Nanny

I hate to say this, but I think our summer ‘nanny’ is really lazy. I picked her as she impressed me at the interview. She’s a 27 year-old married 2nd grade teacher. Very easy to talk to… which I always look for. I don’t want it to be awkward with someone in your house so many hours a week. And she’s not all bad, the girls do seem to have fun with her, they are happy, but… I don’t know… She is almost always on her phone. And yes, sometimes around my girls I am too, but it’s her job. She is pretty much always late in the morning, even if only 8-10 minutes, but still, it annoys me. She does ‘teach’ them as I asked, but really only from the workbooks I provided, which I easily could have worked with them myself. For the most part they really just watch TV all day. And since the girls come to me for everything, I feel like I have to leave the house, even though I have so many projects at home I want to complete.


I’m still waiting for a few blood test results for Nadia, one being Lyme. I’m so anxious to get more details about everything this new provider wants to treat and how. For the most part Nadia is having good days. Very few epic meltdowns, she is sleeping well, in a generally good mood… but still usually refusing underwear, which is my biggest concern related to her going back to school. And the end of August will be here before we know it. Plus, she is currently home most days, if even just with the nanny. I fear for how she will be when I drop her off at preschool. Although she hasn’t seemed to care when I leave her home lately, so perhaps a plus.

I’ve done a bit more decorating, well, very little, don’t get too excited. And I’m not sure I love any of it, but for now it looks better than the random toys everywhere!

Oh, and apparently Nadia is completely over her sensory issues with her hands feeling icky, as she now loves worms! She is not my child! I don’t want those things anywhere around me. And Eric wants to take the girls fishing this weekend. I hope Nadia isn’t too attached to her worm.

And I dug out my Maker to make one item… I didn’t have permanent vinyl though, so not sure how long it will stick…

Summer Nanny

I finally hired a summer nanny! She is coming over tomorrow for me to show her around, get to know the girls better, discuss the schedule going forward, etc. I’m excited, but really anxious too. I’m always anxious about leaving the girls. She wanted full-time hours, but I don’t need full-time, being I’m home most of the time. I have a lot of projects I want to get done around the house though, so this will be good. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes!

The provider we saw in Minnesota offered a peer to peer with our MD in Creston, IA. I emailed the MD this morning to see if she had any interest… And I emailed the naturopath too. Nadia has been complaining of stomach aches lately and I can’t figure out which supplement might be the issue, as she is on so many.

I have two more blood test kits at home for Nadia. They involve pricking her finger and dropping blood onto cards we then mail back. Any suggestions on how to do that with a four year-old?? She is really good with the blood draws in the lab, but I’m not sure what she will think about us sticking her finger at home. Oh, and that reminds me, I still didn’t collect her urine to drop back off at the lab.

This afternoon I think the girls and I are going shopping for Father’s Day, which is Sunday already. Should I let them decide what we buy him?? I wonder what they will pick, LOL!

Friday of Spring Break

The week has flown by, and soon back to reality. I’m really nervous for Monday, if Nadia will wear pants and go to school, or continue on with her current flare and regression. I’m really dreading it all… Sometimes I feel like I walk around here on eggshells not wanting to set off Nadia’s mood. And I know she can’t help it, and that she is struggling far more than I… This all just sucks.

The more I read about PANS and talk to other families, the more insight I gain as to what all caused this for Nadia. Although the more I learn, the more I realize I still don’t know… We’ve been giving her the hydroxyzine every six hours and so far I seem to think Nadia is calmer on it. Although could be my imagination, as I’m not sure it can really work as fast as I’m noticing the change in her.

I should be cleaning this extremely messy house, or doing laundry… I just remembered a load is still in the washer from yesterday, probably getting stinky as I type. I haven’t given up on the coffee shop, but it’s been pushed to the back burner for now. Do I hire a nanny due to the unpredictability of Nadia going to school and forge ahead? I feel guilty. She is my first priority, but me getting back to work and into something for me feels important too. I know I’m lucky, I don’t have to work. What if I did? I can’t really send Nadia to a daycare without pants or underwear… Plus I’m worried about what Nadia isn’t learning in preschool that other kids her age are. How will she catch up? Should this be a worry of mine? My worries feel too great…

(OMG, as I’m typing, Kona just took the remains of our breakfast food off the table…)

Okay, off to restart the washing machine and load the dishwasher for the 17th time this week. Hopefully it’s warmer this afternoon so we can get outside!

