Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Running"

Last week I went for my first run since week six of my pregnancy.

I put the word in quotes because I'm so slow I think it's technically "jogging," but that word always sounds too ridiculous to use except in jest.

Calliope and I were on our way to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and so I jogged very, very slowly while pushing the jogging stroller.

And the way I felt afterwards, was amazing.

So I'm not sure why I was nervous to go again. That's my complicated relationship with running. I always dread heading out the door, and nearly always procrastinate before I finally go.

True to form, I hung around today until my doula reminded me that I only had forty-five minutes left before she left.

And so I dusted off my "monkey feet" (Vi.bram Five Fing.ers -- barefoot running shoes which I LOVE -- they helped me kiss a long-standing calf injury goodbye) and suited up in my new, spectacularly ugly Enn.ell sports bra, recommended by the always supportive (ha! not intentional) SMC women and headed out.

And after the first block, I heaved a sigh of relief. It was like I got to tap into my whole, true, emotionally unfettered self again.

God it feels good.

And getting to do it alone made it all the better.

I still love my little girl like crazy, but the last few days -- and I feel guilty admitting this -- I am starting to poke my head out of the cave and look around a bit. I'm ready for more than just baby care. I'm ready to engage a bit with the world.

Of course, my brain is embarrassingly dim these days. I miss the most obvious things -- like that Fed.Ex has left me a note saying they needed my apartment number, and thus being furious when they didn't deliver my package. I'm hoping it's headed back.

In other news, I might be letting Elimination Communication go. Calliope is no longer "going" when I put her on the potty. And it's a whole bunch of extra work with nothing to show for it, lately.

I feel lucky that she's doing so well with sleep, continuing the seven hour stretch at night, and so that might be enough of a win for me to let EC go.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Briefly Checking In

The latest on the sleep front: she slept seven and a half consecutive hours last night, had a bottle, and slept another four hours.

That's two nights in a row, now, with a seriously long stretch of uninterrupted sleep.

Yay!!!

I still haven't done anything to try to eliminate the night feeding, but I'm starting to think about it, if the current trend continues.

The book recommends decreasing the bottle by a half an ounce every third night.

I figure it's worth a shot... if she won't go back to sleep, fine, I'll give her more. And if she doesn't miss it... well, that will be weird. To not have to get up with her during the night. Will I miss having the time with her? I'm guessing not for now, while I'm home with her all the time, but maybe once I go back to work I will?

But here's my main concern, brought to me by a couple of friends: what if I need her to nurse at night, once I go back to work, just to maintain my milk supply? Will I have a problem if she's no longer accustomed to eating at night? Will I be devastated and angry with myself if I can't keep up with her need for milk down the road?

I'm not too worried at this point, but I'm thinking about it. I'm sipping Mother's Milk Tea tonight for the first time, and I added in a bedtime pumping, just to make sure things are really all right after last week's one-day-dip in the milk supply. I got about two and a half ounces, not bad for a night pumping. The last two mornings, after the 12 hour break, I've gotten about six ounces from my right breast, the one that hadn't been used since the previous night -- enough to nearly fill the entire bottle! -- and two ounces from the left.

Today was a strange and difficult day. We stayed home the whole damn beautiful day, waiting for a FedEx package that never arrived. I nearly cried when I called and was told that "delivery attempt was unsuccessful." I mean, I didn't even shower for fear of missing the FedEx man. I can't bear the idea of another day spent entirely at home, waiting.

At least tonight I realized that both yesterday and today's "door tag" says that they need the apartment number. So there's a reason for the problem, at least.

Meanwhile, Calliope took a nice 1.25 hour this morning, as usual going down exactly one hour after she woke up. She then got up for a half an hour to play without eating (a new discovery, that this was possible, since starting "sleep training"), then took a catnap in her crib until it was time for her noon feeding. An hour later she was just starting to yawn when I swaddled her and put her down in the crib, where she happily took her pacifier and turned her head away from me to sleep. A few minutes later, she started to fuss. I went back and replaced the pacifier which had fallen out. Silence reigned... until a few minutes later, when the same thing happened. After I replaced the pacifier again, I determined I wouldn't go back... if she was spitting it out, she didn't really want it, she just needed to work something out and fall asleep on her own.

And so she fussed and cried intermittently for an hour... something she hasn't done since the first day I put her in the crib. After an hour, I took her out and tried to nurse her... she wasn't particularly interested, and kept fussing. I changed her diaper. That didn't help. Finally I put her back in the crib.

