a young entrepreneur like him has is the web. But it takes more than a simple text website to get attention. If design is how companies create brands, then web design is how new brands get noticed.
As the plans for Khan’s company Oral Fixation, a hip mint outfit, moved forward he knew it needed a website that would make his mints stand out among all the rest.

Luckily his schoolmate Jonathan Harris was an accomplished web designer, who eventually went on to create 10 by 10 an artistic alternative to Google News. When Khan brought Harris on board as a partner, he knew his website would be top notch and competitive.

“I wanted to create a website that people would repeatedly come back to and get sucked into,” said Khan. “That’s very much what happened with this website.” Today Oral Fixation is up, running and selling on both coasts.

So what’s the lesson here? Not all of us are lucky enough to have web designer friends, who go around winning design awards and their own news profiles. But that doesn’t mean we can’t own a website that is just as high in quality as Oral Fixations.

Web designers are in abundance, especially since the dot com bust. Some freelance their work, others join larger design companies, but all have their price. And while that price can sometimes burn your pocket, a smart business owner knows that a good website is an investment. The rate of return for a sleek website is almost always worth the initial hurt. A good designer creates a clean interface, high search optimization and gives your clients a way to find information they need about your business. If you don’t think a bad website can hurt your image, check out the old website for the 90’s hip hop group Kriss Kross.

Of course expensive web design isn’t an absolute necessity. If you run a small business you can rely on eBay or simply start a blog, making web design a point and click procedure. But don’t expect your product or service to get recognized. For that you need someone to give your business character and that takes design. You can always try to learn web editing software like

Dreamweaver yourself, but beware the risk of spending time reading a Dreamweavor for Idiots book and creating a website that just doesn’t make the cut.

Making the Choice
If you do decide to hire a designer, make sure you know what you are getting. Don’t settle for the first person knocking on your email mentioning they know HTML. If you have the money to spend, ask for credentials. Serious web designers went to school to receive a degree and would appreciate that you are looking for someone who knows the business. Check out their past clients and get a feel for their style. If the sites you visit have broken links, aren’t easy to navigate, hard to read and difficult to spot relevant information, you probably won’t want to hire that designer. Get some great designers at Canadian web hosting.

As alluded, finding a web designer isn’t hard. A simple Google search using “web designer” will bring up more hits than you’ll ever want to scroll through. And you aren’t limited by location. If you are comfortable, designers can work via email just as well as in your office, so don’t limit yourself.

So how do you narrow it down to find the right web guru for you? First decide if you want a freelancer or a larger company. Larger firms seem more impressive, but don’t forget that they have an entire network dedicated to giving you that impression. Freelancers are the lone wolfs of design, but the right one can be dedicated and give your site the special attention you want. Larger firms are a safer bet. If you don’t want to worry about a potential mishap or unprofessional situations, a company is the way to go. But, depending on the size of the design firm, after the initial meeting and discussion of your site’s needs, you might feel shuffled along through the whole process.

Whichever you choose, expect to pay a price related to the level of education and experience of the designer(s) you’re snagging coupled with your site’s needs. If you don’t have high expectations for your site, don’t get an expensive designer. But if you want a full site with archives, message boards, routine check ups and redesigns, you will have to shell out more money. In the end you are going to get what you pay for. You won’t be able to find a bargain like you do for shoes; web design is a service not a product. When was the last time you heard of an electrician or a lawyer “on sale?”

Getting to the Gritty
After comparing different prices you are comfortable with and styles you find appealing, narrow the research down to a few solid choices. Once at that stage make sure you can get specifics from your designer. See if they can lay out a timeframe. Make sure this is the kind of project they have experience with. Larger firms will probably have someone who is an expert in every skill and technology, while a freelancer might take extra time to learn new programming languages. Ask for referrals from past clients and check up on them. Finally, don’t agree to anything until you look at a contract.