Hire Help?

My COVID test was negative. Thank God! 

The girls still have stuffy noses, and… they both have dentist appointments tomorrow which we booked months and months ago. I guess they will go back to school on Monday and we’ll consider this week a wash.

Last night sucked. So bad I feel like maybe hiring help would help. Although I guess we wouldn’t have help overnight, but anything would be better than life now… Here’s how last night went…

  • 8 pm – Both the girls went to sleep
  • 1:13 am – Nora woke crying for me. Why? Who the hell knows. I was tried so of course crawled into bed with her, even though I know I shouldn’t.
  • 2:11 am – Nadia woke crying, which obviously woke Nora too. Nora and I went into Nadia’s room… which led to Nadia wanting to pee and having a meltdown because ‘she felt wet.’ During the meltdown I took Nadia out of her own room, where Nora was still in bed, and Nora eventually fell asleep there.
  • 3:37 am – Nadia and I were still awake and she wanted to pee again, so I took her into Nora’s room and bathroom. Another meltdown over feeling wet.
  • 5:22 am – Finally got Nadia to calm down and sleep with me, in Nora’s bed.
  • 6:07 am – Nora woke in Nadia’s bed and was freaked out, so came into her own room to find Nadia and I, which woke us up for the day.

I need more sleep. We all do. We weren’t sleeping great before school started, and obviously now with Nadia’s numerous daily meltdowns things are much worse. I can’t really depend on Eric, as he gets so little sleep as it is, plus he was on-call last night and awake several times on the phone with the hospital. I often feel like I physically need another body here, another set of hands to take one child while I deal with the other… I know, sounds awful that I can’t calm two kids at once, but the truth is, Nadia overwhelms me and often takes all my attention. Does hiring help sound ridiculous? No clue how much time I would need them here, but often Nadia is melting down just when I need to take Nora to school… I would feel a lot more comfortable and calm knowing someone was here to help.

Babysitters

Is it bad I’m stalking Facebook for girls that work at our daycare… hoping maybe one or a few of them would want to watch our girls from time to time? I feel like since they already know Nora and Nadia, plus Nadia is awful with me ever leaving her, even with Eric lately. I friended one so far and also sent her a message. I just feel like we need someone to call on when Eric and I want to go out at night, God forbid we ever actually do that! Like last night, some friends went out for dinner, and we totally could have gone and taken the girls, but they weren’t eating until 7pm or later, and honestly that’s just too late for the girls by the time we get them home and in bed. They are SUPER moody if they don’t get enough sleep.

Speaking of sleep, Nadia actually slept in her bed, all night last night, alone! She didn’t wake and cry for me once! I won’t count on this happening again tonight, but one night every now and again is nice. We’ve actually been thinking of converting both of the girls toddler beds into the full-size beds that their cribs convert into. Problem is, I have no idea where the kits are since we moved. And if you saw our storage room you wouldn’t even want to start the search!

Thanksgiving Prep

Time is limited… the girls are currently destroying the kitchen area with PlayDoh.

Eric has this week off, but in true medical-field fashion, schedules never seem defined. Today was the only day I had something planned, MOPs, and of course, today was the day he had a surgery scheduled. He left this morning before the girls and I were awake, and it’s a long case, so I assume he won’t be home until we’re all in bed tonight. I’m home with the girls attempting to prep for Thanksgiving. I have it pretty easy this year, just making a few snacks to take to my mom’s house Thursday. Thank goodness I don’t have to clean this disaster area for guests! I decided on traditional Chex mix, as I know the girls will eat that, a pretty simple cheese ball I’ve made in the past and liked, and maple bacon crack, which I’ve never made before but looks easy and tasty. I placed an online order for groceries for pick up tomorrow morning. They better have everything I need!

Tomorrow morning we have another daycare visit, although I don’t think they have any immediate openings, like every other place in town. We looked at another daycare last week, they could get Nadia in January 2nd, but who knows on Nora, and then yesterday we saw a Montessori school which I was very impressed with, but we couldn’t enroll there until next August when the new school year begins. We’re seeing another Montessori school next week, although Eric will be working so won’t be able to evaluate that one with me.