She never went back to sleep. At four o'clock I went to get her from her crib. As I unwrapped her swaddle, she grinned up at me with delight. As if she wasn't exhausted, though I knew she must be. She's never up for more than an hour!

I nursed her again, and popped her into the swing. I had just received my bad FedEx news and was about to come out of my skin with frustration and pent up energy from sitting at home all day. I desperately climbed onto the elliptical, needing relief from the overwhelming frustration, and started to feel better almost immediately. She dozed in the swing. She was asleep when I finished so I went to take a quick shower.

While I was showering, I heard her start to really wail, the kind of heartbreaking sobs that end in breathless coughing. I hurried out, wrapped my dripping self in a towel, and went to investigate the problem. She wormed desperately against my chest, burrowing her hot, tearful little face in my neck in utter despair. I unwrapped the towel, not caring that my neighbors across the alley could see me if they cared to look, and tried to offer her my breast, but that only made her cry harder. I took her to the changing table, and as soon as I undid her dirty diaper and cleaned her up, she suddenly started to smile again. Ahh, relief! So that was the problem! I offered her the potty, which she sat on merrily enough, though she didn't produce anything.

I popped her back in the swing so that I could get dressed, intending that we would go out for a walk as soon as I was clothed. But as I headed into the bedroom to retrieve my clothes, she started to scream again. So I went back to her... and again she grinned at me as I scooped her up. Separation anxiety at ten weeks?

I brought her into the bedroom with me and laid her on the bed, and she was content... even when I went out of the room to apply moisturizer in the bathroom. So then it's not separation anxiety?

After that, she rode in the Beco carrier during the short walk to Emily's house, a block away, and watched wide-eyed as Emily carried her around the apartment, unloading the dishwasher and making dinner while I sat alone in the living room and enjoyed a much needed break from my infant. Thirty minutes later she started to fuss, and nursed desperately, soon lapsing into a lazy, sleepy suckling which is a new behavior in her since the dive in milk supply last week. Of course it makes me worry that I don't have enough milk for her... but when I squeeze my breast, milk comes out! So surely that means she's getting enough, right?

At last she was asleep. She woke up and fussed briefly when I transferred her back to the Beco, then fell back asleep around 7:30. And has been asleep ever since (it's now 11 pm), apart from a quick waking when I brought her home and opted for a quick "Dream Feed" since I knew coming out of the Beco would wake her anyway.

So I have no idea what bewitched her and kept her up for seven and a half hours, nor what caused her to scream out of the blue. But I'm hoping, not very optimistically, that the long awake period plus the dream feed might just induce her to sleep through the night. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the latest

Growing in the garden

























All is going well.

On Friday I filled out a daycare application for Calliope.

So that decision has been made.

She will go to the inexpensive place a block and a half from home.

I'm not in love with it... but all of my objections to it were minor. And the advantages -- convenience and money -- are huge. The caregivers seem kind and loving.

And I've made a promise to myself that with the savings we are making, or at least, the debt we are not going into... I'm going to take some of those savings and use them for awesome Calliope And Mommy Adventures. Including the SMC trip to Smuggler's Notch this summer. And a trip to San Francisco this summer.

I've also not committed to taking a summer job. So we will have lots and lots of time together.

It's good to have this decision behind us.

"Sleep" training is going well, I suppose. I put sleep in quotations because apart from crib training a week ago, which was a huge success and pretty painless,  I haven't done anything so far to influence her sleep directly. I am continuing to try to feed her every four hours... but only through distraction. If she cries, I feed her. We sometimes succeed in waiting four hours, sometimes not. Last night she wanted to eat waaay before she was "supposed to." We nursed a long time. A few days ago, my milk supply took a major hit. Not sure why. I had a little stomach bug the following day. And I've been giving her a bottle of breastmilk during the night (also part of "sleep training") so either of these could be a factor. But it's pretty much back now, thank goodness.

Two nights ago, she woke up at 1:30 am, so I was thinking it wasn't going well. But then last night... she slept eight and a half hours without waking up!

So maybe it is working?


video

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sleep Training: First Day Report, and Other News






video





So far, so good. 

Surprisingly so.

I really didn't know if any of this would work. Doing this method of sleep training, after reading so many different books, feels sort of trying the latest wacky diet. 

But stage one, getting her to eat every four hours during the day... was remarkably easy today and yesterday. The book says to encourage her gently, but not to let her get to the point of crying hard. And today, for each feeding, I had to wake her up after four hours! Of course, she was in the Beco all day because we were at the Single Mothers by Choice 30th Anniversary celebration all day. it sucks her in! she can't resist its charms and passes out. though i thought she might stay up for a while in the late afternoon, which the book recommends (though we are not at that stage yet). anyway, yeah, i would definitely not have thought she could do it! so who knows what tomorrow will bring.

She cried off an on in the crib for an hour last night (mostly not crying, with little periods of fussing -- no hard crying), then slept for five and a half hours! Meanwhile I slept on the couch because I was nervous that she would smell me if I was in the bedroom with her. Then I gave her a bottle of breast milk when she woke up (recommended by the book for the stage when we start decreasing night feeds... not yet... but I was curious to see how much she would take). She only took two and a half ounces and then was restless for a bit. I didn't really let her cry in the crib at that point because I was nervous about bothering the neighbors, so I put her in the swing. Then she slept another four and a half hours until I woke her!

It's all perplexing. How cooperative she is, so quickly!

Oh, and twice she has fallen asleep on her playmat when I couldn't put her to bed because I was busy... totally unswaddled, on her back, once without a diaper or pants on! Totally unlike her. Perhaps she's getting used to the idea that being on her back is a way to sleep!

The hardest thing right now is that I'm a little sad that I will only get to nurse her four times a day when she's on this schedule. I love our nursing time, and it's pretty brief as it is -- she a power-per-hour eater. Of course, now the feedings are a little longer, at least, since she has to eat more to last four hours. 



i've also decided to start bathing her every night, instead of the odd morning, to help build an evening routine. we are enjoying that. we have a little bath seat that goes in the kitchen sink. once she gets bigger I have a baby tub to put in the regular tub, but for now, it's nice to have her at a comfortable height.

after her bath, and admittedly, a tiny additional feed to make sure she was full (6 minutes), she went right to sleep in the crib. she squawked once, so i knew meant the pacifier was out, but since silence prevailed after that, I decided not to interfere. it's been quiet ever since! when i go to check on her, she's moving her head back and forth a lot, but not fussing, so I'm leaving her be. not sure if she's a restless sleeper or still awake, but i'm trying not to get in the way of her process, regardless. it's hard! i want to swoop in and be the mighty rescuer. 

in other news, i pottied her or else put her on the toilet in the ladies room (when we were at the SMC 30th Anniversary Celebration -- an inspiring event, meeting so many cool women, and hearing the stories of the SMC pioneers... brought tears to my eyes!) as she was waking up, and she peed each time. we also "caught" (EC parlance) a poo on the potty this evening. i'm not sure if we are truly communicating yet, i think it's mostly timing, but she's definitely peeing in her diapers a lot less -- they are nearly dry when she wakes up. it's nice to know that I'm saving her from sitting in some wet and dirty diapers. once, last weekend, she starting this groaning cry, and I put her on the potty, and lo and behold, she did have to poop. i'm hoping we see more of that type of actual communication. plus the pulling off the breast when she needs to poo is me understanding her cues, but it's not intentional on her part just yet. 

i'm so excited to see what happens with daycare assisting in the EC effort! 

Liberty Mutual, my employer's FMLA administrator, has now agreed that I'm entitled to FMLA until November 7th. I still want to be out until November 28th, 12 weeks after I was due to return to work after my normal summer off. At least they are not calling me to ask why I am not at work this week. That is unbearably stressful. Still, I'm frustrated to have to continue battling this. At least I'm no longer thinking of quitting my job at the moment... I was so fed up I contemplated it a few days ago. 



Friday, October 14, 2011

Sleep Training

Just before I accidentally cut her finger while trimming
her nails and then took her for three terrible shots. Mean
Mommy!


























Back when I was pregnant, I posted about a book my friend gave me after she used it successfully, called Twelve. Hours in Twelve. Weeks.

After vacillating wildly back and forth, I've decided to give it a go.

I'm not really sure why. Calliope is a pretty decent sleeper. After a few nights last week of waking up every three hours, she's mostly back to having one five and a half or six hour stretch at night.

Of course, after that she wakes up every hour, eats for two or three minutes, and passes out... only to repeat the same thing an hour later. Because, of course, she didn't eat enough to fill herself up.

