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Tag: day care

All Around the Mulberry Bush

Seeing as it has been nearly a month since I wrote anything here, I suppose it is time to get my fingers back to the keyboard and share some earth-shattering news. Except, I don’t have any. Well, nothing earth-shattering anyway. I’ve been busy and just generally overwhelmed with life these last few weeks, which seems to happen often. One of these days I swear I’m going to get my act together.

First off, I am a bad, bad, mommy blogger. I let my beautiful baby girl’s 3rd birthday go by without so much as a mention on my blog. I’ve wanted to post something about it, but just haven’t had the time or the words to do so. She had an excellent birthday, with a super fun Dora Fairytale Adventure birthday party. This was the first year she got to invite friends to her party (we’ve done family only parties before). A friend of mine who is starting up a party planning business helped plan it, and it was much better than my standard at-home birthday parties. The birthday girl certainly enjoyed it!

78/365 - Just after blowing out the candles


Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on getting my photography business set up. I’m definitely not a pro yet, but I’m taking some little steps to make things legal. I filed my d.b.a. a few months ago, and just last week set up a separate business checking account so that I can track my income/expenses. I’m also working on some marketing/branding stuff so that when I’m ready it will just be a matter of sending it off to the printer. I still have a few more things to do to feel like I’m official, but I am legal enough to be in business at this point. I’m just nervous about making that jump. I absolutely love photography, but I know I still have a lot to learn. I’m hoping to get a few more (non-family member) sessions in over the next couple of months. I’ve pretty much exhausted my kids and my niece/nephews with all of the photo taking. Here’s one of my favorites that I took of my niece a few weeks ago.


I still see imperfections in every photo I take, so I know I need more practice. However, I also know I love nearly every portrait ever taken of my kids – perfect or not – so maybe I can make it fly. I’m a little stuck in the “I need more practice to take better photographs, but I need better photographs to get people to want to hire me so I can get more practice” conundrum. Or maybe I just need more friends willing to loan me their kids.


On top of all that, I’m still stressing out about summer day care for Zach. I pretty much just stopped looking because I needed to just stop and breathe for a while. Sadly, ignoring it is not making it go away. The end of May is coming up very quickly.

Oh, and then there’s the really fun thing that happened on Friday – my car blew up! Well, it may have actually been easier if it did blow up, but it is broken (again) and undriveable until we get it fixed. I’m ready to trade it in, which we most likely will do, but not so ready to have to make car payments again. In the meantime, I’m driving hubby’s car, which we just had to put new tires on and he thinks needs a new starter. It works most of the time, but every once in a while just decides it doesn’t want to go. Kind of makes me wish we lived in a city where cars were not a necessity.

There are so many other things, but not enough time in the world to write it all out. My lunch hour just does not last long enough.

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I’m Not The Best at Making Decisions

Never in my 33 years of life have I dreaded summer. I have always looked forward to it. I love the sunshine. I love the heat (as long as I have air conditioning available when I want it). I love splashing in the water with my kids, taking trips to the lake, BBQ’s, and all of the other fun stuff that comes with summer.

This summer, however, there’s a new component – trying to figure out what to do with Zach while school’s out. This is filling me with so much anxiety right now that I can’t even think about the joys of summer yet. It’s complicated this year. If Evie was on school break too, I would hire a sitter to come to our house and call it good. I seriously doubt I could find a sitter to come to the house for what I can pay for only one child. If both kids were home it would be much more feasible, but I’m not ready to take her out of the day care that we love (it already makes me sad to think about putting her in preschool).

I’m not really sure where else to look at this point. I’ve checked with the YMCA day camps and they are a bit more pricey than what I can pay. His old preschool has a school-age program in the summer, but he wasn’t very happy there towards the end and says he doesn’t want to go back there. I’m sure there have to be more day camp programs around, but I haven’t found them yet, at least not ones that we can afford.

It seems odd that we can’t afford day camp costs, considering that we paid for full-time day care for the first five years of his life. Those years were a big struggle financially, especially after his sister came along. Now that we finally have a little bit of breathing room (thank you public school system!), adding on another $140-160 a week seems like a lot of money.

Then there’s the other issue that’s staring me in the face. Now that we know he has some definite sensory issues, I worry about introducing him to a new situation. What if we put him in a summer camp and he just can’t handle it? It took us several months of school before I felt like things were under control and I feel like we’ll be starting all over again. I don’t want the poor kid to be miserable all summer because he’s put in a situation that makes him uncomfortable. For my own comfort, I need to know that he’s somewhere that can handle his quirks and can manage a meltdown if/when it happens. I would hate to think that all the work we’ve done with him over the last few months would be blown because he isn’t in a place where he can get the support he needs.

