Tuesday, August 30, 2011


This week, every soul in the Larsen house has had to endure some changes in routine. My going back to school marked the end of a summer full of trips to the park, playing in the sprinkler, snuggling on the couch, and the realization that maybe I would like to be a stay-at-home mom if I could.

My last blog post was about how nervous I was about sending Connor to daycare. It has been easier than I anticipated (which is the way it always is--that child constantly surprises me with his adaptability). The very first two-hour trial run, he cried for the first half hour, but then had so much fun chasing their dog around the backyard that I had trouble getting him to leave! The second trial-run, he only cried for five minutes. Yesterday, Daddy had to start dropping him off, and it was difficult. It is so hard when your child is crying and saying "NO NO, Dada!!", but Mikey followed my instructions and left right away anyway. Connor recovered much more quickly than Daddy :) Today, his second full day, Connor barely acknowledged me when I walked in to pick him up, and I once again had to convince him to leave. By George, I think he likes it!!

I of course had all kinds of expectations and fears going into this change, but there is one feeling I have experienced that I wasn't expecting. Even though I have always worked, I really feel like a working mother for the first time. In the past, I have just driven straight home from work, where Connor and my sister-in-law were waiting for me. Now, I have to actually stop and pick him up. It is a minor thing, but the feeling is really different and has caught me off guard.

I opened this post by saying EVERY soul in the house has experienced change, so we can't forget about Bauer! The poor dog has been used to having someone home during the day for most of his life. In fact, the last time he was regularly home alone all day was fall of 2009, when he was not even a year old and confined to a kennel. One of many perks of having Jackie here during the day was that Bauer wouldn't be alone. Today was only day two of Bauer's "confinement", and I came home to find some things out of place. In fact, a towel made it all the way from the basement to the third level of the house. Naughty puppy! Hopefully he will adjust as well, and we will just have to be better about getting him out to walk/play in the evening.

Even though this quote doesn't have much to do with the topic of daycare, I came across this in a book I was reading and found it to be very true:
"Is this parenting? Longing for your children to grow and then feeling aching sadness when they do?"
This puts in to words exactly what I have felt many times throughout Connor's life. Especially with him being a preemie, I have always worried that he isn't doing what he's "supposed" to be doing. I couldn't wait for him to reach all his milestones....but once he did, I would mourn the loss of the stage that just ended. I know there will be many more moments like this in his life. Why can't time just slow down????

Well, we made it through the hardest days of our transition with only one casualty...the napkin Bauer ripped up. I think we're doing okay. Thanks for reading! Take care!

xoxo, Julie

Monday, August 8, 2011

Daycare :(

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I posted! This summer is just flying by. I haven't even begun counting the days until school starts again, but I know I really only have a couple weeks left.
This year, it is going to be exceptionally hard to go back to school...for a few reasons. First of all, the summer has just gone quickly and I haven't even had a chance to miss school yet. Secondly, Connor is at such a fun age and we (most days) have been having a blast together. Finally (and most importantly), it is going to be hard to go back because Connor will be going to daycare for the first time.

Since he was born, we have been very fortunate to have my sister-in-law, Connor's Aunt Jackie, nanny for Connor. It was so much easier leaving Connor knowing he was with someone who loves him, in his own home, with one-on-one attention. I really admire and feel for those parents who have to bring their helpless newborns to a stranger at 6-12 weeks old. I don't know if I could have done it.

One positive to starting them young, though, is that newborns aren't really aware of where they are--or who is watching them--as long as their needs are met. I am really starting to dread and feel guilty about leaving Connor with a stranger, in a strange house, at an age where he is very much aware. Will he be scared? Will he think we are abandoning him? Will he be able to eat? Sleep? Will he get enough attention? Will he cry for hours on end? If he hates it the first few times, will he throw a fit every time we drive up to the house? How long will it take him to adjust?

Up until about a week ago (I think the calender flipping to August is making it too real for me...), I was doing really well with the idea. My education training and the logical part of my brain are telling me it's the right thing to do. Connor needs to start socializing with other kids. He is getting bored at home--being in the same house with the same toys all the time. I feel that his language will develop faster being around other/older kids. I know he will be okay. I also know that he will really only be there about 6 hours a day, 4 days a week (he goes to Grammy's house on Wednesdays). Mike and I will still be raising our own child.

But the first-time mother, emotional side of me is having a really hard time. I can't even type this without crying. He has never been left with anyone but family. We are so fortunate to have so many grandparents around who are willing to watch him. Everyone knows him and what he wants. His language is not very developed, but he has his own way of communicating. The daycare lady won't know what he wants! He is used to being the king of the castle--if he wants to "reeeead", we read! The daycare lady won't always be able to drop everything and read when he wants to (again, the logical part of me knows that this will be a good life lesson, but will his little feelings be hurt??).

The daycare lady and I have talked about doing a trial run or two in the next couple weeks--I'll go over with Connor and hang out for a little bit, and then leave for an hour or two. I am hopeful that this will help him get to know her and her home a little bit before being left there all day. We went over there together a few weeks ago, and Connor just dug right into the toys and didn't pay any attention to me whatsoever. The daycare lady thought that was a good sign, as did I. She said a lot of kids who come for interviews or visits cling to their parent's leg the whole time, so she was impressed that he would leave my side. We'll see how it goes when I tell him I'm leaving, though!

Thanks for letting me vent. I'll let you all know how things turn out. Wish us luck!