Friday, May 30, 2008
Meg has also developed a bedtime this week. If I pick her up from Ayesha's around 5:15-5:30, I take her home, feed her, give her a bath and put her down about 7 p.m., she can actually sleep, sometimes waking up once in the middle of the night and occasionally not waking up until morning. It's such a change to have both kids in bed by 8 p.m. I actually have time after they go to bed to eat dinner, do laundry, or, gasp, even do some work. It's nice having a little predictability and time for myself (knock wood, of course.)
What sucks about this earlier bedtime is we really have to be disciplined about not staying out too late. And by too late, I mean 6 p.m. It's a trade off because being home that early sucks in terms of not getting to enjoy our time out, but on the other hand, getting everyone to home and in bed before they're exhausted means the evening goes much more smoothly for everyone.
Meanwhile, instead of our regular summer party this year, we're having Meg's baptism and having a handful of folks over afterwards for lunch. I was so proud of myself. I made invitations and everything, no Evite. The problem is I forgot to tell everyone the service starts at 11 a.m. Or that the church is on Braddock Road. That's right, I am a communications/publications type person and I can't even get the who, what, where, when and why right. D'oh.
P.S. Chris, we got our FiOS and it rocks. They came on time, cleaned up after themselves and everything works. Apparently Verizon likes Kings Park West better than Kings Park. Go figure.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
I have calmed down considerably from my freak out. My sister recommended making a list and I did. Turns out that helps a lot. I also need to keep reminding myself that I'm looking for a babysitter, not an adoptive family. Meg is going to be looked after just a few hours a week, it's not boarding school.
I've been grateful for all the support from friends like you guys and others. In a few days, I've lined up short-term several alternatives, including Andy's old babysitter and a college kid who could work a few weeks before starting a job. It's a relief to know that other options exist. I'm also intrigued by the nanny/au pair idea. Anyone have a good experience with that?
P.S. I updated the pictures on Flickr. There are some funny ones, including Andy helping Bjorn build a gate -- in his underwear naturally. I also caught some of Meg smiling.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
When Andy was a baby, he went to a in-home daycare, basically a babysitter that watches several kids out of her home. I found her through an agency that regulates these types of daycares locally and I liked what I saw. It wasn't perfect, but she was nice, kind and good to Andy. The thing I didn't like about it was that it was out of a home, and thus I couldn't pop in at a moment's notice without barging through the door to really to see what was happening. I felt like I didn't really know what he did all day and that worried me, but every day, he came home happy and fed.
The good part was as he got older, we never had an issue of separation anxiety. He was always happy to see her, which made it easier for me (turns out, in many ways this is all about ME). I still went through periods of worrying (I like to worry, it turns out), but generally it was a good experience. After two years, the time came when I was ready for him to have more of a preschool experience with other kids, art projects, etc. so we switched shortly after his second birthday.
When looking for care for Meg, I was really focusing on something that would have both kids. That was mostly for my convenience, but I liked the idea that he could tell me what she couldn't. Turns out in a center, the classes don't mingle at all so they never saw each other. It also turns out in a room full of babies, someone is always crying, often lots of someones. And with so many babies, they had to leave the lights on. It seemed Meg was coming home tired from not napping all day. The final straw was when I went in Monday and she was crying, well, wailing. She had actually gotten past protest crying, past mad crying to that sad exhausted crying. To be fair, she had spit up her entire lunch and seemed to have a tummy ache, but the chaos that was in there made me very uncomfortable. I panicked. I sat with her for about 20 minutes calming her down and I watched the room. I didn't like it any better as I sat. She seemed exhausted so I took her home. And cried. A lot.
I talked to my friends, I talked to Bjorn, I talked to my boss, I talked to my family and after obsessing for two days, I decided to take her out of there. It's probably fine, but at the end of the day, I decided that my gut was telling me it wasn't right for us and I'm going to try to listen to it.
I'm now back to researching in-home providers, that's right, exactly what I said I didn't want. The advantages I'm finding are the one caregiver aspect, the home setting, the idea that someone might love my baby close to as much as I do. The downside, of course, is there's less oversight and it involves trusting one person with my precious baby. I know, obsess much?
After calling around, I found a nice woman in my neighborhood (conveniently located between Andy's school and home) who is licensed, caring, has a nice family and a clean home. It felt more like if I was leaving Meg at my sister's house than an institution. She listened to me when we talked about what I'd like for Meg and she comforted my neuroses and was nice when I teared up a little (I know, I'm a HUGE dork, but that's not really a surprise). We're trying it out tomorrow to see if we like each other.