So I’m stuck. I know I still have two and a half months or so to figure it all out, but I’m a little stressed out about it right now. Parenting brings so many challenges, but deciding who is going to care for my child when I can’t is the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do. I never feel like I’m making the right decision, although I have been super lucky a couple of times. I guess I just have to keep looking until I find something that feels right.

In the meantime, I’m sending him back to Evie’s day care for spring break next week (even though he thinks he’s too old for it). He’s not at all happy about it, but I tried to buffer the disappointment a little by signing him up for another session of swimming lessons. I can’t wait to see him in the water again. Not only does he love swimming, but he’s getting pretty darn good at it too!

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Snow Day!

10/365 - Snow Day!

Yesterday we experienced our first official school snow day. As a working parent, this is a new one for me. I think we may have had one time ever that day care closed and nobody was getting out on the roads anyway. I found myself in a sudden panic over what to do with Zachary, although once Evie woke up I knew I was going to stay home. She is going through the most horrible cold ever and still wasn’t well enough to go back to day care.

We spent the day at home. I spent the day frantically trying to get some work done in between starting TV shows, giving hugs, dragging out toys, and refilling milk cups. The kids? They were thrilled to have another day at home. I worked up until about 3:30, when they finally convinced me to take them outside to play in the snow.

Hubby was home as well, but since he was on-call for work, I couldn’t leave him with the kids. With snowy roads, he would have needed to leave immediately if he would have been called out on a job. There wouldn’t have been a big enough time gap to wait for me to get home first.


All of this got me thinking about what other parents of school-age kids do when there is a snow day or teacher work day and the kids are out of school. I’m lucky that my boss doesn’t mind me bringing the kids to the office occasionally, and I’ve taken advantage of that several times this year already. The problem is, I’m not sure how long he’ll put up with it. I certainly don’t want it to become a nuisance. We’re on day two of snow days this week and since Evie could finally go back to day care, he came to the office with me. The good thing is that he is very well behaved at the office. As long as he has his DSi or can play games on the Disney web site he’s a happy camper.

Somewhere along the way, we’re going to have to find a better solution though. There are several more days coming up that he’ll be out of school, and probably another snow day or two, not to mention Spring Break or SUMMER(!). We were lucky to have the in-laws here over winter break to help out, but we can’t expect them to do that every year. We don’t have a regular baby-sitter (Grandma, aunts, and uncles are nearby when we need an evening out) and Zach has decided that he’s way too old to go to day care with his sister (plus her cut-off is 5 yrs) so I’m just kind of stuck. We don’t know a lot of people that live nearby that might suggest a sitter in our area either.


What I would really love to find is a local college student that would be available on those days, but how do you even go about finding someone like that when you don’t know any? What do other people do with their kids when there’s no school and they have to be at work?

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Sometimes I Forget How Small He Still Is


Mornings have been a struggle lately. We go back and forth with this, but lately it seems to be much harder than usual. Zach just doesn’t like to get up. Once he’s up, he doesn’t like to get dressed. Once he’s dressed, he doesn’t want to leave. When we finally make it to day care, he doesn’t want to get out of the car. I always get some resistance from him, but today was really hard.

This morning it took nearly 30 minutes just to get him out of bed.  Evie was being clingy so I only had one hand to work with, and couldn’t do much but pester him to get up.  Once he was finally up and we went through the whole getting dressed process he told me he didn’t want to go to day care.  We had our usual talk about how he has to go to day care so Mommy and Daddy can work, etc. but he still wasn’t budging.  Finally the real issue came out.

“K told me he doesn’t want to play with me any more,” he says with the saddest face I’ve ever seen.  “He says I’m not a nice friend and he won’t play with me.”

My heart totally sank.

I heard a little of this going on the week before but dismissed it thinking it would all blow over but apparently it stuck with him.  My mama bear instincts wanted to just sweep him up, give him a big hug, and tell him it would all be all right (and to tell K that he was a big meanie).  But, my parenting instincts told me that this was a teaching moment and I needed to find just the right words to teach him how to deal with people that hurt his feelings.


I did give him a big hug and raced through what I should say in my head.  I explained to him that sometimes even your friends will say things that hurt your feelings.  Sometimes they are just mad and don’t really mean it, but sometimes they do it because you have done something that hurt their feelings first.  I suggested to him that if K does this again, maybe he could just go play with someone else for a while until K is ready to play with him again.  We talked a little about how he needed to make sure he was being a nice friend as well so his friends would want to play with him.  And of course, if they can’t solve it themselves then he can always ask a grown-up to help.  I want him to learn how to deal with things like this on his own, because God knows this won’t be the last conflict that comes along.  This is so minor compared to the things he’ll have to deal with in the future.