A professional designer should have a standard contract waiting to be sent. You want to make sure that your interests are included in that contract. The last thing you want is to be tied to a contract that doesn’t assure you will get what you are paying for. The contract should include what work is going to get done, when work will start, an estimate for a date of completion, a specific pay timeline (it’s not uncommon for a deposit, midpoint payment and completion payment depending on the size of the job), and who has the right to the site’s final design. If you are trying to create an initial logo using the web this is something that can’t be overlooked!

There you have It
Design is everywhere and like it or not, it affects what you do and how you do it. Everything from where the men’s shoes are placed in Macy’s to the clean cut design of Apple computers designs are consciously created to get the results intended by the company. The web has created an entirely new medium for design and a new caste of designers itching to do just that, get you the results you want. Whether you are just starting out or trying to update a fortune 500, you need to be on the web, but only if your presence will reflect the positive attributes of your business.

How to Decorate Your Bathroom in a Birdhouse Theme



Most people who enjoy decorating with a country flavor may decide to decorate their kitchen with a lovely and rustic birdhouse theme. Have you ever considered using the birdhouse theme for your bathroom? I just finished redecorating our upstairs bathroom in a birdhouse theme and it is just lovely. I am quite pleased with the finished result. Here are some ideas to redecorate your bathroom in a birdhouse theme that will make the room look bright and cheery as well as continue your country decorating theme throughout the house.
How To Decorate Your Bathroom In A Birdhouse Theme: Walls. Before beginning your birdhouse themed bathroom decorating project, you will first need to decide on a paint color for your walls. Country blue or yellow are perfect choices. A light taupe or warm beige will also provide a wonderful backdrop for your birdhouse theme decorations. White is many people’s choices for paint color in bathrooms because bathrooms are typically very small rooms and it seems like the best choice to open up the room and make it appear larger. Go against the grain and choose a bright and striking paint color. No matter what the size of your bathroom, a bold color instead of plain white will make the room very inviting and quite pleasing to the eye.

How To Decorate Your Bathroom In A Birdhouse Theme: Hardware. Birdhouse themed shower curtain hooks, drawer pulls for the vanity and pegs or hooks to hang up hand towels or bathrobes. Visit on line stores that specialize in country themed decor such as Tenderheart Treasures or Collections Inc. If you prefer to shop in physical stores and see and touch your merchandise before purchasing, most department stores that offer bathroom decorating items like wooden dinnerware sets, will have an ample supply of birdhouse themed hardware. If you can not find exactly what you are looking for, use your creativity and switch out any birdhouse hardware you find for the kitchen and use it in the bathroom instead.

How To Decorate Your Bathroom In A Birdhouse Theme: Wall Decor. Use a wallpaper border with a lovely birdhouse design to go around the perimeter of the ceiling of your bathroom. You may find birdhouse wallpaper border with the kitchen themed rolls, do not let that deter you from using it in your bathroom. Choose colors of the wallpaper border that complement the paint color you chose. If you enjoy stenciling, purchase a birdhouse stencil as well as a stencil of small birds. Stencil birdhouses around the top of your walls or around the bathroom in the center of the walls. You can also stencil several groupings of birdhouses with small birds around them wherever you think they will look most attractive. Department stores such as Kohl’s and Boscov’s carry many different themed framed prints in their home decorating sections. Choose several framed birdhouse prints to hang in your bathroom. Keep space perceptions in mind. Hang smaller pictures in smaller places and larger prints on larger sized walls.

How To Decorate Your Bathroom In A Birdhouse Theme:Bathroom Decor Extras. Hang a shelf or two in your bathroom and arrange miniature decorative birdhouses on them. Set a large decorative birdhouse in the corner on the floor surrounded by sprigs of artificial greenery. If you have an empty corner that can fit it comfortably, purchase a two tiered wicker or white stand. Use the bottom shelf to hold extra hand towels and place a decorative birdhouse on the top shelf. Arrange artificial ivy to surround the birdhouse and hang down the sides for a lovely touch.

