The daycare search continues

Today was our second, and hopefully final day of daycare visits. Last week, we checked out two daycare centers near my work, and today we visited two centers closer to home. The first we visited was a locally owned establishment with two locations. While the center director was very nice, we could tell quickly that it wasn’t the right place for our baby. We were a little apprehensive going in once we realized that the daycare was in a strip mall, and this probably comes out snotty – but it just wasn’t nice enough. The director was very personable and really took her time with the tour, which we appreciated. However, the infant room was for 6 weeks – 18 months and unlike the other centers that emphatically state that they won’t go over the 1:4 child:caregiver ratio, this center said that they would go to a 1:5 if they needed to (1:5 is state regulation).  I also just tend to think that that the age range in the infant room is too much. An 18 month old child needs a different type of care than a 12 week old child, and while the teacher in the classroom seemed to be doing her best, it just doesn’t seem like a desirable situation. I also didn’t like that there was no quiet area of the room for the cribs as we had seen elsewhere. Not only that, the infant room connected to the 2 year old room which makes for a lot of additional noise. So while the teachers in every room seemed very engaged and the students were playing and listening to story time very nicely, I just didn’t get the great feeling that I had from the first place last week and we easily ruled today’s first stop out.

Once we finished our tour there, we went less than 1/2 mile down the road to the next daycare. This was another national chain, although not nearly as large of a chain as the one that we disliked last week. We also heard good reviews from several friends who had heard good things from their friends. Lance and I entered with moderately high expectations. There was a nice reception area decorated with children’s artwork and immediately we could see that this was a busy place. One of the center directors gave us a tour and I noted that it felt very rushed. This daycare has two infant rooms, one for 6 weeks to 6 months and the other for 7-12 months. Each room had 8 children and 2 teachers. We then went on to tour the rest of the classrooms and outdoor areas. With “summer camp” going on, the center was LOUD. Happy, playing children for the most part, with the exception of the two year olds participating in “splash time”, who seemed pretty unhappy to be soaking wet on a cloudy morning.  This daycare allows modified cloth diapers – basically, they will allow all-in-one cloth diapers as long as you provide disposable liners for use while the baby is in daycare. I think this would be ok, just some extra cost for the liners and the chance of rashes (from what I have googled!).

So there it is. We have easily narrowed down to the spanish immersion daycare near my work and the second daycare that we visited today closer to home. The costs are almost identical, so we don’t have to factor in price and can focus on what we think is best. Right now it is between small daycare close to my work and bigger daycare closer to home. We know that there are positives and negatives to having daycare closer to home vs closer to work and will weigh the decision with that as a major factor. Several friends have told me how important it is to just “go with your gut”, and I know what my gut is saying already. Anyone have opinions on daycare near home vs. near work?

 

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Maptastic

It’s no secret that we are a big fan of maps in this household. So when we were looking for some art to go above our fireplace, we turned to etsy looking for a 24×36 map that could fit into an existing frame. We scored what we consider a map jackpot.

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Not only is it a modern map, but it even combines one of Lance’s other areas of fascination -public transportation. This map is a depiction of our world made up of subway lines. It’s modern, colorful, and just makes us happy.

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The frame was an old one that we had around and spray painted blue to add some more color. We’re happy with this new edition and we are getting so close to having a finished living room space.

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16 weeks

I can’t believe that I’ve hit 16 weeks. For some reason, in my head this number has seemed like such a milestone. I feel so grateful to be getting to the point where I can actually be excited without the nagging fear.

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of an avocado

Weight: No weigh ins this week…my scale at home seems to be off from the one at the doctor so I need to start checking at home and comparing against that rather than comparing home weight to doctor’s office weight

Sleep: Last night I went from 1 am – 6 am without waking up. I’ll take this for as long as I can get it!

