Round ‘N Round We Go

Look at how I picked my son up from daycare yesterday!  And guess what?  I didn’t receive a single phone call!!

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Henry had a rash all over his legs last night.  Actually, I’m not sure it was a rash, bug bits, an allergic reaction or the beginnings of chicken pox (this one’s less likely since he’s been vaccinated).  But, the main point is that I couldn’t make a doctor appointment for that evening because I didn’t know about it in time, and I didn’t want to spend $100 to go to urgent care for them to tell me to give him benedryl.  So, instead I gave him benedryl and smeared caladryl lotion on his legs, and the redness and swelling went way down. but his legs are still bumpy today.

I know I said that last week that I was done, and I meant it.  I started contacting other daycares looking into pricing and their facilities, the education level of their teachers etc.  I’ve been to see 3 other ones so far, and I’ve found one that measures up.  It also is the most expensive of all of them.  Right now we’re paying $140 a week, if we switch it will cost us $172 a week.  That’s about $130 difference a month, which is huge for us.  We’re trying to figure out if we can afford that, and if we can, it’ll be tight for us.  This makes me wish more than ever that I could afford to stay home with Henry….sigh…

In the meantime, J and I are going in together to talk to his teachers and the management at his current daycare.  I’ve written down everything that’s happened negatively there since Henry’s been there and the dates that they happened.  Even though we’ve had brief talks about each incident separately, I really don’t think I can look at them as separate occurrences any more.  It’s all setting a pattern of behavior and showing a lack of care, observation and thought.

I’m hoping that we can resolve this and won’t have to move Henry, but I’m thinking that it’s less and less likely.

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Daycare Troubles

I’ve had enough.

I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t happy with Henry’s daycare.  Well, now that he’s back after his summer break, my opinion hasn’t changed.  Let me tell you about what happened yesterday.

I dropped Henry off in the morning.  As I was putting his things away – milk and lunch in the fridge, diaper bag in the cubby, wet bag hanging by the diaper station, the administrator came in to tell me that Henry’s teacher was out that day and that I needed to take Henry to the infant room.  So, I took him down to the infant room and dropped off a crying and unhappy baby (breaks my heart every time).  I didn’t think too much of Henry being watched by someone else, because it’s happened before.

When I picked him up he seemed happy.  He was crawling and babbling.  The woman in his room said that his bottom was a little red.  I said ok, and grabbed his sheet and his stuff and we headed home.  Once home I looked at his sheet a little more closely.  I noticed that he only had 1 nap and that it’s duration was only 5 minutes.  That sent my blood boiling.  I know that sometimes children just refuse to nap, and Henry’s no different, but it still irks me every time I see that because Henry turns into a little monster during dinner. He gets too tired to eat and too tired to sit contentedly in his high chair while J and I eat.  So, he cries and shrieks and screams, and generally just makes it impossible for us to talk and/or eat dinner.  And that’s exactly what happened last night.

After I was done putting Henry to bed, I was rinsing out his diapers and noticed that there were only 3 in the wet bag (we send 6 diapers everyday).  His diaper was only changed 3 times in a 10 hour period.  And, what’s more, is that they were all poop diapers!  Meaning that my son was sitting in shit ALL DAMN DAY!!  No fucking wonder his bottom was red!  But, wait, there’s more!!  On Henry’s daily sheet, it showed that they’d changed his diaper 6 times!  But, I only had 3 diapers in the wet bag.  So, either they put him in disposables, which they didn’t have permission to do, or they lied (just to be clear – they didn’t have permission to lie either).  I was livid last night.  I still am.  I snooped this morning when I dropped him off and found the 3 missing diapers from yesterday that never made it home last night (they were all clean and under the diaper changing station).