With a little imagination and the ability to think outside the box, you can design your own personalized birdhouse themed bathroom that you and your family will just love.

Confessions of a Home Day Care Provider


Starting a home daycare is a great way for stay-at-home mothers to earn some extra money without having to work outside of the home. It is a time-consuming and arduous task, but it is worth it if you staying at home while still contributing financially is a priority for you. Your child will benefit, too, because he or she will have playmates that will become almost like siblings over the months. You will also be able to earn money without putting your children in daycare.
The pay per child per hour doesn’t even out to much, even if you are licensed, but if you have several children, the money adds up. Even if you only keep one child, you’ll make enough for a shopping spree at the mall, a car payment, or a small contribution to a college fund. The amount of money you can charge will depend on your location, your experience, and your credentials. A licensed home daycare provider can charge more typically, as can someone with CPR certification or prior teaching experience.

I am unlicensed, because I do not have a backyard, which is a requirement for licensing in my state. I charge $400 for one and $600 for two full-time. My part-time rate is $20 for an 8-10 hour day. My drop-in rate is usually $4 an hour per child. I am flexible on payment, because I know how expensive childcare is and want to be affordable for everyone. I feel like working with people on payment plans and rates helps me bring in more income than if I were rigid and unmovable.

State laws about licensing vary. I am unfamiliar with them, but they are easy to look up. In my state, you can keep children from one family without a license. Sporadic care on a basis that is not regular, otherwise known as babysitting, is also acceptable. I have kept children from several families before on a regular basis. I just make sure that the parents know I am not licensed from the get-go. Currently I keep boys from two families: a 12 month-old 4 days a week and a 2 1/2 year old 3 days a week. We are still getting used to the presence of the older kid, who has only been in my care for a week so far.

Caring for children is strenuous, both physically and emotionally. Younger children tend to exhaust my physical body, because they are always into something. Older children tend to exasperate my mind with incessant talking, endless requests, and bargaining. I would suggest keeping children who are close together in age. It is easier to care for two one year-olds than it is to care for a one year-old and a 2 1/2 year old. Keeping children that are close in age to your own will be easier, and it makes it more likely that the kids will be friends. (It also makes it more likely that they’ll fight over the same toy or get into mischief together.)

If you have older children, you might want to consider setting up a preschool. The older children will be potty trained, have better language skills, and possibly be more obedient especially in a classroom setting. You can become certified through various programs, such as Montessori. Usually you can charge more for preschool than for home daycare. It’s also possible to do more structured activities. Older children are also a little more self-sufficient than younger ones. They ask more questions though, which can be exhausting. (They love to ask “Why?” over and over.)

If you don’t want children in your home, try seeking a nanny position full-time. Most people are happy to allow you to bring your children along. A lot of times these positions will require light house cleaning. You will be watching children and cleaning someone else’s house, not your own, but typically you will be paid more as a nanny. Caring for the children may also be easier as a nanny, because they are in their own home where they are comfortable. You’ll also usually have a small number of children, who are siblings.

Doing part-time daycare or infrequent baby-sitting can also bring in some income, as you can usually charge more per hour for those positions. A mommy’s helper position will pay less but require less work. Typically you’ll come over for a few hours a day while the parents are home. Usually they will be studying or working from home while you are there. You may be asked to do some house cleaning and light cooking, but the work isn’t nearly as strenuous. The pay is not as high, but it is quite decent for the amount of work you’ll do.

A lot of people say “Home daycare? I couldn’t do that! I can barely keep up with my own kids.” The truth is that it’s really not that difficult, just tiresome. When you have one child, close in age to your own, you just have to do everything in twos. Small groups tend to need more stimulation from you, but you can be more laid-back on your schedule. Large groups of children entertain themselves most of the time, but you need a system that works for everyone. Getting two children to nap at the same time is difficult; getting four to nap at the same time is almost impossible. There are trade-offs.

