Monday, December 29, 2008


Our family had a wonderful Christmas. I hope yours did too! Here are some photos taken in Ocala on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Myles with my brother and sister

My dad dressed as Santa - getting a cookie from Myles

Myles' new truck and pile of presents

My happy boy on Christmas morning

Opening his first present
You can just see the excitement

More presents

Checking out the truck

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Meeting - results achieved!

So the meeting yesterday went very well. In the meeting were me, my husband, the associate director and one of Myles's teachers (who has been the source of much grief over the past month). Everyone was very open and honest and we all seem to have the common goal of pursuing Myles' best interests. My husband opened the meeting by asking whether they felt Myles could successfully adjust to their school after so much time with a nanny. They both (without hesitation) said absolutely. We also wanted to get a pulse on how close he is to being "thrown out" of the school. They both seemed shocked we asked and said it's never even been considered.

The teacher reiterated over and over that Myles has progressed leaps and bounds in the past two weeks - in attitude, verbal communication, and social skills. She also insists his aggression has dramatically reduced. She gave several examples of positive interactions she and the other teachers had with Myles this week, one being just an hour before the meeting. This made me happy. She also gave examples of how he's grown.

She told us that they do ASQ assessments on each child periodically throughout the year. Their last assessment of Myles noted that he is developmentally on track or ahead in every area except his social skills. He has never interacted well with other kids, especially in group settings. We all assume this is largely due to spending over two years with me or a nanny. In the past two weeks, the teacher stated his social skills have caught up with his peers. She gave some examples why. I have also noticed he has a strong liking for one of the boys in the class, who he talks about daily and acts very excited to see in the mornings.

They answered all of our questions honestly and were very positive. They gave the impression that they DO care about Myles. The teacher was very honest by stating that of the three teachers in the room, she is the least tolerant and that has proven difficult for Myles. This is why they have him spending more time (such as during breakfast and lunch) with the teacher who is generally assigned to the six youngest children in the class. Her temperament seems to mesh the best with Myles and he responds well to her direction. (I will note she also has the most similar temperament to me, from what I can tell.)

All in all, we are satisfied. There were a couple of minor contradictions in the meeting, but they were not related to important topics. The teacher even went so far to tell me I am "one of our best parents...offering plenty of information and direction to enable us to successfully teach and work with Myles." Apparently some of the parents say very little to the teachers when dropping off and picking up.

The past week-plus, the teacher we've had the issues with (who was the one in the meeting) has been more than nice. She's been much more positive when speaking of Myles and more personable during drop-off and pick-up. Her negativity with him and seemingly constant bad moods were two of my major complaints that led to the meeting. We didn't even have to mention these things. We are hoping this will bring an end to our daycare struggles.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Daycare meeting today

My husband and I are meeting with the daycare in 30 min. We expect the two of us, the associate director and Myles' teacher (the one who I've had the issues with) in attendance. Things have been better the past week since I scheduled the meeting. I'll provide thoughts and an update later.

Monday, December 15, 2008

5k weekend

I ran my first 5k in over 6 months last weekend! I was so proud to finish...and in a pretty descent time - just under 34 min. Given this success, I embark this week on an 8-week program that will enable me to run a 10k. Just writing that gives me goosebumps. I never, ever imagined I'd run a mile, let alone 3...or 6! But these days, I can't imagine life without running. I feel so great after a good 2- or 3-mile run. It's indescribable.

So what made this weekend's 5k event the most memorable and special is that Myles participated in his first kids' race. I want him to get into running because I recognize the health benefits (and because I love it). But there's no pushing involved...the boy LOVES to run!

He did a wonderful job, participating in a 100-meter dash with about 40-50 other kids, all ages 3 and under. I was anxiously trying to capture a photo so I wasn't paying complete attention to where he finished, but from what I did see, he finished somewhere around 5th! He did GREAT and I was incredibly proud. Above is a photo taken after both of us had successfully run our races. I have a feeling there will be more of these to come!

By the way, I have not reported on my weight loss for a couple of weeks. I am currently at 146.0 so have not lost any more weight. However, I feel great and am fairly confident I'm building muscle due to all of the running I've been doing (about 8-10 miles per week). I'm feeling a slight difference in my clothes, especially in the butt area (YES!) so as long as I continue to see improvements to the way I look and feel, I'm content with whatever weight I'm at. More to come on that at a later date.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vacation dreams

I have to stop talking about the daycare situation or I'm going to be sick. I have a message in to the director requesting a meeting. I haven't heard back yet but expect to have something scheduled by end of day.