I swear, this parenting shit is hard. I just want their to be a right answer, you know, rather than a ton of possible answers, all of which are kind of right and you have to figure out the one that's most right. It's like the reason I don't like crossword puzzles -- it's not like a true/false statement, rather the question is, "Name a Kentucky Derby winner" and you have to find the one that's 16 letters rather than just naming the 2008 winner.
Mark in his shower. This is probably the cleanest it will ever be.
So Mark is gone, off to Old Dominion University and out of the house. I knew it was coming. I think we were all ready (well, he was probably most ready). All the same, it's totally weird with him gone. The noises I hear in the kitchen aren't him coming in, but most likely a cat or Andy sneaking out of bed. His room is empty. Really empty as he took the bed, desk, dresser, chair, lamp and nightstand with him. Considering he really wasn't around that much what with school, the gym, reffing and general carousing, I am surprised by how weird is it to know he's gone. On the positive side, the food in my refrigerator seems to last a lot longer.
In other news, I'm having serious second thoughts about Meg's day care and I'm actively seeking other options. I'll post more on this later once I fully wrap my mind around what I want to do.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
- Meg went to school/daycare for the first time.
- Andy went to his new school for the first time.
- I went back to work for the first time since Meg was born.
- I had my first night away from Meg, going to New York for work this week.
- Mark moved to Virginia Beach, taking with him all his furniture and leaving a fairly empty room.
- Bjorn drove to Virginia Beach to give Mark his car (Mark drove in the U-Haul).
- Bjorn took the Amtrak regional train back (which was 2 1/2 hours late).
- Andy got his first sinus/ear infection since getting ear tubes in December.
- Andy started antibiotics (augmenten) for the first time since he had ear tubes.
- Bjorn had a work meeting this weekend for a start-up he's helping with.
Is that all? No wonder I'm tired.
P.S. I added a few new pictures onto Flickr. I can't figure out how to start a totally new set and have it appear on the right so right now I'm just adding to the old set. If you know how to change that, please let me know.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
I jumped right into work, which was good to keep me from obsessing some more except for everyone asking me how I was doing. I know people mean well, but it made it an effort not to cry. I checked in around noon and Meg had slept and was drinking a bottle and Andy was in new clothes, having had a poopy accident that morning. I left work around 3:00 p.m., delighted that it took me only 15 minutes to get to their school. Andy was just up from not taking a nap and having a snack. He whined that he didn't want to leave, that he wanted to play. Bugger. Meg was also peacefully asleep in her crib. Her teachers reported that she was a great baby and very happy with no crying. Oh, and that she was really cute, too.
Once home, Andy went upstairs to rest and promptly fell asleep giving me some time with Meg. She's just cuter, more alert and interactive every day. It's sure hard to leave them every day, but I'll admit I liked the break and talking with adults. I may think differently when things get super busy in a few weeks, but today was a decent day.
In other news, it rained 7 inches at Dulles Airport yesterday and the area is just one big wet, sloppy kiss. This is on top of four inches of rain we got last week. Lots of folks lost power due to tree roots loosening and falling onto power lines and there is a ton of flooding that caused many schools to close. Wacky.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
He was pretty clingy as we went into the room. He brightened up once they started singing some songs. It was then time for a snack and they were having cupcakes in honor of one child's last day. Once Andy got a brown cupcake, he was feeling pretty good about the place. After talking to his teachers for a while, I left him to eat his cupcake and go talk to Meg's teachers one on one. He was nervous, but I promised to be back in a few minutes. After I got to know Meg's teachers, who seemed very nice and to really love babies, and got everything ready for Monday, I came back to collect Andy. By then, he was jumping and playing on the mats with the other kids and wasn't ready to go. I think that bodes well.
Monday is going to be tough, but I think I'm ready. I hope.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
On another front, I've been reading up on strategies for outsmarting Andy's annoying behavior of whining, crying, arguing and temper tantrum throwing. The book by Thomas Phelan Magic 1-2-3 was recommended and I'm going to give his strategies a shot. The basic premise is that while these kids can talk, they are not adults and you therefore can't reason with them on behavior. Instead, if they act up, give them a count of three to act right and then it's time for time out. No discussion and no arguing. The other part that rang true is keeping my emotions in check so that I'm not having a temper tantrum back at him. I'll keep you posted as to whether it works.
Meanwhile, I pulled out the high chair and put it in the kitchen so Meg can watch what's going on. She seemed to like it, especially Andy smiling at her, until I took the picture. The face captured here really cracks me up. I have taken a lot of cute pictures lately that I'm going to get up to Flickr soon.