Tag Archives: 16 months

Let’s do the time warp again

Today was Curly’s last day at the icky daycare. Granted, it wasn’t horrible, but it definitely wasn’t great and we’re so relieved. I had a bad feeling about a couple of the teachers there, although most were good. The one I didn’t like tried to hug Curly goodbye and he immediately got upset and reached for me. Very telling. But we’re going to really miss one particular teacher…or maybe we don’t have to. She had mentioned that she babysits, and we gave her our info before leaving today. So hopefully we can employ her as our babysitter in the near future.

What we feel worst about is a) transitioning Curly again and b) taking Curly away from his best bud, Andrew, at daycare. We know the transition will work in all our favors so it’ll be ok. However, little Andrew gets overjoyed when he sees us coming to the building and looooves Curly. It’s sad to think that he’ll be wondering where he is for a while. We left a note for his parents, letting them know we’re up for a play date if they’re interested, so we’ll see what happens. Curly, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be AS attached to the other children…but that’s just him.

Oh, but we’ll totally miss receiving gems like this one…
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As well as providing some of our own…
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P.S. How is time flying so fast?? Tomorrow we have a 17 month old!

So long, it’s been…not so swell

What happens next in our daycare saga is the stuff that dreams are made of. Our neighbors have a 21 month old son and we were talking about the daycare he goes to. It is another USDA daycare and very close to where Nutella and I work (we work at the same place pretty much). We decided, what the heck, we might as well call their daycare and get him on yet another waiting list (we’re already on a waiting list at a USDA center and they basically told us there’s no way we’re getting in without being USDA employees).

So…I call my neighbors’ daycare and sure enough, they say there’s no spot available and we’d have to get on the waiting list. Well, wouldn’t you know…the very next day they called me back and mircale of miracles, it turns out a spot is now wide open in the toddler room. We did a tour of the place yesterday and nearly cried from the joy of it, paid our application fee, and Curly will begin on Oct 4. Yes, we know how lucky we are. The timing must have been impeccable.

This new place? They handle all the lunches and snacks, with a big emphasis on healthy food, and provide monthly menus to the parents. For example, if Curly were there today, he would be eating a bran muffin and fresh fruit for his first snack, baked chicken, zucchini, wheat bread & butter, and fruit for lunch, and strawberry yogurt and crackers for his second snack. Bingo. It’s more money, but the peace of mind is fantastic…and we no longer have to pack lunches and snacks for him every night! The center itself is larger, cleaner, more organized/structured, with a bigger outdoor playing area, and the teachers all seem wonderful. We were able to peek in on every age group and the kids were all well-behaved and happy, singing or doing crafts or having a snack. It was great. We can’t wait! We can also carpool nearly everyday and not have to stagger our schedules because it’s so close to work.

Hopefully this third time will be the charm. It’s amazing how difficult it’s been to find a good daycare. I don’t know, maybe we were naive. Every time we found a place, it would seem great at first…and then things would keep breaking down. Communication issues, improper hygiene/care of children, poor nutrition, poor discipline…these are all things we’ve dealt with or seen and it’s been so disappointing. I really hope he stays at this new place until he can go off to school.

The wheels on the Twinkie?

The daycare food saga continues.  Being the evil parents that we are, we objected to Doritos as an afternoon snack.  Then his teacher told us she was planning an activity using Twinkies but that she’d be happy to provide him with a sugar free one.  head desk.  Turns out she wanted to have the kids make little Twinkie “buses” with gummy life saver “wheels” and then eat them.  Cute idea, but room for improvement nutritionally!  I approached her about it at “back to school night” and told her I’d be happy to provide hot dog buns and something else for the wheels for the whole (3 kid) class.  I could tell she was a bit put out, but I told her we know WE shouldn’t be eating Twinkies, so why would we give them to kids? On the planned day, I brought some mini round pretzel/cheese sandwich snacks and some natural hot dog buns and apparently all was well.  But we are really really done fighting this battle.

I printed out a wealth of menus, recipes, and meal plans specifically for day care providers and expressed my concerns with the director.  She agreed that there is room for improvement, but the attitude from the teachers has taken a decidedly cool turn.  It must seem to them that our demands are outrageous.  They are very young (under 22) and are taking child care courses at night.  They do truly care for the kids, but for someone that’s never had any education in nutrition for themselves, I can’t expect that they will understand.  Everyday we pack up his lunch and 2 snacks, and think wistfully of the centers with balanced menus and a calendar of meals a month in advance.  Stay tuned on that one, there just might be a change coming, if all works out.

P.S. the snap pea crisps we talked about previously are not homemade.  They’re baked crispy peas, and they satisfy that salty crunchy craving that sometimes happens.  Except when we eat them we feel like we’re stealing food from the baby.