I’m still at a complete loss as to my thoughts of being kicked out of a daycare the day after a teacher’s child bites my child… I met with a lawyer yesterday but for the time being I’ll keep those details private. I do plan to contact DHS but with this being Thanksgiving week and having the girls with me 24/7 with not a lot of help from Eric, I’m feeling too overwhelmed to contact DHS just yet. In time.

Personally I feel like a failure as a mom… I mean, I got us kicked out of a daycare, basically for having too many concerns. Yes, I’m possibly an overprotective mom who loves her girls more than anything in the world, but when does that mean a daycare doesn’t want you? Personal opinion, the director has very little business and legal sense, which makes me weary of her capacity to act as a daycare director. That said, she believes my thoughts and opinions are slander, so I guess I’ll stop here. It’s so hard though. There is so much I want to say, but I feel so censored… This I know,

Everything I’ve ever started regarding our now former daycare was true or that of my opinion based on events which took place at the center. Every thought and statement was always and only out of concern for my children.

My blog and one particular Facebook parenting group were my two outlets regarding my children… asking questions, gathering advice, learning from other moms… I don’t see how that could be considered slander… Yes, I talked about the bites, even showed pictures, but it was all true. And without those outlets, where do I go? I guess I limit my conversations to just close friends who I trust.

Aside from visiting daycare centers we’re also entertaining the idea of hiring a nanny, but I have concerns…

  • Our accountant would need to be involved due to having a household employee, so costs and time involved. I could manage all that, withholding taxes and such, I’m qualified, but honestly, I don’t want to make the time. I’d rather pay someone else to do it.
  • Having a nanny in our home limits how comfortable I’d feel here. Some days I liked staying home and doing laundry without the girls here. With a nanny here, I still fear they would cling to me.
  • How much socialization would the girls get at home with a sitter/nanny? I really liked them being in a classroom setting with other children their age.
  • How much can I expect a nanny to teach them? Again, I liked they were learning, I liked that sports was included, and dance, and supposedly Spanish, although I’m not sure that was actually being taught.

Perhaps I need to look at hiring a nanny as temporary until we find a better center with openings. But who would want to work for us knowing we won’t need them once we find enrollment elsewhere? Ugh, even thinking of all this mess makes me sad and angry all over again…

Oh, and I just remembered I need to get working on my MOMS Club stuff… way behind on all that!

A party, cardiology, gestational carriers, and open houses

Our weekend was full! Saturday my mom watched the girls while Eric and I traveled back to Iowa City for an overnight. One of his partners hosted a party at his home Saturday evening. It was fun, nice to get away for a night! The party was primarily physicians, which always makes me feel a little out-of-place. Most of the couples are both physicians, most both surgeons. And yes, I know I had a great career before I quit to raise the girls, but no one else knows that… I have little to talk about when all of them are going on and on about their busy, prospering careers. Education is everything to these people, and while I do have an MBA, I think sometimes to them a masters is like a high school diploma.

Sunday we slept in, well, sort of, since I was awake most of the night listening to Eric snore… Something has to give with him disrupting my sleep! After brunch at his partner’s home we stopped at Costco to pick up a few household necessities and then toured two open houses in Cedar Rapids. I liked them both, but was certainly more drawn to the home on Wexford Way. Either are huge steps up from anything currently available in Cedar Falls. In fact, I’d move into either of these tomorrow if I could! Eric liked the one on Diamondback Road better, but mostly because it’s an easier, quicker drive to the hospital, as it’s closer to the interstate. Being so though means it’s also not as nicely situated in an established neighborhood, which is on my list if must-haves in a home.

Diamondback Road

Wexford Way

Obviously looking at these houses both excites and terrifies me. I’m so unhappy in Cedar Falls and have been since we moved here over two years ago now, but moving again, and being alone a lot more with the girls with Eric commuting feels a bit overwhelming. There is obviously no perfect solution, short of Eric working in a city that offers more for me and the girls. But since he loves his partners and the practice they have built, I don’t see him wanting to move anytime soon. I wish I knew the answer to all this…

This week Eric is on vacation again, part of his every third week off. He took Nadia to her cardiology appointment in Iowa City today so I could stay home and review everything with the new/old nanny who started today.

