The Fertility Carousel

Reaching for the brass ring on the fertility carousel (again!). (Because I already caught the brass ring on the infertility carousel and I want to get rid of it!) Two years of trying to conceive, but I finally got baby E. Now we begin going around and around again. Infertility sucks.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

slacking, thanksgiving, and daycare

OK, well obviously I've been a complete slacker blog-wise, so my apologies to my tiny handful of readers.

I don't have much to report baby-wise. I still feel crappy at times. I still eat often. I still haven't been to the doctor - although I will go on Friday.

We spent all of Thanksgiving week with my mother in law ( hi N! ), who I know reads this so I can't give away any of her dirty little secrets;) But I will say that we had a nice visit, and more importantly I was able to eat at Thanksgiving!! Yeah! Now I have to point out that quite a bit of a typical Thanksgiving meal is very carb/starchy food friendly, which translates into pregnant-Jena-friendly, but I did manage to eat some turkey as well, which was nice.

So now that I've caught everyone up on our doings, here's what's on my mind now. Daycare.

We've started thinking about what to do with the little bugger once she's born (I switch back and forth on referring to gender, we don't know and we don't plan to find out).
I plan to take 3 months off after little bugger's born (unpaid, but I still plan to take it).
After that… well, that's a problem. I would love to stay home. And it's probably technically possible for me to do so, but it would be a bit of a stretch. And really really scary. It is financially possible that I could work reduced hours and not have the bugger in daycare fulltime, but I haven't discussed this with my boss yet. (OK, boss doesn't even know I'm pregnant, I was going to tell him this week, but he's out of town for at least a week and a half, but I promise I'll tell him when he gets back!) What's also possible, and financially feasible is that I work full time and R stays home with little bugger. This would probably make me insanely jealous, but it's a whole lot better than any sort of daycare. However, that last option relies on me getting hired directly by Big Oil, for whom I work as a contractor. Getting hired directly is a possibility, but more like a 50/50 chance, not something I can count on, though I should know for sure by the new year - and would almost certainly mean that I get a nice raise.

So, exploring the more likely option of at least part-time daycare/maybe full-time daycare...
The really nice day care at my office would eat up a quarter of our current combined take-home pay - there's a discount if you're a company employee, but contractors like me have to pay full price. So that's out unless I get hired directly and the discount turns out to be amazing
But maybe it's not the best choice anyways… I mean it'd be convenient for me, but no way would R drive out here to pick up the little bugger, it's just too far and at rush hour it'd be a horrible drive for him (I drive against most of the commuter traffic, so it's not that bad a drive for me usually). So maybe it's just as well that we can't afford it.

The close to the house is $400 cheaper (per month). But when I looked them up on the official Texas day care licensing website, I wasn't very happy to see all the violations and incident reports they in 2005 at that location. Now it's true that they did much better this year, but still… if they've had problems with correct supervision in the past, how can I know it won't happen again?

So the state daycare site got me thinking about home daycare... how do you feel about home daycare? You know, the people that keep half a dozen kids in their home (hopefully at a better $ rate than the other places, though I'd be happy to pay rates as long as it doesn't come with style supervision). Anyways, I've always thought of them as a bit shady…I don't know why I think that, just a feeling, a suspicion if you will. But I found out that some of them are registered with the state. And that means that they get inspected, just like the big day care centers.

There are two of these registered home daycares in my little neighborhood. Both have been in operation since 1987. One has had no violations in the last 2 years (that's all the data that's available on the website). The other did have a violation, a fire extinguisher needed servicing, but she had it serviced and reported back to the inspectors within a week. The state site tells you to consider not only any violations, but what they were and how responsive they were in getting things fixed - so getting it done in a week is pretty good in my book. Neither had any incident reports. I haven't called these people yet, let alone toured their "facilities", I'm just trying to figure out what the options are.

So, if you were a new parent, would you consider home day care? Other options I'm missing?


Blogger Emmie said...

I think home daycare is becoming a more reliable choice--many people in my neighborhood use and love it. I also had the same initial feeling that it was shady though. The best thing to do is visit a lot of places and try to see what they are like first hand, I guess.

I'm actually considering having an aupair come from Eurpoe. H speaks German, so it would be a great opportunity for a cultural exchange in addition to having more hands-on daycare. With 2 babies, the cost of home daycare or center daycare is the same as my mortgage each month! An aupair is much more reasonable, although they do live with you and you provide all meals and trasnportation for them. It's tough no matter what I guess. Staying home really isn't an option for me.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AVOID KINDERCARE! Just yesterday our local news reported a 3 year old boy wandered out of a Kindercare in our town down to a VERY busy four lane highway. He was almost hit by a car. When the folks who almost hit him brought him back, the person behind the counter didn't bat an eyelash. Didn't even say thank you. As if it was no big deal. Google "Kindercare sucks" and you'll read epic reports of them having kids getting hurt, wandering out of them, etc. They are the Walmart of day cares. NOT a place you want your baby. I don't trust any day care, so I chose to stay at home and work from my home. Trust me, it's worth it--if only for a year or two when your child can express themselves better and you can know if he or she is being injured or neglected in the center. I'd choose a home-based care over a big child warehousing conglomerate like Kindercare. The best would be to try to do flex time so you can be home with your little one one or two days a week.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree ... avoid kindercare at all cost. The children do not come first. At the center we were at they would fill the class as full as possible and then hire the needed extra teacher. They are all about is really quite sad. i feel for the poor children being exposed to that environment. Personnell changes constantly - they treat the employees as poorly as the "customers'.

1:14 AM  

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