Monthly Archives: March 2013

in honor of celebrate-your-childcare-provider day

I don’t know if that’s a real thing, but it’s our babysitter’s birthday today, so we’re celebrating her.  I always hesitate to use the word “babysitter,” because she’s so much more than that to us and to the boys.  That word simplifies the extent of the relationship that my family has with hers.

Feb 2013
Dexter is at a stage now where he does not want to leave when I arrive to pick them up.  Sunday, he started saying he wanted to see her, her son, and her husband around 6pm and would.not.let.up.  Theo, when asked who his best friend is, often answers with her name.
We’ve been through a lot together.  She was there for Theo’s first birthday.  And for Dexter’s 14 months later.  She had a challenging pregnancy and worked every day of it.  We celebrated her son’s first birthday earlier this year.  I don’t know how she’s survived in all this boy madness for the last three years, but she does a damn good job of it. 
When we set out to find childcare, we weighed the pros and cons of a home sitter versus a daycare center.  At the time, my work schedule was weird and we liked the idea of having some flexibility with paying for only a certain number of days per week.  We liked the idea of fewer kids.  We liked the idea of someone who would not only teach them things, but nurture them as well.  
We interviewed two other ladies who ran in-home daycares.  Meaning, they were stay at home moms who did nothing but let their toddlers watch t.v. all day and were just looking to make some extra cash.  That was not what we were looking for.  When we interviewed our sitter, she had prepared folders with contracts and examples of schedules depending on the age of the children.  She explained that the children would not watch television and would be involved in scheduled learning activities daily.  We discovered that she had her degree in elementary education and teaching was her passion.  The choice was easy.  
We feared that there would be issues with reliability.  Having only one caregiver meant if she called in sick, so did we.  This lady…can I just tell you?  This lady has never called in sick.  Oh, well…unless you count that time her newborn son was in the hospital for a week.  We gave her a pass on that.  🙂
Ryan and I have both switched jobs in the past three years and the kids’ schedule has increased from 3.5 days per week to 5 days per week.  As hard as it was to give up the extra time with them when I switched jobs last August, I know they are in great hands and they are somewhere that they love and want to be.  
She not only teaches them, she loves them.  And we love her and her family.  We found her through Care.com and took a chance.  I’ll never forget the sick feeling I had in my stomach the first time I left Theo there.  I couldn’t shake the thought “but she doesn’t love him.” I didn’t want to leave my tiny baby in the care of someone who was practically a stranger. Someone who didn’t love him.  Someone who didn’t know exactly how he liked to be bounced when he was grumpy.  It didn’t take long before I had total trust in this amazing woman and it became clear that she grew to love him very quickly.  The day I left Dexter was sad too, but only because I knew I would miss him.  She loved him before I ever dropped him off.
We’ve taken for granted the peace of mind we have with where are kids are, day in and day out.  She certainly spends more waking hours with them during the week than we do.  It would be ridiculous to say that she isn’t shaping them into the little people they are becoming.  We couldn’t have chosen anyone better to help us do just that.  
I tell her from time to time that while some people may think that she doesn’t have an “important” job, to me she has the absolute MOST important job in the world.  Keeping my kids safe and happy when I can’t.  There is no way to put into words what a huge responsibility we have placed on her or the gratitude we feel for her.  We expect a lot from her.  She delivers.  
I’m not a person who goes around using the term ‘blessed’ very often.  But when I think of how this relationship has turned out, that’s how I feel.  
So thank you, to our babysitter extraordinaire/teacher/nurturer/potty trainer/food fixer/cheerleader/toy finder/craft coordinator/endlessly energized and all around amazing lady.  And happy birthday.  
xo,
~C~

fun bonanza: a week in photos

I should probably break this up into at least six separate posts, but eh.  My blog. My rules.

First things first, the boys got haircuts last Tuesday.  It was sort of spur of the moment.  I didn’t realize when I said “use the clippers” that Dexter would be BALD 2 minutes later. Whoops.  I had her use the scissors on the top of Theo’s head.  My boys look so different.

Moving right along.  Friday I took dinner to a friend who had a new baby boy 2 weeks earlier.  Maybe it was partly an excuse to get over there and snuggle up with a cute, squishy newborn.  Maybe it was an excuse to get my boys together with her big boy, who is 7 months younger than Theo and 7 months older than Dexter.  Neato.  🙂 
The boys loved little Parker and had fun playing on Paxton’s cool bunk bed.  We had to get home to clean up the house before my mom rolled into town and were surprised by sweet friends who stopped by with some gifts and pizza for Theo’s belated birthday. Dexter was kind enough to help Theo open his presents.
Somehow I managed to forget all about bringing my camera along with us on Saturday but posted a couple of pictures of the fun things we did on Instagram.  