What’s even more, is that they didn’t give Henry the breast milk that was in the fridge that he’s supposed to have after his nap.
I went in this morning amped up to talk to them about and try and clear it up, but they must have seen me coming because there was not a single administrator to be found.  I had no one to complain about it to, or even inform them that it happened.
I am done with this daycare.  They suck at communication.  They have no protocol for when teachers are out.  Any routine that a child is used to goes out the window when this happens – which is why I think Henry refused to nap.  I’m tired of the substandard care that my son is receiving because people are too lazy to pick up a phone or to write routines down.
I was on the phone all morning looking for different daycares to interview and look into.  I’m touring one tonight and one tomorrow and hopefully one of those will work out.  They’re slightly more expensive than what we’re paying now, but I’ll gladly pay more if it means my son is receiving optimal care.

Aftermath

I guess I should start off by staying that I’m still pissed.

It doesn’t make matters any better that Henry, J and I all had a rough night last night.  Henry woke up at 10:00 whimpering.  Those whimpers turned into cries and those cries escalated into screams.  Eventually, so that we could all get some sleep, we just brought Henry into bed with us.  He spent the whole night hooked up to my boob.  Any time that he woke up crying, all he wanted to do was nurse.  J tried to hold and cuddle him several times last night, and Henry would quite literally push him away and reach for me, and cry until he was nursing again.  It’s my guess that he did not like that formula, and wanted his mama and his mama’s milk.  It’s also possible that the formula was rough on his stomach and digestive system and that he was hurting and needed comfort.  And, while it’s sweet and warms my heart that my baby loves me and wants me so much, I’m exhausted, and beyond exhausted, and my back hurts from sleeping in funky angles all night.  Although, I guess this states unequivocally that Henry is not ready to wean.
This morning when I walked into the daycare I stopped to talk to the woman who runs it.  She brought me into her office and told me how sorry she was for what happened and that she truly gets why I’m upset.  She told me that they have policies in place for situations like this, and that I would have been called had she known about it.
I asked her what steps we can take to make sure that this never happens again.  She said that Henry’s teacher is going to be written up and it’ll go in her file.  I think that’s a fair outcome.
Then I took Henry to his classroom and handed him over to his teacher.  I asked her about what happened yesterday and she told me that she couldn’t find the bottles of breast milk and thought that since Henry is almost a year old that we had decided to wean him, so she gave him formula so he would have something to drink.  I told her that I have no plans to wean my son.  And, that if I made any changes to his routine or diet that I’m responsible enough to tell them about it.  I then went on to show her where the bottles had been in the bag.  Her response was that she never would have though to look in that pocket (the milk was in the insulated pocket to keep in cold on the way to daycare), because she doesn’t like to root around in diaper bags because it feels like an invasion of privacy.
….it’s a diaper bag…..there are diapers, bottles, wipes and a few toys in it….if I put something personal in there and she finds it, that’s on me.
I stressed that Henry is to never have formula again in the future, and that all of this could have been solved with a phone call.  I stressed the fact that they can’t call me too much.
His teacher didn’t seem that upset about what had happened, and didn’t seem to register that I was really upset about it.
After talking to some people about this at work (one in particular who used to run a daycare), I decided to write a letter to the daycare instructing them to never give Henry formula, and that he is to have the provided breast milk until we decide to stop bringing it, and that I would give them notice before that would happen.  I also mention in the letter about the diaper rash cream.  And, that if they ever have any questions to CALL us!
I guess that I still can’t get over the fact that I wasn’t called.  This may sound weird, but it was a point of pride for me that Henry had never before had formula and had been exclusively breastfed.  And, now I feel like I cant’ say that anymore…
J and I have a lot of thinking to do about whether we want Henry to go back there.  Thankfully we have the summer to shop around and look at different daycares.  J is going to be a stay-at-home dad this summer while eh’s on summer vacation.

What Would You Do?

I need opinions.  I’m so incredibly angry and upset and it’s really hard for me to remain objective about this, so I welcome comments – with the caviate that they are constructive.

I’m having a huge issue with Henry’s daycare right now.  Here’s what’s up:

Our daycare provides a sheet that has all the information about Henry for the day.  Meaning that when I pick him up I can look at it and see what time he was given all of this bottles, when and how long his nap(s) are.  How many and what time diaper changes were and what was the contents of his diaper.  It also has what he ate that day in terms of solid food.  And last, but not least what activities they did for the day.