Nadia’s appointment went well, we can finally stop her heart medication and see how she does. And follow-up not for a few months! Closer to crossing another specialty group off our list!

The new/old sitter is a girl who watched Nora two years ago when we first moved here. I actually didn’t realize she was still in town, as she is now working on her masters in speech pathology. How perfect given Nadia’s issues. I think she’ll be good. And who knows how long we’ll even have her if we’re getting more serious about moving. But you know how I like to make plans and then not follow through.

Speaking of plans… Eric and I have been talking more and more about our frozen embryo. I think we’re both of the opinion that if we’re having a third child, we need to do it sooner rather than later. We’d prefer to have all the mess of littles now, and be done with diapers. I also know Eric really wants to travel more, and that’s so difficult with little ones. One of the physicians at the party is a reproductive endocrinologist in Davenport, her husband a Urologist there. I spoke to her quite a bit at the party about the process of using a gestational carrier. She made it sound so easy, but I know it isn’t. I guess I just need to seek out an agency to help us, or somehow find someone I know who would allow me to use their uterus for a bit! My other option is going back to my high risk OB at the University and discussing whether me carrying our embryo is an option. So much fear and risk. We’ll see, more on this topic to come.

She has been fired

I sent the sub-par nanny an email earlier today explaining that I just didn’t think she was the right fit for our family. I was vague, on purpose. I’m honestly feeling so much better now that I’ve made that decision. But… why does one decision always lead to more issues??

  • I’ll have no way of knowing if and when she reads the email… OMG, what if she doesn’t read it before Monday at 9am when she is supposed to be here next to watch the girls?? Awkward! Should I text her tomorrow and ask if she read my email? I know, I probably should call… but I hate confrontation.
  • I found six girls I want to interview. I have three set up for tomorrow and two for Monday and I’m still waiting to hear back from the last one. On paper they all look great, but the current one did too. Looking back though, the interview with the current one was uncomfortable, the conversation didn’t flow. Maybe that should have been a clue to me. Since all look good on paper I’m tempted to pick whichever one I click with this time… Bad idea?
  • I’ve already started a written list of expectations. Well, not just expectations, although it does include those, but also things to know… It’s very much a work in progress, but here is what I have so far under Diapers/Wipes/Potty Training. Too much detail? Does it make me sound like a crazy mom?
    • Nora would go all day and never request a wet diaper change, whereas Nadia will sometimes cry if she is the tiniest bit wet.
    • We change every few hours, before and after naps, first thing in the morning, right before bed, and when it’s obviously poopy.
    • Nora will normally tell you immediately after she poops.
    • Nadia makes an interesting grunting noise when she’s pooping. You’ll know! If she is sitting when this grunting begins, I highly recommend you lay her down or provide her some tummy time on the floor.
    • Nora is currently in size 4 diapers, Nadia is in size 3. Extra diapers and wipes are all kept in Nora’s closet.
    • We have attempted potty training with Nora, but at this point we’re not pushing it. We ask her from time to time if she wants to sit on the potty, if she does great, if she doesn’t want to it’s okay. If she does attempt the potty, there are usually a few pull-ups in the bathroom to put on after, or you can use a diaper, either is fine.
    • You can change the girls wherever, we normally change Nora on her bedroom floor. On Nadia’s changing table there is contraption to keep her hands out of her diapers. Remind me to show you how to use it if you can’t figure it out. I highly recommend you use it, for your own sake.
  • All of this seems like a huge waste of time when I’ve been looking at houses online in Cedar Rapids and have decided I really do want to move back there… In fact, if I wasn’t interviewing these girls tomorrow we probably would have gone to some open houses.

Fire the nanny?