Best Moment of the Week: Not really a moment, but our entire day on Saturday was perfect. Lance and I got to spend the whole day together. We played golf (just 9 holes, and he carried my bag) together for the first time since I got pregnant, went to lunch at our favorite spot (Anna’s Pizza), relaxed for a few hours at home, and then met Lance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin for dinner where we were able to tell them about Baby R in person. Lance had actually called his grandfather to tell him last week, but on the call found out that they were coming down to visit, so he was able to hold off on the phone and tell them in person. Perfect timing!

Movement: I’m not 100% certain, but I think I started feeling movement the past few days! I thought I felt some little flutters a few days ago, and then last night while watching tv I am almost certain I was feeling the baby. It was only occasional, but it felt like a little rolling motion. It was too high up to be gas, so I can only imagine it was Baby R finally making his/her presence felt!

Symptoms: My nausea is essentially gone. Finally. I love being able to drive home from work without getting dizzy, and I’ve been able to start going back to the gym since I’m no longer at my sickest during my normal gym time. The only main symptom now is the occasional bloody nose, overdrive emotions (I started bawling on Sunday for no real reason), and tiredness if I’m on my feet for too long.

Food Cravings/Aversions: I had my first major craving the other day. During my crying-for-no-reason breakdown on Sunday I started really craving a milkshake. Definitely not the healthiest craving in the world. I ended up with my first Wendy’s frosty in probably at least three years. Hopefully that craving doesn’t hit again!

Belly Button: In.

What I Miss: I’ve been thinking about this for a few minutes and I honestly can’t come up with anything. Hello second trimester bliss. You are awesome.

What I Am Looking Forward To: Visiting two more daycares next week and then hopefully arriving at an early decision. Finding out the gender and seeing Baby R in 15 days (not that I’m counting).

Daycare Search Begins

I may be one day shy of 16 weeks, but Lance and I decided to begin our search for daycare for Baby R. We’ve been spurred into action because of a favorable work schedule this month and after hearing the horror stories of friends that waited too long and then found that the best places were all booked.

We worked up a checklist of basic questions after some internet research, and went to our first two appointments. Today we visited two daycares on my street at work. The great thing is that they are literally right down the road, like a quarter mile. The two daycares couldn’t be any more different from each other. The first was a locally owned spanish immersion center. They have three locations around the Triangle. The prices there are very reasonable and we really liked the intimate feeling inside. The Director knew the name of every child and all of the teachers seemed very engaged as we walked through. As great of an impression as the first place made, the second made just the opposite. It is a much larger, nationally-owned daycare. The woman we were supposed to meet with wasn’t there, so they had to find someone else to meet with us. We had to sit around for 25 minutes while they figured this out despite having an appointment made on the phone that was confirmed via email. Then, we saw the pricing. It was $350 more per month than the locally owned daycare across the street. As we began our tour we expected to notice a big difference in the classrooms to maybe help justify the increased cost. But we didn’t see it. In fact, the locally owned daycare offered video monitoring for parents where the national chain did not. Both allowed cloth diapers, a big plus since (at least for now) we plan to use cloth full-time.

So, if we were just choosing between those two, no deliberation would be required. We were really happy with the spanish immersion program. Next week we will look at two daycares closer to home, and then hopefully we’ll have a decision by the end of August. It felt kind of surreal to be going through this process, especially because I don’t even look pregnant. The good thing is, I finally feel as if we are proceeding with true optimism, and no longer waiting for things to go wrong. This is the first of many exciting preparation steps to go through before welcoming our little one in 5.5 months!

Belly Progress

I know there is some curiosity as to what exactly is happening with Baby R’s growth inside my belly. I’m definitely not showing much. Looking at the photos below you can see a difference, but I don’t think anyone who didn’t know I was pregnant would dare guess that I just hadn’t packed on a few pounds. Of course, Baby R is only about 4 inches long and only weighs around 2 ounces, so I guess I have plenty of time to develop a bump!

