Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nanny Issues-Finding a Good Fit

Without going into all the details, we've recently had a change in nanny's for Henry.  The past few weeks have been incredibly stressful as we interviewed, hired and transitioned from our old nanny to the new one.  We've had lots of questions as to why (after only 2 months), we were searching for someone new to watch H and I think it all boils down to the first nanny wasn't a good fit.  Honestly, when we interviewed the first time around, we found someone we really, really liked.  We made her an offer but she was also interviewing with another family and choose to work for them instead.  So feeling rushed to get someone before I went back to work, we hired our second choice.  We called references, ran a background check, did a monthly review-all the "right" things to do.  Things were fine for a while and then they weren't.  I felt like I was constantly having to deal with things not being done as we asked and C was starting to dread my phone calls during the work day as they usually had some sort of nanny related issue.  Our parents have listened to me worry over our nanny situation for some time...sorry guys!  It wasn't anything one thing and honestly, the feeling was mutual (and she even brought it up!) so we parted ways last week and thankfully, she stayed until we found someone new.  It's been a new experience for us to have a household employee and learn how to set expectations that were clear (yet trying to be flexible and understanding as she was taking care of our most precious thing, Henry, in our home.  Um, I didn't want to totally peeve her as she could steal our baby and rob us blind).  

So now that we've got 4 days under our belt with our new nanny, I can say that things are SO much better already!  The energy in our home is better and I think it's a much better fit.  The new nanny came prepared with crafts (Yes, crafts for a 5.5 month old.  The fridge is covered with baby paintings already) and has all sorts of daily developmental activities they do together.  As we can only learn from our past, I've been thinking about our last experience and this is what I've learned:

1. Trust my instinct.  We know what's best for our family and need to make sure that comes first.
2.  It has to be a good fit and if it's not (see #1) cut our losses and move on.  I spent a lot of time and energy trying to make our last relationship work and bottom line was it didn't.  Next time, I'll call it sooner and take steps to move on.
3. Don't be afraid to speak up about instructions and expectations up front.  I've created a "House Rules" list that we now use for everyone that watches H.  At the end of the day, Henry (and the dogs and our home) our OUR responsibility and we, as parents, should fully be able to expect our rules and guidelines to be followed.

I'm sure this is just the first of many challenges of being a working mom :).  To those of you who have great help, be thankful and show appreciation!

If you have child-care, what are some things that work for your family?  Any "House Rules" we should add to the list?  


Thursday, July 4, 2013

5 Months old!

How time flies-our little guy is 5 months old!  He is growing and changing more every day!  Some of his recent developments are pinching (fine motor skills), talking/having conversations with us/shrieking (verbalizing), pulling toys and his pacifier toward him/putting them in his mouth and touching faces-he LOVES faces.  He likes to go on walks in the stroller and he enjoys watching Max and Lila romp around.  He doesn't like getting dressed or waiting to eat.  When he's hungry, he wants to eat NOW :)

A few weeks ago, Henry had his first chiropractic appointment!  The chiropractor also specializes in NAET testing and we learned that Henry was deficient in fatty acids (no surprise there since his weight gain has been slow).  I'm now taking supplements and changing my diet a bit to increase the amount of fatty acids in my breast milk.  One of my nursing mom's group friends suggested reading Mother Food and it has been very helpful.  I'm (very slowly) starting to introduce diary and a few other foods back into my diet and it doesn't seem to be affecting Henry.  I will be very interested to see where he is at his 6 month well-check in August!

Henry has also had a couple more PT sessions with his PT Cathy.  We are working on sitting and pushing up on his hands and knees!  Crawling will be here before we know it, Chris and I are already talking about baby-proofing the house :)       

Henry's bedtime is around 7pm and he still gets up a couple times each night to eat.  At night he sleeps about 6-7 hours before his first wake up and then every three or so hours after that.  During the day he takes several naps still and usually we get a nice 2 hour nap and then 2-3 shorter ones.  For the most part, Henry self-soothes to sleep but we do occasionally need to rock him.  

Some recent adventures include going to a family reunion where Henry got to meet his newest baby cousin, Catherine.  He also spent the day at Grandma's house with his cousin Luke.  Last Sunday, I took him to the grocery store in the Baby Bjorn and he really liked looking around at all the bright lights, colors and shapes.  

Here are a few photos over the past month of Henry:

Helping Mommy fold laundry (otherwise known as eating
Daddy's sock)
Chris "playing" with Henry at Grandma's house
Concentrating REALLY hard on one of his toys
Bath time!  He loves to splash and kick in the tub!
Serious boy hanging out at Oma and Opa's house
And a video showcasing his new verbalization skills: