Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What would I give up?

Last night, as I stroked Isabel's downy soft hair away from her feverish forehead nothing else mattered. My mind wandered as she laid next to me squirming around as she fell deeper into sleep.

What would I give up so I could stay home longer?

For the last couple of days I have had a heavy heart thinking that these moments together where its just us will end.

I have cherished the gift of motherhood and the gift I feel like God granted us to be parents to this beautiful baby girl. I couldn't feel happier.

J and I however, have known that me staying home wouldn't likely be feasible forever. I had planned to go to work p/t this fall and work for my advisor. It would give me more face time with him (dissertation wise) and start the transition for Isabel to another caregiver on a part time basis.

It would only be 12h or so and I would hire a babysitter. I am feeling good about this plan.

The spring is another story, I have the chance to interview for a position at UNH that is right up my alley. The catch? Its full time and for 3 years renewable.

I wouldn't have blinked at this before Isabel was born.

Its a gut wrenching decision.

Do I put her in full time daycare at 15 months and consider it fortunate she got me at home for so long? Do I just hope that it all works out?

This may sound like I think I am entitled or am not greatful for the time I have had with her.

That's not what I am saying.

I think we could find a good daycare fit for her and she would adjust eventually.

And money is tight, we need to find a way to make ends meet. The solution is for me to work.

Or is it?
This week as I have been looking at daycares and home daycare and babysitters and every combination in between it almost feels like I would be working just to break even.

We don't have back up if she is sick and can't go to daycare. Once we start down this path it will be tough to go back especially if I change my mind and want to stay home.

I really want to patch it together and work part time if we can make it work.

Also in the balance is my career.

Give up this chance to teach, this perfect first job opportunity out of my PhD.? Feels like alot to give up. Put on hold?

I have always known that God has a plan for my life. I don't feel like I am sure what it is but I know that I am on the right path.

I knew becoming a mom would change my life and yet I couldn't anticipate how fulfilled I feel to the point where this is all I want to do.

I may not have this luxury for much longer but I am going to put in one last ditch effort to make it work.

I am pretty good at scrimping and pinching, as I never grew up with alot of money and was a typical work 3 jobs college student. Here is what I am willing to give up:

My cell phone with data plan: I will go back to regular phone that can text and make calls

Cable TV: We don't watch it much during the day or even at night, I will miss Food Network and TLC but we will survive with Netflix

Coffee: No more DD drivethru, I will live!

Clothes: Hahaha well I will still wear them of course but if they come second hand or from Walmart that's ok

Haircut/Pedi: I don't get my haircut as much but no coloring or pedi's

Lunch out: Well I am going to cut back even more and bring my lunch whenever I can unless it costs less to buy it out than go to the store to make it.

I am sure there will be more to cut back on but for now thats my plan. Even if I can work just p/t for another year I think that will make all the difference for both of us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I have to face the facts...

Fact #1: Isabel is 10 months today! Wow, that means 2 months until her birthday! She's growing so fast! She's loving eating table food, playing with other babies, her new babysitter and the cats and dogs! She's love the pool, beach and tubby! Loves getting out and seeing new things and is such a social kid!
Her stats: 23.5lbs, 28.5 inches, wears mostly 12 mo clothes but fits 9 months clothes still
She babbles mama, dada, baba and sometimes a 'hi' and waves, claps, taps and signs more!

Fact #2
My kid is a not a crib sleeper. I have spent the better part of these last 10 months getting her to be one. We have had various periods of sucess where she will go to sleep and be ok with being transferred to her crib. She still wakes up alot. I know its because she doesn't know how to put herself back to sleep and all that I have tried to help her understand it has FAILED!

We are doing a combo of her falling asleep on my bed and transferring to the crib, which lately results in screams and puking. So, she's been sleeping on our bed or napping in the car/ stroller.

Why is she like this? I don't know. Its in a word frustrating.

My latest idea is to try to get her to fall asleep on her crib mattress in her room to allow her to get the idea and not be moved. She could roll off but it would only be a 2 inch drop. Her room is safe, gated and I am within earshot.

Fact #3
If anyone is ever going to care for her here or in day care this sleep issue is going to be well, an issue. I don't have a solution. CIO is really not an option and yet, what to do? More on this later!

Fact #4
Isabel is a crib stander! As you can see in the above pic!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Isabel's babysitter Day 1

Our babysitter who I will refer to as Nurse J rocks! She came right on time and talked right to Isabel and put her at ease as we were preparing for J to go to work.

I showed her where her bottles were, clothes, diapers and her little swimming pool. I didn't want to be that annoying mom that shadows her sitter all day so I just showed her the basics and let go.

She has the experience I can tell and the confidence to ask where things are and such so I felt good about this tactic.

It was ther right one.

I could hear them playing down stairs and her singing songs to her and Isabels' shrieks of joy. I know she had a poopy diaper and Isabel does the 'alligator death roll' for me but somehow Nurse J got it under control and changed the star!

I really wanted Isabel to nap when Nurse J was getting there so I could show her around and Isabel could nap with me putting her down.

It didn't happen that way. About 45m into it she was tired and Nurse J knew it. She tried rocking and giving her a bottle. I was in the office and she was in our room with the A/C on but I could hear Isabel wailing.

Poor babysitter.

