Thursday, May 10, 2012

Restarting the Daycare, after Baby

It's official: at 1 month old, Leila is the youngest baby ever at the daycare. She is handling all the excitement the wild boys stir up wisely, by using the baby stress response of falling asleep. Really though, she must have developed quite the immunity to all this noise in utero, which stood her in good stead.

My adjustment back into daycare life, postpartum, has been extremely smooth, thanks to a few factors. First and foremost, I have lots of energy. In fact, I feel so much better than I did during the last couple of months of pregnancy not only because I'm not carrying around as much weight all the time, but also because I am sleeping better. (Yes, luckily, Leila has been quite a good sleeper so far. I thank my lucky stars!) Also, my husband is on paternity leave for one more month, which means he's around to help out with the baby, and with Noah, as I ease back into this role. Lastly, I only have 2 out of the 3 kids back full time. Oscar, who is 16-months-old, (and thus requires much more help and attention than the 3-year-old boys) is not returning full-time until September. He will still be attending the daycare now and then, on a drop-in basis, over the next few months. Thank goodness - we are missing the little guy!

The baby carrier you see me sporting, above, has been instrumental to the functioning of the daycare. When Leila is fussy and wants to be with mommy, I strap her to my chest and she nods off to sleep, while I get things done. It helps that she still weighs so little!

When we want or need to spend our outside time closer to home, we often play in front of one of the buildings nearby. Last week, we brought all our outdoor toys with us. Noah was interested in being shown how to write the alphabet in chalk. He's really getting the hang of it! Aidas and B. were more interested in attempting to climb this tree. I realized we had outstayed our welcome when Aidas used his piece of chalk to draw a line on the window you see in the photo above. Unfortunately, behind that window is the superintendent's office. She opened the blinds and did not look pleased, understandably. I mentioned this aloud and Aidas quickly packed up and started moving on, saying we should scram. I thought that sounded like the prudent thing to do (at least for the day).

So, we moved to the big green space behind the building. The kids are now free to run around on the grass, since dog poop is no longer a major issue. (This is the situation every year: the kids have to stay off the grass in the fall and winter because it is heavily littered with dog poop. Sad. But during most of the spring and summer, the grass is clean and green.) The boys investigated a giant hole in one of the trees. After that, Aidas wanted to investigate every tree on the lawn. Leila slept through all the excitement.

I'm not even sure what they are trying to accomplish in the photo above. Maybe trying to move the tree? Aidas is still clutching his piece of chalk though, since he was also decorating the trees with his art work; much better than windows. (Have I ever mentioned how this child cracks me up, numerous times throughout the day? He is hilarious! Sometimes frightening - they all are - but usually hilarious!)

I finally managed to get a picture taken of me and the kids together; a rare thing! I just love these photos below! 

Of course, we are missing a member of our posse - Oscar. We got to see him this week though, when we met him for a play date at the playground. Oh. My. Goodness. He was the most adorable thing. This level of cuteness is just unbearable! I wanted to hug him every moment. Get a load of this.

Notice the Adidas gear. Not only does he look the part, but he actually is very athletic.

The big boys were happy to see him. They were asking him if he could talk yet, and which words he knew. I only heard "no", but his mother says he can also say "kitten" and "gold" (Daddy's gold chain).

The kids have recently been wanting to help more with meal preparation. One day, they helped to make their own cheese sandwiches. Another day at lunch, I had decided to try serving them salad, since they have, on previous occasions, shared and enjoyed the salads I have had for lunch. When Noah heard we were having salad, he demanded to assist in its preparation, and the others followed suit. What a success! They really enjoyed, and ate a lot of their salads! I am happy to have at least temporarily found another way to get them to consume more veggies. I wonder if it's just the novelty that inspired them to scarf it down, or if they truly find it delicious. Time will tell.

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