Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why Daycare Stinks

Oh, I don't mean my daycare. I mean daycare in general. The daycare Clara goes to is extremely nice- very learning focused and the teachers are wonderful. But having her go there sucks in general.

30 years ago when I was born I think women had it the best. I say this because- they had the option to work but didn't have to. Now I feel like it's the opposite of the way things were in the 50's. Back in the 50's women couldn't/didn't work- they didn't have a real choice to work. These days I don't have a choice but to work. So few women these days can really afford to be stay at home mothers. There are probably more working moms out there now than there used to be. Back in the 50s there were probably very few working moms-today there are few stay at home moms. You see where I am going with this?

That's why I say things were better 30 years ago. It was probably more evenly mixed back then. Or perhaps I romaticize it a little. I just know that my mom stayed home with me and my dad worked and he was the only one who had to work. Now in order to pay our bills, I have to work. And that isn't to say that we live beyond our means. We don't-at all. But we have an electric bill, oil bill, water bill, gas bill, mortgage, car payment, cable, food purchases, student loans and, of course, daycare (notice in there no credit card bills...can't imagine how we'd do anything if we had that kind of debt hanging over us). And although Ray makes a nice chunk of money that chunk would only pay about 1/2 of our bills and my income has to make up the other half. It's totally sucky.

So that's why I say- Daycare Stinks because if it didn't exist we probably would find other means for me to stay home but because it does, and because it doesn't even come close to being ineffective cost wise (i.e. it's still "cheaper" for me to put Clara in daycare than to give up my entire salary to stay home with her)-here we are. And it sucks.

I have this fantasy of when Clara is in elementary school. I'll be able to pick her up after school (not possible now with my 9-5) and take her home, work on her homework or watch her play. Then in the summer I'll be able to take her to the park or out to Nana and Pappy's or up to Grandma and Grandpa's without having to "request time off" to do all that stuff. But it's a fantasy and that's it. Because, it can't and never will happen.

I told Ray one of the reasons (besides the whole pain of labor thing) why I don't want to have any more children, isn't because I wouldn't LOVE to have more (providing I could get over the whole pain of labor thing-which so far, not happening) but because I cannot feel my heartbreak by putting yet another child into daycare. Having someone else watch all his/her milestones, wondering if his/her first word will not be Mama or Dada but a teacher's name. It's an awful feeling.

I try to convince myself that being at work is okay. That being here is good because 1. I get adult interaction 2. I use my brain more (ok some days that isn't true) 3. I am providing a home, clothing, food for my family. But- money is money and at the end of the day I am providing tangible things for my family but what I have to exchange for those tangible things is quality time with my baby. What do you think, at the end of the day, she will remember more? The fact that she had new clothing to wear or the fact that Mommy made her breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, picked her up from school, helped her do her homework, did art projects, took her to swim lessons...yeah that's what i thought.

And now, I must end this post before I cry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I'm absolutely convinced that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I need to get done. And now I am about to add less time to that. But first things first...

Isn't she just the cutest thing EVER? We went to church on Sunday for the first time with her. We had her in her Easter dress and bonnet because we aren't seeing Ray's family for Easter this year and we were having them over for "Easter Dinner" on Palm Sunday. So I dressed her up for them. I bought the dress from Janie and Jack two weeks ago. Normally I just browse the sale rack there but this dress was so freakin' adorable I had to get it. But the bonnet they had with the dress was too big for her and it was more like a sun hat than a bonnet. So naturally I complained to my mother. She found two adorable bonnets at dillards in Oklahoma City while she was visiting with my sister. And this one was perfect with her little dress.

While my mom was here we did some more shopping and found two more cute little dresses for her to wear. Now that she's finally in the 0-3 month sizes (more about that in a second) her clothing options have opened up a bit. I am so excited it's going into spring and there are such cute things out there for her.

Regarding the 0-3 sizes- last Monday we took Clara to the doctor for her first set of shots. She did okay- I was a mess, naturally. She cried for a good 5 minutes with real tears and everything. I never saw her get so worked up over anything. Anyway, according to Dr DeVoe (her pediatrician) she weighs 8lbs 11oz now and is 23 inches tall. The charts tell him that she is falling between the 10th and 25th percentile for weight but in the 75th for height. So naturally the doctor asks "is she still being breastfeed" and I said "yes"- I assume to look at the weight in a more realistic way if he is using a "formula chart" so he said "okay" and then he said "well it seems to me that she's putting all her calories into growing taller." I asked if he was concerned with the weight and he said "not really, babies tend to catch up eventually"- we talked a little more about her incessent hiccuping and her explosive poo diapers (for some reason every three days or so she explodes a diaper- we have no idea why) and he said it was all pretty normal (which we figured but one never knows).

In other news, I had Ray print out 30 invitations to Clara's baptism that will be taking place on May 10 (Mother's Day!) And oh the hoops people have to jump through these days to be Godparents. Who knew? Either way, the invites are going out this week along with the information to the church about the Godparents. Ray and I need to attend some kind of class before hand too. My goodness...anyway we are having a party at our house afterwards and I decided not to do a lot of cooking. The only thing I am doing is making a spiral cut ham- and even that is mostly done just the glaze needs to be put on it. So, it should be nice if we get people to come. The ceremony is taking place after Mass so, at least that's good for those who don't want to spend an hour in church. The bad thing is that we'll have at least 4 other babies being baptised along with Clara. Meh, as long as she gets baptised who cares who else is there. So we decided to have my twin sister and Ray's brother be the Godparents. I even bought a new dress for the occassion. My sister and I are supposed to go look for one for Clara this coming weekend if there is time between visiting everyone in creation with Clara in tow.

Other than that stuff. And getting back to my original comment. I've decided to go back to school. Ray and I discussed having another baby right away considering my health and age and I determined that I am content for now with Clara and that I had been thinking a lot about going back to school. I want to go into a field that I feel good about- reviewing insurance advertising (while fun and exciting :eye roll:) is not my idea of an altruistic career path. And now that I have Clara I feel like I want to help people more, not contribute to trash that's created (yes I am that evil-doer that reviews the junk mail you toss out regularly). So in the past my interests were to return to school to get my PhD in Sociology (specifically demography) but I cannot commit 7 years to a full time program and my interest in demography has waned significantly over the years. And I still need to take care of Ray, Clara, the house and more than those things I need to be working. My other areas of interest were to work in the health care industry and get out of legal all together. To that end I research some things I was interested in and decided to go back to school to become a Speech Language Pathologist.

In order to do that I could go in one of two directions a "three year" program where I would take any and all undergrad requirements along with the courses to get an M.S or I can start to take classes for a second bachelors degree and get my B.S and then apply seperately to the Master's program. I decided to do the latter since the former is a full time program that I cannot commit time to (see reasons above). I sent out my application today and requests for transcripts today also. I should know in a few months I think if I got in for the fall semester. Then I can start taking classes part time. The first classes will be algebra for applications, biology for health professionals and ASL. The math and science class are required to apply for the major, ASL I think will just help me in the field generally since the field deals with speech, language and hearing problems. Wish me luck.

So that's really all that's going on around here. More pictures after the weekend.