On top of that, I have chosen today as the day to get her to sleep in the crib. Partly because I had asked Maria, my postpartum doula, to come by today. I knew that I would need emotional reinforcement.

Calliope successfully slept about an hour in the crib this morning... and then cried on and off for quite a long while. I'm not sure it was long in minutes, maybe 30-40, and not consistent... and mostly just a kvetching kind of cry, a "boy, considering the coffee is terrible, it's a wonder the service is so slow" kind of complaint, not an all out wailing. She looked pale and exhausted from it, too, which made me nervous because she just had her first round of shots two days ago.

And then when we went out, she totally passed out in the Beco. I think she's supposed to be awake in the late afternoon.

Anyway, the first step in the process is to get her to every four hour feeds. She usually goes every three hours, but sometimes it's more like every two. But so far, that part hasn't been hard (today). But it meant that when she got up this morning, I didn't feed her, because it had only been an hour and a half since she had nursed. Which felt very strange, not feeding her when we got up. But amazingly enough, she didn't complain, and went to sleep (in the swing) very agreeably about thirty-five minutes later. That was the last time she used the swing.

I'm also supposed to, apparently, wean her from the swaddle and especially the pacifier, because they are crutches that require my assistance. I don't really want to wean her from the pacifier, so I'm compromising right now.

Right now I am giving it to her when I lie her down, and then she gets one "get out of jail free" card where I will replace it. That's it.

So we will see how long I last tonight.

She just slept forty minutes without a peep (from the moment I lay her down) until just now... when she's doing her "yah-yah-yah" cry. The talkative kvetching one, not the all out wailing one. I hate the second one!

I'm also going to give her bottles at night, so I can see how much see is taking. I'm supposed to reduce the feeding by half an ounce every third night. Of course, I'm not supposed to start this until we've gotten the every-four-hours daytime feedings under control. I'm adding in the crib-not-swing part on my own.

Wish us luck!

Daycare!

I have a million different posts running around in my head, so I'm splitting them up into more manageable portions.

So we, Calliope and I, have been looking at daycares the last couple of weeks. Though she's not offering a lot of input into the decision making process.

I looked at some in-home daycares that were ridiculously cheap. I got quoted twenty dollars a day at two different places. At the second, the woman looked at me anxiously as asked if I could manage that much.

And the woman at the second place was so lovely. I really, really liked her. She was Spanish speaking, which I liked, and she had that warm loving [excuse me while I essentialize] air about her that I so appreciate in Hispanic moms. They tend to be so nurturing and loving, in my experience as a pediatric provider.

But.

She had not one but two TVs playing while I was there. PBS stations, to be sure, but still.

I just can't stomach TV. I really feel strongly about it. No matter what the content.

And I am thinking about asking her if she could just not expose Calliope to it. She had a small bedroom where one baby was sleeping (there was a TV on), but maybe she could put Calliope in there to sleep (without the TV being on) when she wanted to have programs on for the other children.

Yesterday I also saw a beautiful daycare center. And today I saw another, I guess you'd call it in-home daycare, though you couldn't tell from looking at it. Much larger, tidier, with beautiful floors and multiple staff people. Like the daycare center, they prepare organic food for the children. They also have a yard, and art and yoga teachers come in each week to teach the children. The two centers are actually just a few doors down from each other. And not too far from work. They have a yard with lots of toys, and they even showed me an Iphone video of the kids playing in a little Fisher Price type sprinkler in the summer -- so cute!

However, the director of the first (which is part of a small Brooklyn chain) has been extremely difficult to get in touch with. Her place actually charges fifty cents less per hour than the place I saw today.

But.

When the guy in charge of the place today told me the price, I told him I loved the place, but just couldn't afford it ($9 an hour) as a single mom. He asked what I could afford. I pulled a number out the air and said $1200 a month.

And he agreed.

Twelve hundred a month is still a ton for me. I will have to dip deeply into savings. Something I hate to do.

And I'm struggling with the question if it's worth the investment from ages three to nine months (after that I will be off work for the summer and have her with me). I mean, if I have her in an inexpensive place from December to June, assuming I could find one without TV, would that in any way harm her development?

I don't know.

I know I do feel awfully grateful to this man and his mother, who run the place.

Here's another cool thing about them: they were excited that I am doing EC with Calliope. I mean, they think I'm starting too soon. But in their country, Georgia, people start at six months. So they are willing to potty her once she can sit up. That's pretty exciting!