I thought for this post I'd talk about vacationing with children. Billy and I used to choose our vacation destinations based on where we could find the hottest art scenes and where we could best experience God's glorious creation through outdoor activities. Not now. These days, it's all about which cities offer the best scene for kids...toddlers, to be exact.

Around Labor Day, we took a trip to Atlanta. We were able to stay with my good friend Julie (making the trip affordable) and found loads of great places to take Myles. It was perfect. So we're thinking now about next year. I found a great site operated by Disney, which gives detailed information about family-friendly cities, as well as tips on where to go if you visit and even where to stay and eat. We used it when planning our Atlanta trip and it did not steer me wrong.

As for next year, a lot will depend on the economic conditions and whether we can afford to travel. Also, we celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary next September and were hoping to take a trip to Europe, just the two of us.

Do you have any favorite places to visit with your kids? I'd love to hear suggestions!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Daycare situation comes to a head

Well, I have finally "had it" with the daycare situation. I won't get into a lot of detail here, but I am finally calling a meeting this week with the director. I am tired of being told that my child could have a behavioral disorder when he only acts out WHEN HE IS THERE! I am tired of getting that feeling every day when I pick him up that he is too much of a hassle for his one teacher (who I've had issues with practically from Day 1 and never said anything to the director) so she chooses to ignores him all day, then treats him punitively when he acts out. I am tired of worrying every day whether he's being scarred for life there by a teacher who clearly doesn't like him. I'm tired of knowing he's unhappy as a result.

The daycare director will hear it all this week. I guess we will see what happens.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Random thoughts on a "sick" day

We have not been feeling well in the MacDonald house this week. Myles was diagnosed Tuesday with an ear infection and sinus infection after the daycare sent him home that morning with a high fever. I am also battling overall lethargy, congestion, a mild sore throat and off-and-on headaches. Yuck!

Myles has been home with "Gramma Mac" for two days after I took most of the day off Tuesday to be with him. It was my last available sick day of the year. He is having such a wonderful time with her and I can already feel that it will be tough for him to return to daycare tomorrow.

I'm coming to grips with the fact that he just doesn't like it there. The daycare is rated well and came with good recommendations. But it's a daycare - not a nanny - which he became accustomed to during his first 2+ years. With 18 kids and 3 teachers in the classroom, they just don't have the ability to offer him the attention he so craves.

Complicating things is that Billy and I made a big mistake when Myles was younger. We put him with too many different caregivers. He had Meredith for 3 months as a newborn but she had to return to college. Zina kept him for about 8 months and decided one day she was too stressed to continue keeping him. I was then given clearance to transition to a part-time position and we hired Katy to keep him two days a week while I worked. Two months later, I was laid off and he was home with me.

I returned to work six months later and he began his time with Jade. During this time, we also sent him to a two-day-per-week Mother's Morning Out program so that he could interact with more children. Eight months later, Jade had her second baby (she found out she was pregnant very shortly after starting with Myles).

On May 19, Myles started daycare. With the frequent changing of caregivers - which was never our plan for him - we decided he had to move somewhere stable, where he could remain until starting kindergarten.

Due to the many changes he's already endured, we are unwilling to switch daycare centers. None of our previous nannies are available. So either it works out there or I return to the home...something I don't want to do. I know he's unhappy at the daycare because he is hitting and pushing other children daily...something he doesn't do anywhere else. I've confirmed with his Sunday School teacher and observed him at birthday parties and with cousins...the aggression is definitely limited to the daycare.

So we're trying to decide if he needs to stick it out and learn to thrive without the attention he's seeking (which he'll have to do in school anyway) or if we are making a critical error sending him somewhere that he isn't happy. I know that the teachers (at least 2 of the 3) care about him and want him to succeed there. They seem engaged and willing to help him solve his social issues with the other kids. I know that as far as daycares are concerned, it's a good one. I also hear that the 3/4 year-old class is the center's best.

For now, we're planning to hold on until he moves into that class in March, after he turns 3. If things don't improve, I will have a difficult decision on my hands.