As a home daycare provider, you will feel overworked and underpaid. You will have longer hours than the parents whose children you watch, because they’ll need to drop them off half an hour before work and pick them up half an hour later. Children whose parents work full-time will be in your care about 45 hours a week. You will, however, earn significantly less than those parents working out of the home. Even in areas where childcare rates are higher, you will work more and get paid less than those who work out of the home. It is not as lucrative as people make it out to be.

You will be exhausted at the end of the day–maybe even half-way through it. Taking care of your own children is easier than taking care of someone else’s. You know your kids and are more in-tune with them. You can also let them run around naked through a cluttered house while you rest on the couch if you like, because they are your children. With other people’s children, however, you have to get to know them and earn their trust, which takes time. You also can’t be as laid-back with them, especially in the supervision department.

You will spend most of your time putting away toys that have been strewn about. You will have to break up little spats, discipline children for hitting or refusing to share, and do diaper changes. You’ll have to feed everyone snacks and lunch. Rounding everyone up for outings can take time. However, the bulk of your time will be spent making sure it is possible to walk through the playroom. Many states require that you keep toys put away unless they are in use. Parents or inspectors could drop in at anytime, so you can’t be lazy about clutter. Cleaning up messes will also take up a lot more time than discipline or meal-time.

It is not difficult to find clients; it is difficult to keep them. You can find clients by advertising in the newspaper, hanging up fliers, or posting on Craigslist. It’s not hard to book an interview and impress a parent enough that they will give it a try with you. Keeping a child for more than a month or so is what’s difficult. Your location and your rates will be a huge factor. If they find someone who lives closer to their home and charges less, they will probably switch daycares unless you are doing an amazing job with their child and truly impressing them. Do your best, but don’t strain yourself trying to be Mary Poppins. Finding a steady client with whom you really click is better than exhausting yourself trying to out-do your competition.

You will not have ample time for housework. You will get more done during the day than if you worked out of the home, but it’s doubtful that your house will be spotless at the end of the day. Make keeping the play area clean your top priority. Everywhere else can wait until the evening. You may not have time to do the dishes, but you’ll probably have time for a few little chores like laundry. Throw it in, swap it out, and then bring it out in a hamper and fold it while you watch the kids. Do simple tasks that don’t take very long and break all of your tasks into small steps.

It is okay to relax for a few minutes. Don’t feel like you cannot eat lunch or have a potty break. If you’re tired, rest. You can provide better care to everyone if you are feeling up to it. Don’t spend all of your time running around after the kids and cleaning. Take at least a 15 minute break every hour, when you have a chance. Don’t feel like you have to give-up every minute of “me” time. If you have a favorite show, watch it. Set up your schedule so that nap or snack time occur during the show. Work time for yourself into your schedule. Just don’t schedule a massage or have a bubble bath while you’re working.

Baby Einstein videos are amazing. I don’t recommend relying too heavily on them to entertain the children. Free play and structured activities will teach the children a lot more than the TV will. This is how they learn to solve problems, share, and grasp concepts. However, if you really need a moment of peace and quiet, throw in a Baby Einstein video. It works 90% of the time on babies and toddlers. They are fascinated by the pictures and will stare at the TV, usually like zombies. It isn’t good to let them watch TV all day or everyday, but these videos are great when you really need to distract the children to get something done. (Ok, I admit it: I’ve let the Baby Einstein video run on a loop for half of the morning before–only once or twice!)

A change of scenery can do wonders. It can be hard to get several children to nap at the same time. One trick I have learned, when everyone gets cranky, is to go for a drive. A lot of the time it will put the sleepy ones to sleep and entertain the others, at least. A trip to the park or McDonald’s play place can put everyone in a much better mood. While it is a hassle to change and dress everyone, strap everyone into their car seats, and pack up all that you’ll need, some time out of the house is refreshing for everyone. Taking the kids to a different room of the house can also have a similar effect.