The hard part is that K is the closest one to Zach’s age at day care.  The other kids are quite a bit younger, which is why Zach gravitates toward K most of the time.  It is a small home day care, so there aren’t a lot of options.  When they’re both happy they have a great time together.  But, K plays more violently, obviously watches some more grown-up things on TV, and has the attitude to go with it.  Even though he’s just a few months older than Zach, he definitely seems much older and Zach looks up to him in a way.  Zach, however, is the kid that wants to play the tough guy but is really quite sensitive underneath.  He was totally crushed that K didn’t want to play with him.

I’m guessing that this whole thing was weighing on him all weekend.  He had kind of a rough weekend overall and I feel bad that I didn’t pick up on it and ask him what was going on.  I just assumed he was being obstinate on purpose.  We grow up in this society that tells us that boys are tough and don’t have feelings but seeing my 3-year-old boy so distraught over the snub of a friend brought me back to reality real quick.  I’m just as guilty as anybody else of forgetting boys have feelings too (just ask my husband).

Zach is growing up so fast.  He’ll be four years old next month.  He wants to be so independent.  Most days I look at him and I see this big boy that can do nearly anything he puts his mind to.  Other days, like today, I look at him and see the tiny little baby I gave birth to and I want to hold in my arms and keep him there forever.  That’s the only place I can truly protect him.

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Another Reason to Hate Day Care

I knew something was up with Zach a couple days ago.  He barely ate anything over the weekend.  He wasn’t really acting like he felt sick, but the whining was driving me up the wall.  I noticed myself snapping at him and wondered what had gotten into him.  Then I blamed myself for being cranky and pregnant.  I thought surely I was just imagining it and that he was probably just being a normal 2-year-old.

I knew last night when I helped him in the bathroom.  I knew something wasn’t right then.  I wondered when he fought us at bedtime last night, and then again when he woke up fussing just a few hours later.  But I really knew when he woke up this morning crying and saying, “Mommy!  I gotta poo poo really bad!”

That pretty much set the tone for the entire day.  Since I don’t want to miss any more work than absolutely necessary right now, I waited a couple of hours for his stomach to settle, made a quick stop at CVS for some children’s Pepto, then made the poor sick kid sit at work with me all afternoon while I tried to get some work done.  I ended up having to stay longer than I originally thought and by the time we finally headed home he was exhausted.

Zach ended up crashing in the car and slept until after 7:30 on the couch.  Now he’s up and seems to be feeling better.  He just downed a bowl of Cars shaped chicken noodle soup and I’m really hoping that it stays where it should for a while.

Sometimes I have to wonder if the education he is getting at his school is worth all of the illness and germs he brings home.  It seems like he was only actually well for about a week since the last round.  Plus, the last thing we need in our house right now-with a new baby soon on the way-is more germs.

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When Did I Become That Mom?

Valentine's Cookies

I just spent my entire evening slaving away in the kitchen making cookies for Zach’s Valentine’s Day party at school tomorrow. Okay, so I bought the pre-made dough and icing in a can, but I still had to roll the dough out, cut out the heart shaped cookies, bake them, wait for them to cool, ice them, and then add sprinkles. It was supposed to be a group project, but my “group” tuckered out on me shortly after we started. He prefers to just eat the cookies, not decorate them.

I never really pictured myself as the type of mom who would get into this sort of thing. Sure I care about Zach’s school and I love the kids in his class, but never did I see myself as the homeroom type of mom. You know, the type of mom who wants to be there for every little party or volunteers at the drop of a hat to bring snacks or anything else they might need. I’m not really sure where this person came from.

I also made my first formal complaint about a teacher today. I felt bad doing it, but I felt something needed to be said. Zach’s regular teacher has been out sick all week and I’m not very thrilled with the care that he is getting from the subs. He came home with a big scratch under his eye that no one could explain yesterday. Plus, judging from the looks of his underwear the last couple of days, he’s not getting the assistance that he needs in the restroom. He may be potty trained, but you can’t really expect a 2 1/2 year old kid to be able to get themselves clean after going to the bathroom.

The school director was very understanding about my complaints, but I still felt bad doing it. Zach really does get good care at his school for the most part, but these were two things that I just couldn’t let slide by this time. I don’t want to be known as a bitchy parent, but I also want to make sure Zach is getting the supervision that he needs when I’m not with him. I’m certainly paying enough money out each week to expect nothing but the best care.

It is really funny sometimes how becoming a parent changes you. I’ve always had a hard time standing up for myself, but when it comes to my kid I have no problem saying exactly what is on my mind.

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