I’m so confused… I think I want someone to tell me it’s okay to fire a nanny after one week, even if I don’t have a true list of reasons why she’s terrible. I just don’t feel like she’s right. There are things she has done that I don’t really like, but none of them put our children in danger. I think ultimately she is a baby-sitter, someone who comes while I’m away, or even while I’m here, keeps an eye on the girls, feeds them, but isn’t overly interactive with them. I know she watches TV while she’s here, but I watch TV when I’m home with the girls too… She certainly doesn’t take as much initiative as I’d like, which I suppose could be spelled out to her. She doesn’t even strike me as someone who loves kids… in fact, I’m wondering why she took this job. The money maybe, as I’m paying her $14 an hour. And so far it’s only been one child a day, as we’ve had appointments with one or the other most days. She has three 5-star reviews on care.com, but who knows if she asked those people to write them for her… Her personality is rather dull, and I get you probably shouldn’t fire someone for that, but I can’t help feeling uncomfortable around her. She is polite, has been on-time, but I’m just not sure that’s enough for me. Maybe my standards are too high…

I’m really leaning toward getting rid of her. But how? Ugh, I hate confrontation. I don’t want to tell her to leave Monday morning when she gets here. Am I supposed to give her notice? Pay her for next week but tell her not to come? Email her? I don’t feel like I have good reasons, can I just say I don’t think she’s a good fit? Having her as our nanny is stressing me out, so that alone tells me it’s not right. But the thought of interviewing again and starting all over with someone new overwhelms me too. Maybe lesson learned, I need to lay out my expectations. Maybe I’ll start typing up some stuff to make sure the new person reads and understands before they take the position.

Another boring Friday…

Either I’ve hit a new low, or I came across a great idea. I’m not sure which it is, but this morning the girls and I ventured to my favorite place, Target, with a Starbucks. I put them both in my double stroller (best purchase ever, btw) and away we went. My plan was for Nadia to nap, which she eventually did, and Nora to wear herself out. We ran into Target first for Starbucks, I got my usual, a venti iced white chocolate mocha, no whip, and I ordered the strawberries and creme frapp for Nora. Yes, my drink ruined my diet, and Nora refused to drink hers, so I drank both. Major fail. Oh well, it’s Friday! With drinks in hand we wandered through Michaels. I’m not sure what it is about that place that both overwhelms me and sparks my creativity… No purchases there today, but I still like looking.

On to Target we went with no real purpose there either other than to get out of the house. Yes, this is what my life has become. Other SAHM feel this way too, right?? Our big purchase of the day was a new doctor’s kit for Nora. She wore out an old one we bought her over a year ago, so I figured it was time to replace it. Here are a few pictures of her at Target and at home with her new toy. And yes, she was 29 months on the 16th of August.

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My plan of wearing out the girls worked I guess, as both are sleeping right now. Yes, both at the same time!!!

In the other news, our realtor called this morning to say the sellers of the house in Hudson are now willing to accept our offer. Click here to read about that if you don’t remember… We made that offer at the very beginning of July, so I basically told our realtor, too little, too late. The more I think about it, the more I don’t want to live here anyway, so probably worked out for the best. The next weekend Eric has off I think we need to go look at some houses in Cedar Rapids and try to decide if moving back there is really something that could work for us.

The baptism is Sunday. God help me. Eric’s mom is coming. I think we have 20-25 people total joining us for the celebration, and thank goodness we are eating out, as I’m in no mood to clean the house or prepare food. I’ll update after Sunday with pictures and hopefully only good stories from the day. Pray for me.

New nanny starts Monday. Lots of mixed feelings. I interviewed two girls, both are very qualified, and both acted very well with the girls. Remember how I couldn’t connect with the last girl we had? Well, that’s my fear with this new girl too. She’s very sweet, and maybe was a little quiet when she was here, but that hopefully is just because she is unfamiliar with us. I guess I’ll know more next week when she starts. She’s just part-time, but my plan is to really figure out the next step for me, whether I’ll need time to move, or perhaps checking back into opening an upscale daycare/preschool. Preferably in that order, as I’d rather not get stuck in Cedar Falls with a business I own.

The last thing I’ll mention today (I could probably write about different topics all day) is a third child… I know, deep topic, right? Something tells me I want a third, and not just because we have a frozen embryo. I mean, even if the embryo didn’t lead to a live birth, I’d still want to pursue other avenues. Having that third child feels so impossible though. I mean, going through another embryo transfer… probably another NICU stay. Or finding a gestational carrier… All the choices seem overwhelming. But Nadia is almost one, and I’d kind of like all my kids close in age, since I’m not getting any younger! Ugh, so much to think about! Definitely more on this topic to come.