Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Be careful - they're watching!!

Jayla has become quite the little mimic over the past few weeks. But, I just realized on Sunday how she's watching and imitating even those things that we aren't doing for the sole purpose of her copying us (like when teaching her to blow kisses). After getting out of the pool on Sunday, Jayla and I were changing out of our swimsuits when I accidentally dropped one of my breast pads on the floor near her. I went ahead and finished putting on my bra before picking it up. In the meantime, she picked it up and proceeded to cover her little chest with it. It was hilarious but, boggled my mind that she knew exactly what to do with it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Eleven Months

My baby is 11 months today. My baby is 11 months today!! I absolutely cannot believe that the next time the 24th of a month rolls around, she will be celebrating her first birthday! BIRTHDAY…as in she will be a full year old!! I can’t believe it.

To be honest, she is becoming less and less like a baby everyday. She is absolutely turning into a little girl – a liitle girl who interacts with the world and the people in it more so than the baby who used to just observe the world. A little girl who, just this morning, watched her parents give each other a kiss and decided to blow her own kiss, complete with puckered lips and a “MWAH!”. It was so cute. She loves to blow kisses and wave bye-bye and hi any time some says either of those words. Her latest challenge has been her balancing act. She is learning to stand unassisted. So, she spends approximately 80% of her day pulling up on objects (her favorite one being her mommy), letting go, and balancing on her two fat feet for as long as she can. Then she falls on her padded little butt, giggles, and pulls up again to start the cycle over. She stands for noticeably longer periods of time everyday.

She is such the social butterfly. She loves to play with other babies and has a knack for flirting with and charming any adult that she comes in contact with – that is, if she likes you and decides that you are worthy of experiencing her cuteness. She is very much like her momma in that he basically doesn’t pretend for anyone. She keeps it real so, whatever she’s feeling or thinking, she will express that to you in one way or another.

She also loves water. We found this out last month when we were at my family reunion in Savannah, GA. She absolutely LOVED the beach. She squealed louder and more happily with each wave that came in. And yesterday, we went swimming at a pool party (at the same house where my baby shower was held exactly one year earlier – memories…) and she learned to kick and blow bubbles in the water. She loved the splashing and made it her personal goal to cover her entire face with water from her splashing.

It has just been so incredibly exciting to watch her grow over the past eleven months. Her personality is so strong (and so much like her momma’s) that I know that there will never be a dull moment in raising her. She is, indeed, the most incredible blessing. But, wow – eleven months can fly by…

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Great Day Care Search

Yesterday, my husband and I took a half day off work to look around at our day care options. We went to just four places:

The Place That's Buying Our Place: We decided that we liked it. We liked the director. We liked the fact that the children start a real educational curriculum at 18 months. We liked that they promote to a new class based on developmental stages rather than solely on age. Obviously, we like the location(s) because we can either stay in our current location or go to their main location, which is actually more convenient to our house and for our commutes. We like the fact that they are committed to trying to make it a smooth transition for the babies that are already at [the day care center that is closing]. The pricing was reasonable. They have good security measures in place and the ability to view via Internet. My husband thought that there were too many kids in a classroom but, I pointed out that is why they are expanding to two locations. The Director indicated that the classroom would have 8 kids to two teachers which is absolutely the best that we can expect at this age (12-17 months)

Big Franchise Center in the Ritzy Neighborhood: We weren’t impressed. The teachers seemed young and not very experienced. There wasn’t anything BAD per se but, being underimpressed and the location being a bit less convenient and the price being higher all combined for a no sale. Plus, the kids looked dirty – couldn’t decide if that was a parent thing or a caregiver thing – regardless, we have been spoiled by the fact that Jayla is actually clean…at least by the time we pick her up.

Our Current School at Their Other Location: The location just weighed too heavily. It just isn’t convenient for us. However, the Director told us that the plan was to move Ms. J over there and let her keep our babies for as long as possible, which is obviously a plus. They have great resources over there and Jayla could obviously learn a lot there between now and Kindergarten.

Big Franchise Center (same as above) on Our Side of the Freeway: We like the personnel, though they were extremely ghetto but played "professionalism" very well. I noticed that it was rather chaotic. There did not seem to be much organized play going on. It could have just been the time of day that we were visiting. However, I did not like what I saw in the 6-12 month classroom at all. The babies weren’t being stimulated. They were all sucking pacifiers and swinging in swings. All of the toys in the classroom were sitting neatly on the shelves at 3:00 in the afternoon! In the 12-18 month classroom (which is where the enrollment manager told me she would have a spot for Jayla in August), the kids were kinda just playing on their own. The teachers just didn’t seem engaged with them. My husband agreed when I pointed that out once we left. We also didn’t like that they promote solely based on age.

So, we both independently came to the same conclusion for our first option: To let Jayla stay in the current location and transition into The Place That's Buying Our Place. That’s where we’re leaning…though nothing is set in stone.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Times - they are a'changin...

After being out of town for an entire week, Jayla was so excited to get back to the day care this morning. When we walked in, her back was to her teacher, Ms. J. Ms. J said, "Good Morning!" and Jayla started looking all around trying to find where the familiar voice was coming from. Then she got all jumpy with excitement as I was trying to unbuckle her car seat. When I carried her over to Ms. J, she had a big grin on her face and instantly reached out to hug Ms. J. Then we put her on the floor to play and with a huge smile on her face, she started giggling and waving at the two little boys that were already sitting on the mat. Then, she topped it all off in a fit of clapping. I was so, so, so happy that Jayla was so happy to be back at her school and into her routine again.

So, I got Jayla and her stuff all checked in with Ms. J and as I was walking out Ms. J says, "Oh - I have something to give you." She hands me a letter and says, "The school is closing." My little heart just dropped. She went on to explain that the school owner has leukemia and his condition continues to worsen. He is now on a list for a bone marrow transplant. If he does, in fact, get the transplant, he will basically be out of commission for a year or so and his wife will have to be constantly assisting him. So, in an effort to streamline their lives during this ordeal, they have decided to close our school location. Those students who are currently enrolled have been offered a spot at their other school, which is bigger and way inconvenient for our family morning commute. Our location is being bought by a different school in the area and they have also offered the existing students a spot. Ms. J is not sure what she will do but, says she will probably just go back to the other school (which is where she came from originally before our location opened) and work her 5 years to retirement. So, I am very sad about this whole situation...especially because I know that Jayla loves it there and I love it there and everything will change as of August 11, 2006. (just 13 days before Jayla's birthday!!!)