When I picked Henry up today, I glanced at his sheet and noticed something on there that I had never seen before and it immediately sent me over the edge.

Under the bottle section, it said “Gave Henry our formula.”

WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!?!?!?!

I snatched the paper up and walked over to his afternoon teacher.  I asked her, “what does this mean “Gave Henry our formula”??  His afternoon teacher had no idea.  She doesn’t get into the room until 4:30, and Henry’s done with all of this bottles by then.  So, together we walked over to the administrator to ask her about it.  The office administrator looked confused, and said that she was going to call his daytime teacher to ask about it.  She was hoping that his teacher had accidentally written on the wrong form.  That hope disappeared when I looked in his diaper bag and saw ALL of the bottles of breast milk that had been packed in there.  Three bottles, totaling 12 ounces that all had to be dumped down the drain because they’d been sitting at room temperature all day…

The office administrator couldn’t get a hold of his teacher while I was there ,and promised to call me this evening to let me know what happened.

I just got off the phone with her.  She said that his teacher hadn’t seen the bottles in the fridge or in the bag, and had assumed given Henry’s age that we had decided to stop with the breast milk and that we wanted him to be formula fed.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Don’t you think that I would have communicated that to his teacher, if that had been the case?  And, since nothing in our routine has changed one little bit for the past 6 months, don’t you think that if something does change all of a sudden that his teacher should have gotten off of her ass and called me to make sure this is what I wanted????  How fucking hard is it to use a phone??

And, I’m pretty sure that there was a dig in the comment directed at me.  “Given Henry’s age.”  I took that as “well, he’s almost a year old, and shouldn’t be breast feeding anymore.”  It could be that I’m reading more into that than I should, but I’m livid right now and that’s how I’m taking that statement.  

 

I’m seriously considering changing daycares.  They gave my breastfed son formula!  I’m not trying to start a formula vs breastfed debate.  But, I should have had my wishes regarding his nourishment respected and they weren’t.  Henry’s never had formula before.  What if he had an adverse reaction to it?  What if he was allergic to it?  I feel like my wants for my son’s care are not being listened to and undermined, and I am SO not ok with it.

We’ve had a few other issues with them too.  They stopped giving him the food that we were bringing “forgetting it in the refrigerator .”  Instead of fighting that battle, I just gave up and went with it.  They also keep putting diaper rash cream on Henry, and it doesn’t matter how clearly I explain that diaper rash cream used with cloth diapers creates diaper rash, they keep doing it anyway.

I don’t know whether I’m overreacting, or justified in my thought process.  I am seriously considering withdrawing him from this daycare and enrolling him in one that will respect my wishes and demands without condemnation or throwing digs when they’re the ones that fucked up. 

What would you do?

Month 7

Dear Henry,
Today you are 7 months old!  As I was nursing you last night, I was just marveling at the fact on how much you’ve grown.  It kinda snuck up on me how big you’ve become.  You used to look so teeny on the nursing pillow and now you hang off of it.  You also used to look so itty bitty in your dad’s arms and I noticed last night, as your dad was bouncing you in his arms at 1:00 am trying to get you to go back to sleep, that you don’t look nearly as teeny (when your head rests on his shoulder, your legs now dangle nearly to his waist).  You’re growing so much, which reminds me of something that your grandpa (my dad) used to say, “I’m going to have to put a brick on your head to keep you from growing.”
You’re eating solids so well now.  You’re actually eating with purpose and not just sliding food around on your tray (although you still do that too).  You basically eat whatever your dad and I are having for dinner, and you really seem to be liking it.  You love avocados, and my homemade wheat bread (which is sweet because it didn’t come out all that great – it was my first attempt at bread making).  It’s hard to say what your favorite food is because you just dive into anything that we put in front of you.  The one thing that you don’t like: peas.  You’ll eat them just fine, but they cause some major gas problems that cause you to wake up screaming in the middle of the night.  So, don’t worry, we’ll hold off on giving you those for a while.
mmmm chicken!

mmmm baked Ziti!

