I really don't have time tonight to compose something of merit for the blog, but needed to check one thing off of my blog topic "to do" list or I will go nutty.
I cannot say enough good things about Miles's ELC experience (Early Learning Center). I really struggled with the idea of childcare for such a young baby, and when I confront sentiments like this recent Newsweek article or this Mem Fox bit, I am still quite defensive, and then always feel pangs of guilt. To be fair, I love Mem Fox's books (10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes is a Miles favorite), and she has responded to the comment in an agreeable way. I do, in fairness, understand where she is coming from, and think she has some valid points. Yet, as someone who is not really in a position to stay at home at this point, I will always struggle with the thought that I could be doing the whole motherhood thing better. Enter Mommy guilt.
(Let me break here, and address a question someone had--when you see words underlined and in blue/purple, you can click on the word, and it will take you to a related link/story/picture, etc.)
I tried to find a Mommy group around the new area that we moved to, and all of them are for Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs). They meet during the week in the mornings, and that just doesn't work with my schedule. Now that I am trying to keep off of the Internet, there are days that I do feel lonely and like I am missing the connection of other moms. I do keep in regular contact with a handful of new moms via e-mail (and Facebook!) Additionally, I really struggle with not having family around-especially my 3 sisters-in-law and mother, mother-in-law, and also my California/WI "surrogate sisters" (Studs, Becs and Schlotty). Time to break, or I'll start tearing up.
Miles is at the ELC 5 days a week, and both Eric and I work more than 40 hours a week (plus, we are both full time parents!), and I'll be the first to say, it is not easy. But, we are fortunate enough to have had Eric's work decide that it was time to establish a childcare center for faculty families. Miles is in the inaugural class of the ELC with 3 other boys, and I just love the arrangement. What is nice is that the center is 1 mile from our home, and on days that I work from home, I can go see him at lunch, feed him, play with all of the boys, and just escape the working world. (Also, I usually coordinate my visits with Eric's schedule so I can see him as well.) Even on days when I am in the office, it feels so good to talk with Eric and know that he visited Miles for a few minutes a couple times a day. When I pick Miles up, he is usually being held by one of Ms J's sons, or like today, being passed around by the girls volleyball team. He is just so loved, and he has no idea what sort of celebrity status he has on that campus.
Earlier this week, there was the ELC's first 1st birthday party! It was for the oldest boy...let's call him The Mayor. He walks around the joint, talking gibberish, like he owns the place. He likes to pat all the other boys and I really think believes that he is in charge. Then, at just about 8 months old, there is The Baby. We call him this because he looks like a picture perfect baby. And then, at a little over 6 months is Bruiser. He just reminds me of a football player--like he could kick Miles's diaper any day. And then quirky Miles (they call him GQ because they think it is funny that we typically don't dress him in traditional baby boy clothes). So, the 4 of them together is like this stinky little fraternity (that will soon be disrupted when Princess joins in December!).
The Mayor's birthday was a hoot, and I laughed so hard as they dressed the boys up in hats and put them together in little chairs and Miles in the bumbo for pictures. I am not going to share pictures as I don't have the permission of the other families, but I will attach a link to a few of the pictures Ms J sent to me from earlier in the day. (Can you tell Miles is "posed" in the rocking chair? The kid looks so uncomfortable).
Hang tight for the last of the Green-itudes...I'll try to post them tomorrow with our Halloween update!