Everything is your fault. Every diaper rash will be blamed on the diet you’re feeding them or an accusation that you’re not changing them often enough. Every new bump, bruise, etc. will be your fault. I recommend doing everything you can to prevent marks, rashes, etc. Check diapers at least every hour, more often if one has a diaper rash. Baby proof your house as much as possible. Checking for marks at the morning and end-of-day diaper changes is a good idea. This way you’ll know whether or not a bump appeared on your watch–or their parents’.

You will need to change clothes at least once a day, but you’ll have trouble finding time. This is the reason I wear my PJs until noon. Then I can usually just get dressed one time and throw my pajamas in the wash. You will also have to dress the children at least once a day, especially younger ones. Even regularly clean children will find ways to get messy at your house. They will usually need outfits again after mealtime and snack time. Kids in your care will also suddenly develop green and blue colored drool for no apparent reason. I theorize that kids have special color glands next to their saliva glands that activate when they’re at daycare.

You will get unwanted parenting advice, especially if you tend to do things differently. I’ve been advised many times to wean my child and transition him into his own bed in his own room. I’ve had parents suggest ways of doing this, including just tossing him in the crib and letting him scream all night for a week until he learns to go to sleep. That’s called crying it out, and Dr. Sears as well as Harvard scholars don’t recommend it. It’s not gentle, and it’s unnecessary being that our lifestyle is fine as is. I’ve also had parents recommend spanking when I mention that I try to refrain from it. Of course I just nod my head and smile, rather than debating parenting philosophies. I try to at least gracefully let them know that we’re happy with the way things are.

Your children need to be on a sleep schedule that is close to your own. It took me some time to accomplish this. I had to wake him earlier and earlier each morning until he was up about an hour after me and down an hour before me. When my schedule changed, his sleeping habits became very erratic. It got to where he was falling asleep at 2 AM and waking at 9 AM! Again, I had to work with him, and this time it only took a few days. He now goes to bed between 10-11:30 PM and gets up between 9-10:30 AM. While that may seem odd for some, it’s perfect for me. I usually get up at 8 on my work days, so even if he goes to bed late, I still get enough sleep.

Some parents will want to get to know you. Some will drop their kids off and leave immediately. I recommend trying to develop a relationship with each parent, which can be hard if you have one that likes to run off right away. I try to keep them at my door at least 5-10 minutes in the morning and the evening. I like to go over what we might be doing that day in the morning and in the evening to talk about the highs and lows of the day. Some parents don’t seem to care, which always makes me sad, and some do. Don’t give up on the ones that are reluctant to chat, though.

You will not agree with all of your client’s parenting choices. You will not feel like you are ‘raising someone else’s kids.’ A lot of mothers stay home so no one else raises their kids. Daycare providers don’t do that. We try to teach them how to get along with the other kids and be obedient. Mostly we just feed them, change them, and keep them out of mischief. We entertain them all day. We don’t decide whether they’re breast or bottle fed, how they are sleep trained, what shots they receive, or if they are spanked. We aren’t the parents. You will feel close to your daycare kids, but you won’t feel like their second mother. Sometimes you will abhor some of the things the parents do or say, but you have to bite your tongue.

It is unlikely that you’ll have an abused child, but please keep an eye out anyway. Look up the tell-tale signs of abuse for every age group of children that you watch. Talk to the kids now and again about their moms and dads and life at home, casually. Keep an eye out for mysterious marks and bruises, especially recurrent ones. Remember that toddlers fall a lot, so not everything is cause for concern. If you witness or suspect abuse, report it anonymously. You are required by law to do this if you are licensed. I’m not licensed, but I still watch out anyway. It is my job as a mother to protect all children. Likewise if a parent is doing something dangerous, you should politely point it out.

Remember that you are an influence on every child in your care. You must be careful even around children that don’t speak or understand yet. Refrain from any behavior that their parents might find offensive. If you have a different religion, keep your mouth shut about it. Don’t curse or walk around naked, obviously. You also must set an example in how you treat others and the diet you follow. Be aware that little eyes are watching you, learning from you.