You haven’t been sleeping so well lately.  And, I’m pretty sure that the solid food is to blame for part of it.  Three times last week you woke up screaming because your tummy hurt.  You’d look at me with tears streaming down you face, and I knew that you wanted me to make it stop hurting, and I wish that I could.  Your dad and I held you and rocked you and bounced you until you calmed down and then I’d nurse you until you’d fall asleep.
Well, those middle of the night cuddle and feeding sessions soon became an issue.  You started waking up in the middle of the night wanting to nurse and cuddle and as sweet as that is, and as much as I’d like to indulge in that, waking me up 3+ times a night, does not equal a very cuddly mama.  So, last night when you woke up at 12:15 wanting to nurse your dad and I were there to hold you until you calmed down and then put you back in your crib.  Which caused you to cry again and for us to hold you until you calmed down – and we repeated that process for an hour!  Finally at 1:20, your dad and I were exhausted (and so were you) and we left you to put yourself to sleep on your own.  It took 20 minutes, but you finally went to sleep, and slept straight through until it was time to get up this morning at 6:30 (we had to wake you up, you were still exhausted).  As hard as it is to hear you cry, you seem to get to point after a while and then you sleep so much better.  So, hopefully you’ll be sleeping through the night again tonight.
You’re still nursing like a champ.  I think that you enjoy our nursing sessions as much as I do.  You just snuggle in and eat your fill, and most nights you’ll nurse yourself to sleep, which I still think is one of the sweetest things in the world.  I love those cuddle times with you, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  As hard as breastfeeding was in the beginning, I really love that I’ve stuck with it, and I’m really proud to say that you’re a 100% breastfed baby.
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You’re not crawling yet, you’re still pretty stationary, which is probably a good thing since your dad and I still haven’t baby proofed the house….I guess we need to get on that one.  You like playing with your ring stacker (although, Ali took it and a couple of your other toys and chewed them pretty badly…but you still seem to not mind that so much, especially since you just chew on them too.
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Playing at daycare

Playing at daycare

trying to fit the ring into your mouth

 Speaking of chewing, you now have 2 teeth!  Both of them popped up this month, and they’re in the front on the bottom.  You refuse to let anyone see them.  Anytime that I can get your mouth open, you push your tongue out to cover them up.  We’ve only seen glimpses of them, but you can definitely feel them and man are they sharp! I only know this from feeling them, thankfully (and knock on wood) you haven’t bitten me yet.
You’ve become one cuddly little boy.  You give the greatest hugs and kisses.  You wrap your little arms around our necks and just hang on for dear life when you hug.  It melts my heart every time.  Your kisses are still a wide open mouth on the cheek, but it’s so sweet that we don’t mind the slobber at all.  I hope that you’ll always want to hug and kiss us like that.
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You’re also one chatty little boy.  You love “talking” lately.  You just babble away and it’s the cutest thing.  And or course your dad and I talk back to you, which just makes you light up and babble all the more.  You actually get upset now when you talk to us and we don’t say anything back.  Your dad had to keep a conversation going with you last night as he cooked dinner because you got upset that he wasn’t paying enough attention to you, it was really cute to listen to.
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You are one sweet baby boy.  I love being able to watch you become a little boy, and while it breaks my heat a little to watch you grow up so fast, it’s so much fun to watch you be able to do more and more.  I love you so much.  You’re so special and incredible, and I couldn’t ask for a better son.
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I love you Henry,
Mom
too busy blowing raspberries to pose for a picture

too busy blowing raspberries to pose for a picture

It Gets Easier

I started responding to Kathryn’s comment, and quickly realized that it’s going to be a blog post on it’s own.