I have scheduled a return visit for Tuesday to see the yoga class. I'm not entirely clear but I think they bring the infants upstairs to watch the older kids (eighteen months and up) do the class. There were no infants there today when I came in, at five, so the "big" kids were downstairs in the infant room. It will be nice to see the place in full swing.

But I have a very good feeling about it. The teachers all seemed so loving. Even the son, who I think mostly tends to the business side of things, had a little boy following him around who he kept kissing on the head and cupping his face. It just seemed very sweet and affectionate.

Mulling it all over.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Best Birthday Ever


Rockin' our new Beco carrier!
We love it!
On our way to the farmer's market
early Sunday morning.



The height of the festivities was when my friend Stephen came by to bring me some food, and stayed for
a glass of herbal iced tea and a chat.

My friend Emily offered to stop by with her three year old to help celebrate, but I was exhausted, and thought that dealing with one tired child was enough as it was.

So it was a very quiet birthday. My quietest ever. And I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

We went to our mommy and baby support group this morning, I ran around the apartment trying to get things done this morning (including cooking up a beef stew for the crockpot... sounds so small, but it was a huge accomplishment for me... I've barely done that since I found out I was pregnant) and tidying up. And then this evening I managed to make some appointments to see some more daycare centers on Friday.

Tomorrow my cousin is driving up from the Philly suburbs for the day to see Calliope and me. We are going to meet in Manhattan so we can go see Calliope's great-great aunt, who isn't doing well, and her daughter, my cousin. We will have a nice lunch out and go for a walk in Central Park, and I think that will feel appropriately festive.

But what could be better than this deliciousness???



The sweet snuggliness of a downy head against my
chest... one more reason to love the baby carrier!
(Look at how big that pacifier nipple looks, still,
compared to her face!)


Is it wrong that I kiss my baby on her open mouth sometimes?
OK, not that often.
But look how kissable it is!





She's clapping and singing "happy birthday" here


Preparing for dance class.


I love her EC-friendly leg warmers! Normally I pull them up to the diaper,
but I couldn't resist having some fun this morning.
Plus, oh, those delicious thighs!



A rare occasion of remembering to do tummy-time


The first time she lifted her head high! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My PCOS Story... Continues

I get the rare chance to be in a photo
with Calliope, age 6 weeks


























So.

I'm worried that I'm gaining weight.

I don't actually weigh myself, except at the midwife's office, so I don't know for sure.

But it feels like my thighs have started rubbing together (again) these last few days.

It seems that pregnancy controlled the hormone balance that caused me to gain weight these last few years from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

Here's my back story (and sorry if I am repeating myself from a post long ago).

My sister has this ailment, and my mom may as well. My sister used to go a year without getting her period. And had horrible disfiguring acne for many years, until she finally took Accutane to help control it. And she had a terrible time getting pregnant, especially with her second child.

I was always fine until a few years ago. I used to chart my fertility for birth control purposes, so I know that back then, I ovulated every month. I mean, I was irregular, but not crazily so. My cycles were I think were roughly 28-35 days long, depending on the month, maybe longer during the months I was running a lot.

Then I decided to go on hormonal birth control for the first time.

I started with the Patch, which made me gain five pounds practically overnight. It also irritated my skin, so I didn't stay on it for long.

The weight melted away within a couple of weeks.

Then I went on a pill, I think, and then NuvaRing.

Much more slowly, I gained the five pounds back. Slowly enough, this time, that I didn't associate it with the birth control. And I had learned in graduate school that birth control can't cause weight gain. I knew this wasn't true, because of my recent Patch experience, but still, I didn't associate the weight gain with birth control.

I guess I thought I was being sloppy with my eating?

So I resolved to crack down, and ate really well, big salads with protein and the like. Which always allowed me to lose weight before.

Only this time, it didn't work.

Finally I gave up and figured I could live with the extra five pounds.

Over the next few years, the five pounds became twenty.

This caused great despair.

I tried all sorts of diets. I would lose three or four pounds, then stall. And as soon as I started to eat more again, I would gain it back.

For the record, I exercised consistently throughout. Generally four to five days a week, running thirty to forty minutes a day. Sometimes more. Rarely less.

I hated myself. Hated my body. Felt tormented.

The mild acne and the wispy sideburns and the little hairs on my chin certainly did not help.

Coming off the birth control did nothing, to my dismay. My weight didn't change, and my cycles got progressively longer... the last two were seventy days each. And I never ovulated in the nine months that I was charting my fertility signs.