After about 15m I gave in and went to see if maybe a stroller ride might work better. I felt terrible making her go out in this heat but she went and with a chipper attitude.

I could tell that a crying baby didn't rattle her. Not in the 'I don't care about your kid even when she's crying' way but more the 'babies cry and I will care for her right through it'.

I can't say I wasn't biting my nails during their stroller walk. It took alot to sit in the office. I wanted to run out there and walk too. I did go down twice and let the dogs out and peaked down the road to see if they were coming back.

Bad, I know.

The second time she was on her way back.

I was worried about Isabel seeing me and so I tried to stay out of sight. At the same time the times she did see me she was OK.

Nurse J said by the end Isabel was reaching out to her.

It was a relief that Isabel adapted and that we got the right baby sitter.

I have to say I would be a terrible boss. I made her lunch when Isabel had lunch and ate with them. I would pay her a million bucks an hour if we could afford it.

I guess I know the other side of baby sitting better and I want to make Nurse J feel comfortable and appreciated.

It was weird having the sitter here and the sitter not be me. I have taken care of so many kids in my life and it was weird to be the one kissing my husband good by with the sitter in the background playing with my baby.

I'll take it. As long as we can afford it.

I did make progress and am still working because Isabel conked out after Nurse J left.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Babysitters, Puppies and Babies....well just mine!

So to end the saga of the babysitter search:
I interviewed 3 girls in all and talked with 5.
#1.The first girl is a student and interning and babysitting. She seemed bright and responsible despite the directions mix up but not really into babies. Didn't really interact with Isabel or even ask to hold her or play on the floor with her. She turned it down to babysit of 7 year old, fine with me because a 9 month old is a totally different story and she seemed a bit overcommitted!

#2.The second girl was is a recent grad in history, piecing together summer work. 15 minutes late, didn't call, didn't interact alot with Isabel, kind of had a flat personality and seemed disengaged. The only question she asked was if Isabel had any food allergies...weird? It wasn't clear to me why she liked babysitting and she didn't even ask the pay scale so it clearly didn't seem about the money either. Weird. Her other job sounded alittle sketchy because she had said that family 'didn't need her as much'. That may have been true but to me that's 'mom speak' for its not working out. I have been a nanny and babysitter for years and if I heard that I would know thats what was meant. I asked for her reference and she said she would have to email it to me. She was in and out in 15m flat. I didn't have a great feeling about her, but she had alot of availability. I was hoping that the third girl would be a better fit.

#3. We chatted on the phone after one email, she sounded great on the that possible? Mature, enthusiastic and a pro...I could just tell. She came in the morning, 10 minutes early!! LOVE!! Not only punctual but early....wahoo! Isabel was still sleeping so I chatted with her and loved her, she reminded me of ME. Good thing? I think so ;) She recently graduated with a nursing degree and is looking to move to FL and go to school to become a midwife....seriously this could have been me if I didn't purse biology/horticulure! She has babysat babies, recently a family with two toddlers and twin 9 months olds...WOAH! She also worked at a day care in the baby/toddler room. Awesome! When Isabel woke up she was all smiles for her, a bit shy but opened up quickly. They played on the floor and Isabel LOVED it. I even walked away and took a phone call and they just played, not a peep from Isabel. She was great with our dogs and flexible with the days/times. I hired her on the spot. I just felt good about this. I am already bummed she is moving soon and she hasn't even started. Weird? Kinda but she starts tomorrow.

#4. The last option was taking her to a babysitter that watches other kids in her home. She was recommended by my therapist. She may have been great but basically when we talked on the phone she made me feel like if my baby was needy, fussy, moody or basically Isabel she didn't want her. She did make a good point that it can disrupt the flow because she wouldn't be there all day every day. Fine. But she said she wouldn't cuddle her to sleep and that killed me. I know its a reality and she might adjust but seriously, how can I leave her when I know that will be torture? She wasn't less $/hr or day and she wasn't lisenced. So, I decided against this option but day care isn't out of the question someday.

I am however in a word NERVOUS.

Isabel can be finicky, not sleep well and want her mama. How is it going to work with me at home and her playing with someone else? I am not sure. I feel like it will be best for me to be out of sight but in ear shot well everywhere in my house is. So once she gets used to her then I will go to UNH and work.

I think she will be dependable but she isn't going to be with us for a long time and like any babysitter things can change, fast.

I am concerned about the $ since I have to pay her when I am not getting paid myself. J and I had a conversation about this last night and something is likely to change in the next few months. Ugh. I hate it all. The thought of leaving her at daycare kills me. I can just imagine her cry cry cying because she needs cuddling at naps.

At the same time we don't have an unlimited budget. I am getting worn out by being Isabel's main caretaker and I am not getting alot of work done on my dissertation.

To add to this, Liam had another 2 more quills removed Friday. So I am on puppy watch making sure he doesn't take them out so I am home all day with a baby and two dogs. No pool, no beach no errands. Its frustrating. I do feel like I need to add that beach, pool or anything in the summer is great but with a baby, its not super relaxing but good for her to get out and about.

So, I am up in the air as to what is next. I don't want to leave my baby but in reality I have been so fortunate to be with her this long. I would be ok with leaving her here and there if I felt like she would adjust well but I know her personality and its going to be a big adjustment for her.

So the babysitter started tomorrow, we shal see how it goes...I think its going to go well.