It's Mommy Time

One Mommy, Two Daughters, Zero Time

Friday, December 22, 2006

As a mother, I sometimes come to a point during the day when I feel an overwhelming compulsion to sleep. You know, just take a little nap. Usually, at about the same time, I realize that I am absolutely famished, and dying of thirst. Oh, and I also probably have to pee. Faced with the question of which biological necessity to take care of first, I'm often incredibly frustrated for a few minutes. Then, I realize that I can't take care of any of them because Hailey needs to be fed, burped, held, changed, or cuddled. It's not as difficult as I thought to postpone my own needs to take care of her. It's just those few moments when all of my needs are

Jeans, Jeans, Jeans

There are certain articles in every woman's wardrobe that are truly sacred - a comfortable bra, a pair of sexy underwear, a beat up college t-shirt, and a spectacularly perfect-fitting pair of jeans. Before I got pregnant, I had two pairs of perfect jeans. Of course, I paid what I would consider an ungodly amount for them. There aren't many articles of clothing that I will splurge on, but I wear jeans day after day for years and years. So, as far as I'm concerned, they're worth a pretty penny and then some.

It wasn't long after I got pregnant that I packed up my perfect jeans along with all of the other clothes that I had been wearing and put them in a box labeled "Alisa's skinny clothes." About a week after I had Hailey, I ventured into the attic to pull out that box. After all, I was skinny again, right? Wrong. It's taken me almost 5 months, but yesterday I finally squeezed myself into one of my perfect pair of jeans (the other pair are a bit smaller!). I wore them to the hockey game last night (where the Sabres clobbered the Predators). I waited all day at work to put those jeans on, and it was great! I'll be wearing them at least for the next three days. Of course, I can't wash them until I lose another pound or so because if they shrink at all, I'll be back to my maternity clothes.

In other news, Hailey made it on the jumbotron at the hockey game last night. She was wearing her Predators outfit with her Buffalo Sabres bib. She has mixed allegiances. What can you do?? She loves to go to the games and stare at the white ice. So, it was a fun time for everyone except the diehard Predator's fans, since the Sabres beat them 7-1. Yikes!

Monday, December 18, 2006

National Blog Recognition

A few months ago, I purchased a book about work and family called Mommy Wars. It's a great book that I highly recommend to any parent because it clearly shows that there are no easy answers when it comes to work and family. Anyway, the woman who edited the book, Leslie Morgan Steiner, has a blog about the subject on the Washington Post website. On Tuesdays, she has guest bloggers. Anyone can write in. So, tomorrow, I will be the guest blogger. Here's the link to the site so please check it out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lessons in Fatherhood - Part 1


On Saturday, Hailey had the privilege of attending her first wedding ceremony and reception. She was dressed in her finest attire - a beautiful pink floral dress, white tights, and a coat. Luke's boss had given her the outfit, and this was the perfect event to show it off. She looked adorable (as you might imagine). Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures to commemorate the event because we were too busy just trying to get ourselves there on time. We figured that we would take the pictures after the wedding...HA!

Just as the bride and groom were beginning their first dance, Hailey had an explosion - a major explosion. Luckily (for Mommy that is), she was sitting on Daddy's lap. His leg was covered in yuck in a matter of seconds. It was a great example of Mommy/Daddy teamwork. Mommy held poopie baby while Daddy wiped poopie off of his pant leg. I have to say, those Dockers pants are amazing. I know I sound like a Dockers commercial, but a few wipes with a napkin and you couldn't tell at all. It was amazing! Of course, Hailey didn't fair so well. Being the ultra-prepared Mommy that I am, I had brought an extra outfit
, and we made a quick change in the bathroom. The dress survived the ordeal after a good bit of scrubbing and two types of stain remover. The adventures in poopiedom never cease.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Lessons in Motherhood - Part 3

It's been a while since Hailey has given me a good lesson in motherhood, but she's clearly been holding out for this whopper...


Since her birth four months ago, I've given Hailey many baths in her sinktop bath tub, and we never had an incident. Ok, maybe a bit of peepee now and then, but that never hurt anyone. Just this week I started putting her in the big bathtub with me. It gives her more room to kick and splash, and it's easier on my back if I'm in there with her. See where this is going??? Last night, I waited until after she had eaten and pooped to get in the bath with her. It was "perfect timing." Until about 5 minutes into it, I hear a terrible noise. I look down and pray that it was just a bit of gas, but it wasn't. So, now I'm covered in poop, she's covered in poop, and there's poop floating (and sinking) in the water. After some screaming (me, not her), Daddy came to the rescue. The worst part about it was that I used all the hot water filling the tub twice and cleaning it in between. That meant cold shower for Mommy afterward. When did bathing become so complicated???