The words of toddlers are difficult to decipher, so you can save yourself if you slip up. Your husband asks “What’s on Dr. Phil today?” and without thinking, you reply “Crack whores.” Someone inevitably repeats that, and it’s time to be smooth. “Yes, crackers. I think I’ll have some.” Toddlers have a short attention span and will usually just move on if you do. If the word is still in use at the end of the day, try a preemptive strike. Announce proudly to the parents, “Timmy learned to say crackers today!” The best thing to do, however, is just watch your mouth!

Most of the children that have been in my care have been in daycare since they were infants. There are used to being one of many children in one adult’s care. In my experience, many kids in my daycare have craved attention, more so than the children of SAHMs that I know. Don’t be surprised if some of the children that you keep seem to want constant attention and seem to be more sensitive or talkative than usual. Some mothers who work out of the home admit, on message boards or anonymous surveys, to feeling guilty and trying to make up for it when they are home. They allow the kids to do or have most of what they want, then you then have to say “no” to and discipline a child who isn’t used to that. While many of your daycare kids will be delightful, not all of them well be perfect little angels. Try to be understanding and compassionate with them, because they need that.

Have specific work days and hours. If you agree to watch one child from 8-5 and another from 12-9, as I do, you’re working from 8 am to 9 at night. That’s a lot. Daycare hours vary. Arrange your schedule around your clients, but try not to regularly work more than ten hours a day. The typical client will need you about 9 hours a day. Military personnel usually need you 10 hours a day. (They are overworked and underpaid, too.) Have days and times that you will not work, and turn down new clients who want you at those times unless you have dire need of the income. Save that time for family, housework, errands, and possibly occasional babysitting. (Most of the time I use it for naptime and TV watching.)

I have gone to the store during the day to replace a lost sippi cup or one that the dog has devoured at least twice. I keep extra outfits in my home for the really messy ones. This way I can change them twice, but the parents think they only needed one change of clothes. Parents rarely will bring you more than one change of clothes, and you’ll probably need two on some days. I therefore recommend a trip to the Goodwill for some gently used outfits. I have also learned to keep extra sippi cups, similar to the ones the daycare kids bring with them. Now I don’t have to go to the store for replacements (as often).

I try to use the playpen sparingly, as when taking out the trash. I occasionally use it so I can lay on the couch for ten measly minutes, relax, and enjoy my recently decluttered living room. I sometimes plop them in there at the end of the day when I’ve finished cleaning, so that the playroom isn’t messed up again when the parents arrive. Mostly it is a nap area for the younger toddler that I watch. Unfortunately my son likes to shake the playpen to rock him, which wakes him up. I’m considering a second playpen to put the awake one in when the other is asleep. Soon the closet won’t be an option anymore, because they’ll have learned to turn doorknobs. (I’m kidding!)

There have been days where I have spent most of my time on the couch, getting up only when the kids need something and picking up once at the end of the day. There are times when I want to scream “Get these kids away from me!” and lock all of them, or perhaps a specific one, away in a closet. I haven’t, though. When running low on wipes and diapers for my son, I’ve used those of my clients before. (Likewise, if they’re running low, I’ve had to use my own supplies.) I try to give the kids finger foods that they can feed themselves, so that while they are confined to their high chairs, I can relax or wash the dishes.

Being a home daycare provider certainly has its ups and downs. I enjoy it because it puts me in charge of my career. I have to schedule my life around my clients, but I do get to chose who my clients are. I don’t have to leave my house to earn money. I can do my housework while I watch other children, so I have more time for family in the evening. It also keeps my own son out of daycare and allows me to continue spending my days with him. There are annoyances involved, but overall home daycare is a very rewarding job. Instead of one little boy who loves me, I have several (well, two at the moment). My son gets to socialize, and I get experience caring for more than one child. I get to witness special firsts, teach, and be a part of who the child grows up to be. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very fulfilling–if you’re up to the challenge!

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