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Time for a New Plan

First, I wanted to thank everyone for being so sympathetic about my loss of smell. I'm happy to say that it's returning, but unhappy to report that I think my house is pretty stinky. I never thought the loss of that particular sense would be that bad, but it really, truly is. I'm amazing at how much I was affected. And I won't be using the Zicam nasal swabs anymore. I'm not even sure I'll be using the swallowable tablets.

As I'm sure I've said before, my mom has been watching my daughter and my sister's daughter during the days, with a babysitter/nanny who comes over in the afternoons to watch them while my mom gives violin lessons (which has been her job since I was little). This has been a really great set up for many reasons, including the fact that my mom gets to watch her own grandchildren, the babysitter is a dream, everything is very flexible and catered to my daughter and my niece (as much as possible), my daughter gets to play all day with her cousin who is a year older, and it has been pretty easy on us financially. Londo and I (as well as my sister and her husband) absolutely realize how very fortunate we've been with this situation.

But things are about to change. My mom has asked my sister and I to find a different situation. As much as she has been loving watching the girls, she started doing this over 2 years ago with my niece, and she needs a break. She does not want to give up her teaching, which she loves, is great at, and makes her pretty good money. And she also has her 93-year-old mother now living with her, and she needs care and attention too. Mostly, though, my mom needs some time to do life things that she simply can't find time for anymore, like make doctors' appointments and organize her house and normal stuff that you can't do when you watch children all morning long, work all afternoon, and take care of your mother and anything else in the evenings.

We all completely understand and simply are thankful for the fact that she has watched them for as long as she did. She also says she will watch the next babies through their first year, so the break she is asking for is also so she won't be burned out by the time more babies come. Isn't my mom a saint? She really is.

But this means that we need to figure out what to do. Londo and I definitely have a preference. We'd like the babysitter we've had at my mom's to come nanny for us full time. She is about 21 and taking some college classes, but she just told me that she plans to take night classes in the hopes of working more during the day. She was very receptive to the idea of nannying full time. But do you know how expensive nannies are in this area?!?!? Let me just say, they are expensive. Because she is young and her only experience has been with us (and my sister) the past two years, I don't think she will be expecting the highest pay of this area, but it's still going to be a substantial amount.

We are also looking into daycares, but I'm finding it difficult to find time to research, call and schedule appointments with daycares. I'm also having a harder time finding daycare options for under 2 years old, but this might be because I'm just not looking in the right places. I'm sure there are a bunch, and I just need to make time to find them and visit them. But part of that is because Londo and I are really hoping to go with the nanny option, so it's hard to look into the daycares.

Now, we have always planned to put the Pumpkin into daycare at two, so we'd only need the nanny for another year (at least, for the Pumpkin... who knows about future babies). We are hoping that we can somehow find the funds for the nanny for one year, and then daycare will be less expensive so we'll be able to transition to that more easily. We hope. We don't just hope, we have an appointment with a financial planner to help us figure out if all this is possible.

My sister has found a great pre-school where my 2-year-old niece will start in June! I'm thrilled they've found something that they really like and will be able to take her pretty soon. I think she will really thrive in daycare and can't wait to hear all about it. The Pumpkin would probably do great in daycare too, but she's been such a fussy and needy girl that I worry about daycares not being flexible enough to accommodate her needs. I'm sure she'll be fine, and if we can't afford a nanny full time, than we will find a daycare that will be great for her.

You know what's crazy? I never thought I'd be a nanny person. I always thought daycares were so great and really always planned to put my children in them. But our babysitter is so fantastic with the Pumpkin that it's hard to imagine her not continuing to watch her. But it might be the change of things that is worrying me more than anything.

On a last note, tomorrow morning I go to visit a Montessori school. They don't take children younger than 2, but if we like the place, we will put her on the waiting list. Also, I plan to ask them for recommendations for daycares that take children who are 1, figuring they probably know of some good ones.

So that's what is currently going on around here. In addition to the sicknesses and trying to furnish the house and plan get togethers and working like crazy. No, I'm not busy or stressed at all!


La folle maman said…
Good luck finding a nanny. When we were considering that route, I signed up for which seemed decent and results some good results. I think I may have talked with you about this already so I apologize for the repetition of information.

There's also another good site on how to do nanny payroll, taxes and benefits.

I think this company is actually based near here which is kinda interesting.

Anyway, again, good luck!
Shellie said…
I'd do the nanny for a year if there's any way at all. I worked part-time at home while all the kids were small and had a nanny come in part time. With the oldest, the nanny was live-in in exchange for rent. They turned over at least once a year, but I had my children at home upstairs from me, and I really scored when I got a caregiver for the twins that stayed on for 4 years. Now they're in daycare. I think it was indispensable with their personalities and special issues that they were able to stay at home and have someone fairly stable come in with them. I'm so grateful it worked out. It was not as expensive as back east but sometimes you have to scrimp while they're small. If it's too expensive, it might not be worth working, depending on your job and all the other factors to consider. Hope it all works out for the best!
paola said…
You are a busy little beaver. Good luck with everything and I'm sooo jealous about the meet up. I don't think there are too many AskMoxiers in the Milan area. Boo hoo.
We are looking into daycare right now to. It seems really hard to research/find one, sure there are lists of them... but with nothing to really recommend them....
Your set up has been really great! That is sorta what I had been hoping for.. but my mom has not been available for it :(

Good luck! and if you like the nanny/babysitter you have and she gets along well with your daughter def. try to keep using her!
Anonymous said…
I told my sister about your blog when she was having difficulty with her little pumpkin, she has a 1 month old. Shesaid you are a great writer and reading your blog has helped her with this adjustment. So thank you for making feel less worried about her. See you, the pumpkin and londo this Sunday!
Anonymous said…
Finding a daycare that works for you (and has an opening and is affordable) can be really challenging. When we moved we ended up finding daycare first and then a place to live because we were actually less picky about a home than we were about daycare.
Becoming Mommy said…
I hope you can hire your sitter. That'd be ideal since Pumpkin is already used to her.
Otherwise you may have to go thru a period like we did. Adjustment does happen, but it's rough on everyone while you wait.
ImpostorMom said…
I absolutely hate change. Can't stand it. I have found that the daycare changes really really bother me. But that's just it they bother ME and not so much Boog. Keep that in mind as your looking. The Pumpkin is gonna be fine where ever you decide to put her. Sure there may be some adjustment period but she'll be fine.

The state licensing department for childcare in my state actually has a website where you can search for childcare providers in your area. You can see their inspection records and licensing studies as well and it includes centers, preschools and in-home providers. That's where I started in my searches for childcare. Maybe your state has a similar resource.
Cloud said…
Changing childcare situations can be so stressful! I've watched several of my friends go through it, and they all progressed through the stressed out state it sounds like you are in now, to figuring out a new setup, and then back to being reasonably happy with their situation. I'm sure you and Londo will get it all sorted out soon. Good luck!
Jan said…
Have you thought of looking into somebody to share your nanny with?
Becoming Mommy said…
....and apparently now I'm looking into nannies too. And just when we thought everything was fine.
Sharina said…
I can commiserate with the daycare transitions. I had to go through it twice. The first time wasn't that bad, but the second was rough and very painful. I hope yours is much easier and that the nanny works out for you.

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