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Daycare Decision

I visited three more daycares in the Franklin area yesterday, and I realized that all of the daycares are just about the same with only one differentiator - the people! All of the daycares separate the children into like ages, have age appropriate toys, change their diapers every hour or so, and send home daily forms with their activities. It's pretty routinized. So, what made me like one place over another was the quality and quantity of interaction that the children were having with the adults in the room, and I didn't really like what I saw anywhere. Basically, in an infant room, there are up to eight infants and two adults. That means that six of the eight infants are sitting somewhere, usually in a swing, exersaucer, crib, or bumbo by themselves while the other two infants are being fed, changed, etc. There aren't really a lot of group activities - singing, reading stories, and the like.

That's why I've decided to go with the in-home daycare that I visited near my office. It was the only place that felt comfortable and natural. Sure, it doesn't have all of the routinized, sanitized feeling as the other places, but that's why I like it. You see, Hailey is a very social child. She loves interacting with adults and especially with other children. She likes flirting with the little boys when Katie, our current sitter, takes her to her Mom's group. She just enjoys activity, noise, and even a little commotion. It's probably a combination of her age and her personality. Everything is fascinating to her right now. That's why I don't think that she is going to respond well to a typical daycare setting where the only interaction is with two adults and a few other little babies her age. At the in-home daycare, she can watch all of the older kids and participate in story time and the singing and other activities. She's going to love to watch them do things that she's not ready for yet, and she's going to learn. In the end, I'm looking for someplace that can keep her more than just "safe" for 8 hours a day. I'm looking for a place where she can be stimulated and learn. I'm hoping that's what this daycare can do for her. Plus, I'll be able to visit her every day at lunch to give her a little extra Mommy snuggle time.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Daycare Dilemma

In January, Hailey will have to start going to daycare 5 days a week. Right now, she stays with a friend of ours 3 days a week and gets to play with an 8 month old. Then, two days a week she stays with me while I work from home. It's been absolutely ideal, but she's getting more mobile now, and it's too difficult to juggle her and work. So, let the search for daycare commence.

First, let me just say that I am not a daycare prude. I am 100% open to the idea of putting Hailey into daycare. I think that it's good for her to interact with other children even at a young age. However, I'm not finding any daycares that I like, and what's worse, I'm not even sure I know what I'm looking for.

So far, I've visited three possibilities. All that have openings in January. The first one was a more "institutional" approach with children of like ages separated into rooms with a childcare monitor. I say monitor because I didn't see a whole lot of interaction, particularly with the infants. The second one was a slightly more open layout with kids of like ages separated into sections of one giant room. There was a little more interaction with the caregiver, but it didn't feel very warm, and basically spiraled into contained chaos when the older kids were having free play. The third option is in the lower level of a private home. There are a total of 12 kids, 3-4 infants and a bunch of other kids of various ages. There are only 2 childcare workers (one is the owner), but they are very warm and interactive with the children. The infants were carried and spoken to and played with. It seemed friendlier than either of the other two, but
has some obvious drawbacks.

The other issue is do I find a place closer to work, which is much more difficult to find, but would allow me to visit her and even nurse at lunch? Or, do I find a place near home so that Luke can be involved in bringing her to/from the center? I think that I've almost exhausted my options near work, but tomorrow I'm going to visit 2-3 near home. Of the three that I've visited so far, I think that I like the in-home care the best. Any thoughts?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thinking of Daddy

My husband, Luke, is a great father. There was never really any doubt that he would be. He's always had a proclivity for interacting with children - a skill that I used to mistake for immaturity but now appreciate as pure genius. He's also a great husband for many reasons, not the least of which is the well-oiled system that we've devised.

The other day, I came home from another exhausting commute back from work. A ride that should be about 20 minutes had taken 50 minutes because of a simple fender bender. I walked into the house frustrated, tired, and cranky to find my husband sitting on the couch reading our four-month-old daughter a story and waiting for a pot of water to boil for dinner. A miracle you say? No, a system.

When I went back to work, we devised a very clear system of responsibilities. My husband works from home, has no commute, and obviously can't breastfeed. So, three days a week he takes care of the baby in the morning, drives her to the sitter, gets her back from the sitter at 5:00 and starts dinner before I get home. Two days a week, I work from home and take over the childcare and dinner on those nights. Weekend dinners are a free for all. It's not always a perfect system. We both have moments of laziness, but the system works for us and leaves little room for resentment or confusion.

Luke is a great father and a great husband. I think that our relationship is stronger both because I work and because we've devised a way to share the responsibilities. We stay more connected to our child, our house, and each other.