Finally, about two and a half years ago, I gave up. I decided that I couldn't control the weight, but I could control how I treated myself.

I found this great online group called Intuitive Eating, which I now help moderate.

I decided that I would never diet again. That I would treat myself lovingly.

And I've kept that promise.

There's been little slips here and there, but for the most part, I've done great.

I'm proud of that.

And I'm a lot happier now that I refuse to define my self worth by my weight.

But still. I enjoyed the fact that pregnancy seemed to arrest the problem, and the PCOS actually may have limited my weight gain -- as if my body was trying to correct the PCOS gain while my hormones were controlled by pregnancy.

But now I'm scared that I am gaining again.

I tell myself that it doesn't matter, and truly, it doesn't matter.

Much.

My body is the amazing vessel that carried my miracle.

Calliope.

For that, I will forever be grateful.

I refuse to hate myself.

But I wish I could be slim again.

It's hard to live in a world that things fat is a sign of laziness.

And oh, I know it could be so much worse.

That's part of why I refuse to diet. I truly believe that diets cause weight gain.

That said, I'm re-reading Eat Fat to Lose Fat, and I'm going to try it again. Having coconut oil with every meal. Trying to limit processed foods (well, I'm already working on this) ... without inducing the feelings of deprivation that lead to eating more of the forbidden.

But it's hard not to feel anxious when my thighs rub together.

It's hard not to feel shame.

It's hard not to feel like this is my fault. That it's all an excuse for my laziness and my unworthiness as a human being.

Doesn't that "sound" stupid? And yet I am welling up, just typing this.

I don't really believe it... except for a little tiny bit of me that does.

MyTotally Brilliant Daughter






















My totally brilliant daughter slept eight hours in a row last night!!!

I'm sure that with all the bragging I've done, it will never happen again.

But lord, it was delicious.

Of course, from midnight on, I was popping up every hour to run to the living room where she was sleeping in her swing to check on her (the first time I thought it was 2:30, not 12:30, to be fair). At 4:20 I went and laid on the couch to make sure I wasn't missing her crying. She finally woke up at 4:30.

And this afternoon she slept about 40 minutes in her crib.

Then she was up for ages and obviously couldn't get comfortable. I tried changing her, nursing her, burping her, pottying her.

Nothing worked. Finally she fell asleep on my chest with her pacifier while I watched Private Practice.

That was pretty delicious, too. I didn't want to put her down.

Earlier today, my aunt and uncle took the bus up from DC to come visit us. They took us to brunch to our local "nice" restaurant.

Calliope wore her Puritan outfit, just to be festive.




















We went to see the first daycare center yesterday. The one which was really cheap and where the woman sounded really nice on the phone.

And she was really nice. And the children all looked really happy. They were all under two  years old so I couldn't really talk to them.

But.

The whole daycare is this one not-so-big main room in the woman's house. And that's it.

The children eat, sleep, play.... everything. All in one room. Everything is put away to allow for as much floor space as possible. So the toys are stored up high, out of the way. And out of reach of the children, of course.

As a young infant, Calliope would only come out of her pack n' play to be fed. Once she gets older, she would get some floor time only when the toddlers are at the table.

This makes my heart hurt.

Right now, my girl spends about fifteen to thirty minutes "playing" on a blanket on the floor after her feedings, at least whenever we are home. I know she really enjoys this time. I mean, I guess she wouldn't know the difference between lying on the actual floor versus lying in a playpen... but yuck. That's like being in prison, to play and sleep and everything in the same small space.

Also, it seems the TV is on all the time. Usually to educational content, but still.

I don't watch TV (except for two shows on Hulu, and I really think I feel worse after doing so... considering unsubscribing... but you know how you love your guilty pleasure!) and I really don't want her exposed to it, either. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for the first two years, and I certainly plan to exceed that. (For the record, this is not a judgement on any parent who lets their child watch TV. I don't think TV is good for me, either. But I have no quarrel with what anyone else does.)

So.

I guess that daycare is out.

But now I am realizing that for that little amount of money, this is probably what I can expect.

So does this mean I should pay double? Is it reasonable to expect I could find something better?

I'm scheduled to see two other home daycares on Monday, and hope to see a regular daycare center on Wednesday. I actually saw this one once before, with a friend whose daughter went there. This is the one that costs twice as much as the home daycare.  

Family lunch