 Going from Henry being with me 24/7, to him being enrolled in daycare was emotional, difficult and took some major adjusting.  But, he’s been in daycare for about a month now and things are getting easier.  A lot of people are going to read this and just think “duh,” but none of it occurred to me until after Henry had been going for a couple of days.
  • Plan ahead.  For everything.  Lay out who is going to take the baby to daycare and who is going to pick the baby up.  This might change from day to day, or stay the same, so always know who’s doing what ahead of time.
  • Plan the night before.  Pack up as much as you can the night before.  Have the diaper bag packed.  Have your pump parts washed, packed and in their carrying case and ready to go.  Have the baby’s bottles/nipples packed and ready to go.  If applicable, have your lunch packed and ready to go.  The more you can get done the night before, the less crazy your morning will be the next day.
  • Plan for the morning.  J and I now have a routine that’s as follows:
  1. 6:00 we all get up.  I nurse Henry while J gets ready for the day.
  2. 6:20 I pump (this pumping session started as a means to create a freezer stash, but Henry’s started eating everything that I’m pumping now – so now I need it to make sure he has enough) while Henry plays next to me and J finishes getting ready.
  3. 6:30 J takes Henry to get dressed, and a diaper change etc.  I continue to pump.
  4. 6:40 Henry and J are eating breakfast, I finish pumping and get dressed/make up/brush teeth
  5. 6:50-7:00 Pack anything that wasn’t packed the night before and load the baby in the car seat and all accouterments in the car.
  6. 7:00 out the door, and I drop Henry off at daycare at 7:10 and then I’m off to work.
 I don’t know if I’ve used the word “plan” enough in this…..
Here are some things I’ve learned from our evenings, which is where our biggest struggle came from.
  • Leave work as soon as you possibly can so you can spend more time with your baby and hubby.
  • Most days I pick Henry up at daycare, the only exception is when I have Zumba after work (on these days J cooks, cleans and gets the baby put to bed on his own).  While I’m picking Henry up, J gets home and starts making dinner so that we can eat as a family before Henry goes to bed.  We aim to have dinner on the table between 6:00 and 6:30.  Now, when Henry was younger and didn’t really have a set bedtime, we had to eat dinner in shifts – so one would eat and the other would hold the baby to keep him from crying.  It sucked.  We hated it, but we got through it and the important lesson in this is that it will eventually stop and you will have relaxing dinner time back again.
  • If possible I try to wash the pump parts and Henry’s bottles and nipples while dinner’s cooking, so that after dinner we can actually relax.  If it’s not possible then it happens after dinner when we’re cleaning up dishes.
  • J and I give Henry a bath (this doesn’t happen everyday), and get him ready for bed.  J reads Henry a story, and I nurse him and put him to bed.  He’s usually down by 7:30, and is now sleeping through the night, and by that I mean sleeping from 7:30 until 6:00.  No more middle of the night nursing sessions, and no more getting up to help him go back to sleep.  He’s been doing that since about 5 months old.  I STRONGLY recommend following the advice of putting your baby to sleep drowsy, but AWAKE.  This will save you from having to do major sleep training later, and I mean sleep training and not CIO.
  • Clean and pack anything else that needs it and relax for the rest of the night.  I’ve also started showering at night to save time in the morning, cause I don’t do too well if I see a 5 on the alarm clock when I get up.
 So, overall it has been getting easier.  It takes a lot more finesse and teamwork than I ever thought it would, but it is so much easier now than when we first started.
The thing is to make a routine that fits your life and that you’re comfortable with.  It took a little bit of time for J and I to find a routine that worked for us, but we did it and now we’re doing so much better.  I wouldn’t say it’s perfect yet, but we’re getting better at it everyday.
If you have any questions I’d be more than glad to help.  I’m by no means an expert, but I’d be more than happy to tell you what worked for me and what didn’t.
Now take a deep breathe and repeat over and over “I can do this.”  And eventually you’ll believe yourself.

Month 6

Dear Henry,
You’re sixth months old today (or you were when I started writing this – again, I’m sorry that it’s over a week late…)!!!! How has half a year gone by already? This month so much has changed I don’t even know where to begin.
I guess we’ll start with the obvious.  You had your first Hanukkah and Christmas this year!  It was so much fun watching you open your gifts and laughing hysterically when you had more fun with the wrapping paper than what it was wrapped around.  You got so much stuff this year that your dad and I are going to have to get you a toy chest so that itdoesn’t look like Toys ‘R Us exploded in our house.
Your first night of Hanukkah!

