Hailee’s first nemesis

Hailee has accomplished  and grown  a lot this summer. In the past few weeks she has mastered (mostly) the art of riding on two wheels.

IMG_7117Hailee had some fear this spring and summer as we tried to get her riding a two wheeled bike. We were confused because Hailee is very athletic and she had been looking forward to learning to ride her bike for months! We discovered she was afraid because her bike was too big for her. When we borrowed a smaller two wheeler from a neighborhood friend, Hailee took off, literally! She required hardly any help and has been eagerly cruising ever since. We will start working our way up to bigger bikes soon.

At least that was the plan until Hailee met her first nemesis: the monkey bars.

Conquering the monkey bars has been an accomplishment for Hailee this last year, and now she crosses them with ease and confidence. In fact, she boasts that she is one of the few kids at school (in first grade) that can do all THREE sets of monkey bars on the playground. Hailee’s middle name could be “monkey” as she climbs on anything and everything she can.

IMG_7062And since Hailee has become super adept at monkey bars, we’ve stopped being vigilant about helping her…and watching her.

Yesterday, while at the park riding bikes, Hailee wanted to play on the playground for a few minutes before we went home. We had decided to head home prematurely as it began to lightly rain. But the rain was tolerable so we thought we’d let the girls play just a few more minutes.

Well it didn’t cross our minds that rain=slippery monkey bars. And Hailee’s fate was sealed.

Chad and I were talking to our friend when we heard a thunk and then Hailee came running over, screaming her head off and crying. Her arm was hanging limply at her side and she screamed over and over, “I can’t feel my arm!”

When she said that, I thought she might have dislocated her shoulder but quickly ascertained it was fine. We also thought (wrongly) that Hailee was being dramatic. I scooped her up and held her but she continued to cry and talk about how much her arm hurt.

Once in the car she asked to go see the doctor. If you know Hailee, she never wants to see the doctor…ever. This combined with her blood drained face, convinced me to take her to kids care (urgent care for kids).

On our way, Hailee tearfully asked me, “Can you pray for me?” That just melted my heart and of course we said a little prayer all together. She also said she wanted me to accompany her to the doctor because, “Mom calms me.” When she said this my mind flashed to all my historic unsuccessful attempts at calming her in the doctor’s office, but I’m glad she sees me as a source of comfort and someone who can help soothe her!

Once at kids’ urgent care, the on-call doctor checked Hailee’s arm and ordered an x-ray.

IMG_7123 IMG_7126 IMG_7130It was from the x-ray that we learned that Hailee had indeed, broken her arm…both her ulna and radius, close to where the bones meet her wrist. Luckily the break was small, and I guess technically termed a “fracture.” And luckily it is her left arm so she can still complete school work and (most importantly) play Minecraft.

After some ibuprofen, Hailee felt better and was actually pretty excited at the prospect of wearing a cast. She has a temporary cast right now and we will follow up with an orthopedic doctor next week to see if she needs a hard cast.

IMG_7135Today the novelty and “excitement” of having a broken arm is completely worn off. Hailee has some pain and is strongly opposed to her cast. In her words (tears streaming down her face) “I hate having a broken arm! I hate this cast! And I have to wear it for a really long time! Like four or five days!” Chad and I didn’t correct her and tell her it will likely be at least four or five weeks.

Which is a bummer because that means Hailee will miss all of her soccer season, a big chunk of swim team, and might have to opt out of tumbling this fall (I might have over-scheduled her). I hope, for Hailee’s sake, she gets a hard cast so she can at least enjoy having people draw on and sign her cast, and get some positive attention from peers in the flavor of, “ooh, you’re cool because you broke your arm!”

I feel like we are passing another childhood milestone. Hailee may be the last of her peers to lose any teeth but she is the first to break to a bone! And everyone wants a broken bone story to tell in their lives, right?


Nanny transitions…again

This summer our nanny of over a year, Erica, gave us her notice. She graduated from the University of Utah and found full-time employment. We were so sad to see her leave, but we understand that being a nanny is rarely a long-term gig for anyone.
After she gave her notice, we began the grueling, anxiety provoking search for a new nanny. We interviewed way more nannies than we ever have in the past. Each time a nanny came to our house I was filled with both hope, excitement, as well as anxiety and slight feelings of nausea. I wanted to have a “love at first sight” experience where I open the door where my heart just KNOWS that this woman is SUPPOSED to be our nanny! But the interviews proved to be more like first dates and ending with feelings of, “She might work…but I don’t know.”
On the other side, there are also the feelings of insecurity, hoping these nanny applicants would want to work for us, just as much as we’d want to hire them. We offered the position to three applicants who all turned us down. I was quite flummoxed with this experience as we pay quite competitively for our nannies, we are decently flexible and reasonable, our previous nannies love us and loved working for us, and our girls are sweet! Of course everyone has to do what is best for them and I understand our family might not be the best fit for everyone.
We wanted someone to fall in love with our girls and see this position as more than a job; but rather a meaningful opportunity to be part of a child’s life. To facilitate feelings of desire to care for our girls, I’d brush their hair and wipe their faces (a rarity) and pray they’d be cute and adoring when these nannies showed up. If cute and adoring counted as crawling all over potential nannies, or hiding from them completely, then our girls passed with soaring colors!
Eventually we did find someone: Zoe. She came as a personal referral from a friend (way better than Care.com), lives locally, and her references raved about her. The initiation with a new nanny is always stressful (especially after that awful experience where that nanny quit after 24 hours). So far, we’ve had Zoe for over 2 weeks now and it seems to be going well! Our girls really like her and she seems to like them. She is active and likes to take the girls places. She is also good about upholding boundaries so the girls don’t get away with murder. She is also responsive to feedback from us. She is on time and seems pretty responsible. I’m getting my hopes up more and more that Zoe might be with us for awhile!
IMG_6944I feel like childcare has a lot of power to make or break my own experience with working. When we have someone we trust and is reliable and nurturing with our children, I feel at ease and more confident as I leave for work in the morning. I thrive when this is the situation. But when our caregiver is sick, unreliable, or even worse, when we have to find a new caregiver, my level of stress increases exponentially. These moments remind me of the scripture, “No man can serve two masters.” When childcare is stressful, I feel immense guilt. Guilt because I can’t please or meet the needs of everyone asking demands of me: my children, my employers, and my clients. I am less effective at work as a result of this stress, guilt and anxiety, and have a shorter fuse at home when I’m with my kids.

Part of the struggle of finding care is the feeling that NO ONE is good enough. And that’s true. No one is ME. But I know the childcare we find is serving an essential role of helping ME become the BEST ME and BEST MOM I can be. Having a nanny has enabled me the freedom to pursue my career goals and the work-home balance helps me be more present and engaged with my kids on my days off. Also, I have learned through the last six years of having a nanny, that my children do not have limited love to give. In fact, they thrive on attaching to and loving another person in their lives. I especially value this as we live in an area where we don’t have family close by. My daughters’ confidence grows when they feel loved by more people in their lives and our nannies have provided an essential source of this love and attention. And while no nanny replaces me, I’ve also learned that our nannies often have more energy and creativity than I do!  In fact, I think our nannies are often nicer and less stressed than I am. They are able to give more one-on-one attention than I can because they aren’t trying to juggle a million things at once. Seeing my children excited to greet our new nanny in the morning, allows me to leave for work knowing that Hailee and Cami will be enriched and loved throughout the day. And nothing matters more to me than my girls’ well-being!