In need of a beefsteak for my shiner

  • Nutella’s new job requires her to work Saturdays sometimes (approx. once every 6 weeks or so). Luckily, she traded a later Saturday for this past one, and now she’s done with them for the year. So there were 2 recent days that I’ve called my ‘Single Mom Saturdays’ (SMS), and they were reminiscent of my FMLA time with Curly. Only way easier. I remember trying to go on outings with him at 3-5 months old and they were always so challenging. Sometimes we’d get to where we were going, only to stay barely 20 minutes before he had a meltdown. The first SMS, I met with my parents at a local park where we had a picnic lunch, let Curly run around the playground, and then walked a couple miles around a lake while he was perfectly content in his stroller. For the other SMS this past weekend, I took Curly back to a special place (pictures below) that I had taken him while on FMLA. He had fun running around and exploring for nearly an hour, no problems. FMLA just doesn’t happen at the ‘right’ time!
  • I am currently sporting a black eye, courtesy of Curly. I took him out of his high chair after lunch on Saturday, to go upstairs for his afternoon nap, and he was really tired and head butted me right on the bone under my eye. I’ve had to explain to my co-workers that my toddler beat me up. This was after he gave me a fat lip using the same method many months ago. A warning to parents: your children are not only a danger to themselves, but a danger to you as well.
  • We will be updating about the daycare food situation after Nutella attends “back to school night” on Wednesday. Just to give you a little glimpse…there’s a sign-up sheet for families along with a note about what you’re bringing to share. Everyone is bringing ‘cookies’, ‘chips’, ‘something sweet,’ etc. Nutella is going to bring baked snap pea crisps :-)
  • Finally, I want to wish my dear Nutella a very happy birthday today! She’s the light of my life and the heart of our home, and Curly and I are so very lucky to have her.
I do not like this hard stuff.

FMLA, one year ago

I love this place!

Single Mom Saturday, last weekend

Truth: I’m not always happy to share

Artichokes are my favorite food.  My preferred way to eat them is steamed whole and then served with melted butter or a balsamic vinaigrette.   I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love them.  In fact, in my very first dance class at the age of 4 our final performance of the year included all the little girls creating a movement to go with their favorite food.  Imagine if you will, 10 4 year olds in bright yellow leotards singing and dancing “Artichokes, artichokes.  Pizza, Pizza.  Strawberries, strawberries.  Grapes! Grapes!” (yes, I still remember the damn song, I’m special).

As much as I love them, I don’t make them often.  And Strawberry doesn’t like them at all.  She says they taste like “earth, bland and unpleasant”.  To me, they taste sweet.   Anyway… I had one the other night and as is typical, Curly wanted what he saw me eating.  He was banging and reaching for the pile of discarded leaves.  So I pulled off a fresh one and handed it to him, fully expecting him to reject it just like he rejects most other green foods.  Despite starting at the wrong end, he gnawed on it thoughtfully for awhile and then asked for more.  As I got closer to the heart and the leaves got more tender, he was eating them almost faster than I could hand them over.  And he was NOT patient when I had to stop and clean the heart.  But oh man, did he enjoy eating it!

How do I feel about all of this?  Well, part of me is thrilled that he loves something that I do.  And the other part of me is thinking, damn, now I’ll never get to eat an artichoke by myself again, I’ll always have to share!

There’s a poll embedded in this post.

Hmm, what's that?

Mmm, I love it!

Daycare: Friend or Foe?

So Curly has been in the toddler room at daycare for over a week now. As always, there are good and bad things that came of this transition.

GOOD

  • Curly sleeps on a cot and has usually been taking a nap of one hour or more
  • He gets more time in the outdoor playground
  • He does more ‘toddler’ activities, like coloring and learning basic vocabulary
  • He eats at a small table with the other toddlers (buckled into a toddler chair)
  • He is learning to drink from an open-lidded cup
  • He seems generally happy, no huge emotional change from not being in the infant room anymore

BAD

  • Nap time never goes past 2 hours, so if he doesn’t actually sleep during that time frame or is still sleeping when the others wake up, he doesn’t get to try anymore since the cots are put away
  • We don’t particularly care if he can drink from a lidless cup because he uses straw cups at home. And he always seems so thirsty when we get him home…like he doesn’t get enough to drink there, even though they say they offer him water throughout the day
  • Most parents at this daycare apparently do not care if their kids eat crap. So while we pack Curly’s lunch and snacks every day, the kids around him are eating what the daycare provides (ie. ‘crap’) If Curly finishes all of his snack and the other kids are still eating, he of course wants what they have and so they top him off with it. Yesterday that was corn pops. sigh. We feel like jerks to say ‘no, he can’t have that junk’ but we also hate him eating processed, sugary, nutritionally-devoid foods. I just have to remember that I ate crap growing up and I’m a pretty healthy person today. Curly’s’ diet will still be way better than mine was for many years.

I’m fairly certain that while no daycare will be perfect, there are probably better ones than this out there. And yet, they either don’t exist in our area or the waiting list is impossible to surmount (we have him on one…it’s been several months already and they still keep jerking us around about when and if he’ll get in).  It just really sucks to feel like you don’t have a choice.

As with most issues, it’s harder for us than it is for him!
I is a prairie dog