Your first night of Hanukkah!

This month you started sitting up on your own. This actually just happened within the last week. You can sit and play with toys now on your own. It’s the coolest thing to watch. But, as cool as it is, it also makes me a little sad. It means your growing and becoming more and more independent everyday, and less and less the little baby that needs me for everything.
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You’ve really started getting into playing with your toys (although you still really like to put everything in your mouth). I think that your favorite thing is your Disney jumperoo. You bounce and play and swing and toddle in for the longest time. Your dad and I can put you in there and you can entertain yourself for almost an hour. But, you also really like any toy that you can sit up and play with.
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In just the past few days you’ve also started solid foods. Your dad and I have decided to skip purees and anything that involves us spoon feeding you. So far you’ve tried orange slices, banana, avocado and roasted sweet potatoes, bread and this morning you dad made a hash out of eggs, onion and potatoes and you absolutely loved it! The orange and banana caused you to wrinkle your nose and spit out what was in your mouth, but you actually ate the sweet potato, and seemed to really like it. As of right now you’re undecided on the avocado, so we’ll revisit that soon. The first few days of solids you had some tummy trouble that we think is being caused by the solids, but we’ll see if that continues, hopefully it won’t happen again.
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You started daycare this month, and while it was incredibly difficult for me (and still is at times) you seem to be thriving in it. You smile as soon as we walk in the door in the morning and as soon as I hand you over to Ms. Judy in the mornings I cease to exist. And, everyday but one so far, you’ve been smiling and happy when I picked you up (and the day you were crying was because you refused to nap and were exhausted and wired). I hate that I’m missing so much time with you, but I honestly think it’s worth it to see you so happy and to know that you’re being entertained and enriched all day.
Took your picture when I picked you up from Daycare last week

Took your picture when I picked you up from Daycare last week

This month also marked your first major road trip. We packed you up in your car seat the night of the 21st after your bedtime routine and drove through the night to Kentucky to see your Gram. You slept the whole way like a champ! Your dad and I weren’t so lucky. We hit major snow in West Virginia, and the roads got so bad that we were going 30 mph or less through most of I-77. But, we arrived at Gram’s at 3:30 that morning and after lugging all of your stuff inside were able to put you back to sleep (although it was in bed with us – you seemed to forget all of the sleep training that we did when we were in KY, but thankfully you’ve remembered it as soon as we got home). When you woke up at 6:30 that morning I nursed you and bleary eyed handed you over to Gram to entertain you while I went back to sleep. Our drive home was thankfully uneventful – again you slept the whole way!
I-77 - and this was not the worst of the snowy weather - I couldn't unclench my hands long enough to take a picture then.

I-77 – and this was not the worst of the snowy weather – I couldn’t unclench my hands long enough to take a picture then.

Nap time continues to be a struggle for you, but you’re getting better. Today you took every nap in your crib and they were all decent lengths! I know that your dad is really sad that you’re not napping on his chest anymore, but it’s for the best. Once you started napping on his chest you decided that you wanted all of your naps that way, and for some reason my chest isn’t as comfy to you as his is, and he can’t be there at every nap to snuggle you no matter how much he’d like to be (and he would really like to be).
You’re growing up so much! It seems like every time I look at your you’re getting bigger and bigger. You’re also extremely inquisitive. You study things when you look at them. I honestly think that you’re trying to figure how they work and how best you can manipulate it. You still make us work to get a laugh out of you, but you smile almost nonstop. Your smile and the fact that you love to cuddle and snuggle are some of my favorite things about you – but everything is my favorite thing about you. I’m so thankful that I’m your mom. You mean the world to me and you always will. I love you with all of my heart and I always will.
Watching Top Chef with Dad while I catch up on some much needed sleep

Watching Top Chef with Dad while I catch up on some much needed sleep

Your last day at work with me.

Your last day at work with me.

-Mom