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So we’ve decided to move Zoey to private, in home daycare.  I still have good things to say about The Goddard School and their infant room but once she transitioned into the Toddler room, it became obvious that the ridged structure of a daycare center setting was not for her (or us).  First, she was required to give up having a bottle during the day.  I’m all for slowly transitioning her off the bottle and to the sippy cup but it was literally, when she was 11 months and 28 days she could have a bottle and now that she’s 12 months and 3 days, no bottle.  Babies don’t work like that. 

Second, she was reduced from napping whenever she wanted (usually a nap in the morning and one in the afternoon) to only 1 nap, from 12-2pm.  That wasn’t working for her.  She would get home at 5pm and be a freaking mess.  Frustrated and crying and tired…not good.  I think she should drop that second nap when she wants to, not because she’s moved up to another room.  Third, I feel like the teachers in the infant room, because they were new, checked out on my kid about 2 weeks before she moved to the new room.  She split crib time with a little boy who was taking over her spot, she split her cubby with him and split her bin in the fridge with him.   One day, I came in and couldn’t find a single item of clothing that she came to school in.  I’m serious.  Apparently she’d been zealously enjoying her lunch and had to be changed into a new outfit.  That’s fine.  That’s why I have an extra outfit packed.  But the pants, shirt, sweater and shoes she’d worn to school that day where not in her cubby or her bag.  And her blanket was gone.  Twenty minutes later, I’d tracked down her sweater (on top of bank of cubbies), her pants (in Lila’s cubby) and one shoe (in Alex’s cubby).  I finally said – nicely – I might add, “I can’t do this any longer because I need to get home and let my dogs out…”  The teacher took offense that I dared want all of her things in one place.  It took them 2 days to locate all of her things. 

Fourth, I didn’t like how the school handled the firing of Zoey’s infant room teacher.  One day Mrs. G was there, the next, it was someone else….I don’t know this person, why am I handing off Z to someone I don’t know with no explanation.  You don’t OWE me an explanation, I get that you are running a business but that business is the care of my child.  At least give me a head’s up about this change (and apparently, to be fair, there was an email sent at the end of the day but they had already moved my email to the Toddler room list so I didn’t get it).  Lastly, money.  The new daycare is less expensive, in a smaller setting with more individualized care by a woman who has a Masters in Early Childhood Development.

But can I tell you how freaking terrifying it is to switch to a new daycare?   All these questions like: am I doing the right thing?  Should she stay where she’s been for the last 5 months?  What about consistency?  Will she be safe?

I’m going to be a dang wreck again on Friday when she goes for her first day at the new place but I do feel like we’ve made the right decision.


Dear Zoey:

I decided that I would write you a letter on your birthday every year until you tell me you don’t want them anymore.  The advantage this year is that you can’t talk and tell me that you don’t want one….I figure I’ve got at least a few years of letters to write.

I watched you sleeping this morning.  I brushed the long dark hair from your eyes and stroked your cheek.  You have such soft, beautiful skin – such a beautiful face.  You were snuggled up next to me, curled up in the space between me and your Daddy – close to my heart – forever where you belong.

I think back on this day a year ago.  I got up and got ready to go to the hospital, finished (over)packing my bag and struggled to tie my shoes – your Daddy had to help me – my belly was big and round.  I slowly, with his help, walk through the snow to the car and settled in for the hour ride to Chapel Hill.  I was nervous and excited and anxious that everything would be alright.  At 9;51am, there you were.  So beautiful, so pink, so sweet.

Over the past 12 months, you developed from the quiet, sweet baby I brought home to a fun, sometimes willful, chatty little social butterfly.  You are almost walking – you taken steps without holding on but prefer to hold Mama or Daddy’s hands as you cruise around the house.  You’ve said “Mama,” “Dada,” “Dogh,” and “Baba.”  You crawl around like crazy and are a speed demon with the walker.  Your favorite foods are sweet potatoes and peaches and macaroni and cheese.  You are such a good eater.  You love people as long as your Mama is nearby.  You can’t wait to walk/run.  You love books and your favorite seems to be “Count My Kisses Little One.”

You were a giraffe for Halloween – the sweetest little giraffe that I’ve ever seen.  You helped me make Christmas cookies and devoured your first one, giving me the sign for “more” over and over again.  You took your first plane ride and trip to California in August.  You were a dream on the plane.  You are always such a great baby.  Christmas was so much fun.  You tore open presents and then ignored them, heading to the next wrapped box like a baby godzilla with a grudge.  Your favorite presents seemed to be the blocks from Aunt Amy and the Abby Cadabby doll from Aunt Angeline.

I can’t wait to see what next year brings.  This year has flown by and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy you.  Like this morning – just watch you sleep.

I love you Zoey.  You are the best thing I’ve ever done.  At some point in your life, that statement will embarrass you.  Too bad.  It’s true.

Just remember, I will always be….

Your Mommy.

First Birthday Party

I remember what it was like to hate this time of year.  From Halloween to New Years, I was angry and sad and tired.  Facebook is rough for the “fertility-challenged.” 

Now that I have Zoey, I am guilty of posting every single minute of her wonderfulness (if you are Facebook friends with me, you know this is no exaggeration).  Part of this is because I have several friends and famly members who cannot, for the life of them, download a picture or video.  If it’s not done for them, they are confused…there are phone calls that make me want to pull my hair out (“the screen has a funny icon on it…”  sigh….)  Facebook is an easy medium to share pics.

That being said, I’m sorry that this causes pain.  I know what that is like.  I’ve tried to be more sensitive to this and will do better.

I’m still a lostbabymama too…

I’m participating in Once A Mother‘s Friday Rainbow Baby Blog Rodeo, a place to celebrate the amazing children who have come into our lives after loss, and to strengthen our bond as a community of Rainbow parents.

Every Friday (that I remember it’s Friday and get here to post in time 🙂 )we can gather here to share our little ones’ triumphs, brag like the proud parents that we are, and yes … even own up to our epic fails in parenting (all in good fun of course).

Zoey is just amazing to me…she’s giggly and so incredibly mischievious…she loves to share her snacks with me, “Da-da” and the “Dohgs” (our two dogs who are ecstatic to have discovered that she’s got treats).  Her little personality is so fun to see as it changes almost daily.  She gets soooo frustrated that she’s not more mobile yet.  She scoots and pulls up but on her own, she’s not crawling forward or walking yet.  She’s so close though, you can just see it.  Put in her the walker?  Oh she’s a holy terror.  You can heard her coming down the hall…stomp, stomp, stomp…squeallllllllllll as she chases after the dogs….

I teared up last night as I realized that she will be a year old in less than 2 months.  That’s right.  The bay-bee that I never though would be is going to be a year old.   I’m so incredibly grateful everyday for her. 

I’m planning a first birthday party.  Me.  I’m her Mommy.  And I’m so damn lucky.

Zoey on a Fall day sporting her pink cape...she's my super baby!