 

15 weeks

Size of Baby: Baby is the size of a naval orange

Weight: +7 lbs total at the doctor today

Sleep: Guess what? Now I’m only waking up twice a night to pee! I call that progress.

Best Moment of the Week: Scheduling our anatomy ultrasound at today’s appointment! Let the three week countdown to finding out if Baby R is a boy or a girl begin!

Movement: Still not feeling any movement but it has got to be getting closer.

Symptoms: My symptoms finally seem to be on the downswing. My nausea has really lessened the past few days. I’m still feeling queasy around 11 and 4, but haven’t felt any urge to vomit. More just a dizzy/queasy feeling that is short-lived. I’m still getting really tired by 9:30 or so, but if that is the worst symptom I have I’m happy!

Food Cravings/Aversions: I actually craved salad last night. Weird for me. I think I may try adding some veggies and salmon back to my diet and see how it goes.

Belly Button: In.

What I Miss: Staying up past 11 pm. It seems like it has been a while since I’ve been able to. We went out with friends Friday night and stayed out until 10. To my body it felt like 1 in the morning!

What I Am Looking Forward To: Finding out the gender! Having my belly look less like a ate a few too many chocolates and more like I’m pregnant!

Sew What?

I sewed something functional. A little background information…

I haven’t sewn anything since my senior year of high school 12+ years ago. But my total lack of skill in this area has really bothered me as sewing is in my blood. My grandma Bella was a seamstress and she along with my grandpa Bill owned a fabric shop when they immigrated to the United States. Even more than that, my grandma’s sewing abilities literally saved her life. Upon her arrival at a concentration camp in Poland, the Nazis asked if anyone knew how to sew. My 17 year old grandma immediately spoke up, and because of this skill, she lived in the Nazi’s house where she could serve as their seamstress. One of the Nazi wives took a liking to her and warned her that her sister’s group would be killed in the coming days, and my brave grandma Bella managed to escape with her sister and flee into the woods, where she met my grandpa and they survived for several years before evacuating to Germany and eventually the United States. So yes, knowing how to sew saved her life and allowed me to be here today.

So with that bit of backstory, back to my guilt trip on not knowing a thing about sewing. Lance bought me a sewing machine for the holidays that I have barely touched. When I tried a few months back, it took me hours just to figure out how to thread the machine and the bobbin. But I’ve been dying to make covers for some throw pillows to go in the living room so I figured it was finally time to pull the machine back out and take part in the Pinterest Challenge.

As I was saying, we have been desperately in need of new throw pillows for months. Not only did our old ones not match, we just discovered that they were bleeding red onto our white couch! Argh. I had recently pinned this picture from Our Humble A{Bowe}d since it seemed that the instructions for how to make a pillow cover were simple enough for even me.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the process, since I did the whole thing on practice fabric, but I am thrilled that I was actually able to sew a pillow cover.

Yes, that line down the left side of the pillow is proof of why it is necessary to iron before you do these things. But as I said, this was just practice on $2/yard fabric that I found on clearance. I will be looking for some much more colorful fabric now.

The instructions were super easy (especially if you already know how to sew). It took less than an hour this time (hey, that’s progress) to thread the bobbin and machine. Cutting the fabric was easy enough. Since my pillow was 17×17, I cut one large rectangle that was 18 (17+1) by 41 (17×2 + 7). The next step was to hem the short ends. I learned a super important lesson here. When pinning, the pins go perpendicular to your seam. I actually learned this by sewing my first layer of pins INTO the seam so that I had to rip apart the whole thing to get them out. Yeah, really. After that part was complete, it was then as easy as turning the fabric so that the back side was facing up, and creating a square for my envelope. I then just pinned the sides together and sewed.

Yeah again, you can see the importance of ironing on the back side but overall I’m happy enough. I managed to pin properly and sew four straight lines. I think I’m actually ready to buy some fabric that I like and give this a real try. I hope my grandma Bella is proud of me….even if it has taken me almost 30 years to get here.