 We went to the zoo.  I took this picture while Dexter and I were waiting for my mom, Theo, and Ryan to finish looking at icky snakes.  Honestly, it’s so hot in the desert building that I was about to start sweating.  We were fine catching some fresh air and chit chatting about life.  See?  That’s Dexter’s serious face.

After the zoo, we visited Jersey’s Cafe, which Ryan and I had seen featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives 2 years ago or so.   The food was amazing!  I had the Little Egg Harbor Crab Cake sandwich.  Wow.  Just wow.

We stopped by Ashley Home Furniture on the way home to see a bed in person that a friend of mine is selling.  Turns out, we love the bed and are getting it this weekend.  Like it?

Then we went home and talked about how full we still were from our late lunch, played with some cute little boys, and went to bed.  Sunday we revisited one of our favorite places to take the boys in Columbus, Indiana.  I love looking back at the previous times we’ve been there to see how much these bubs have grown!
The first time we went, Dexter was 2 months old and Theo was 16 months old.  
The second time we went, Dexter was 9 months old and Theo was 23 months old.  

This time, Theo was way to old to count his age in months (36) and Dexter was 22 months old.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies. It’s even more painfully obvious when you have young children. I love these two places I’m about to blog about for the THIRD time, but even more I love looking at how much the boys have changed.

We visited the Commons, an amazing and unique indoor playground perfect for cold or rainy days, and an old fashioned soda fountain, Zaharako’s, perfect for ruining any diet.  (P.S. Did you notice my naughty eating habits…Friday pizza & Saturday giant sandwich.  Oh, and a sundae on Sunday.  That splurge meal turned into a splurge weekend…gotta live a little, right?)

This kid was a little tentative about climbing by himself.
Watching his big brother, not too sure what to think.  Nervous face.
Ryan and I both ended up climbing to the top a couple of times.  So much fun (and not a bad workout).
Up the slide…
And down the slide.
 (Ha – I just noticed Ryan & Theo on the big slide in the background!)
my monster.
A step back in time just across the street.
Restored to it’s original glory.  Ridiculously beautiful and equally delicious!
Mom headed back to Tennessee after lunch and we visited Ryan’s parents afterwards since Theo’s been begging to go there for the last week or so.  Monday was uneventful.  That brings us to tonight. 
Oh, you know how it is on a Tuesday night.  Guys’ cards night and everything. Gets a little out of control!
xo,
~C~

my 3 year old won’t poop in the potty

He never has.  We’ve tried bribery.  We’ve tried being stern (once…I didn’t like it).  He still refused.  He’s smart and sneaky.  He still wears a diaper at night and for naps, so he will hold it until he has one on.  Usually, ten minutes after he lays down for a nap, he will announce that he has pooped.  We’ve promised him a trip to the ice cream store when he finally drops a deuce.  Still, nothing. 

On the rare occasion when he doesn’t nap or poo around nap time, he will simply ask for a diaper.  Obviously he feels the sensation and knows exactly what is going on.  He’s capable.  I just don’t know if he’s scared, if he doesn’t know how to relax, or if it is just defiance (I really don’t think it’s defiance).  Maybe he’s just nervous or doesn’t know how to make it come out.  He’s tried several times but gets frustrated before he ever really relaxes. He can’t sit there calmly.

After reading about the 3 day method several different places, I’m tempted to try it.  Cold turkey. No diapers.  Truthfully, the reason I haven’t done this yet is because I don’t really want to get up in the middle of the night 8 times to change his sheets.  He has never-ever-not-once woken up dry in the morning.  However, he hasn’t had an accident the 3 or 4 times someone has forgotten to put a diaper on him at nap time.  This tells me we might be successful with this cold-turkey method.  But if there were no diapers, would he just poop in his underwear?  Or would he poop in the potty?  Knowing my kid, he would hold it until his bowels popped… 

We talked to the doctor about this Monday and he suggested gradually training him rather than taking the diapers away all at once.  He thinks it is fine to bribe him with treats, stickers, etc.  Whatever does the trick.  (He also promised that Theo would not be pooping in a diaper when he’s 16…we’ll see).  So with his theory, we allow him to poop in the diaper but he has to stand in the bathroom for a week or so (however long it takes him to get comfortable with that).  Then the following week, he has to stand next to the toilet.  The next week, he sits on the toilet (with diaper on).  Finally, we would remove the diaper and sit him on the toilet.  Does this seem like, well, babying him too much?  Or is taking the comfort of his diaper away cold turkey inhumane? 

I just keep going back and forth and I need some advice. 

Your thoughts?

xo,
~C~