One big thing that I have been very thankful for recently is our wonderful daycare providers. After the disaster with what would have been our daycare (she died at 32 under somewhat suspicious circumstances before Andrew ever started there) I was a little hesitant to go with another in-home provider.
I did some research through the DSS website (Dept of Social Services) and found some that were regulated and had permits. After a few phone calls I found Andrea. When Andrew was 6 weeks old we went by for a visit and I was very pleased with what I saw. I love the small in-home feel and the fact that there are only 6 kids and two providers. Much better ratio than there would have been at a conventional daycare center. They are less than a mile from our house, they do weekly outings with the kids (I pick him up from the farmer's market on Tuesdays), and they both genuinely love the kids.
I was worried when I dropped him off for the first time because he had been a really crappy napper and loved to be held a lot. I was terrified that he would be the screaming baby that they would dread having show up every day. The first couple days were an adjustment, but by the end of week two they had him settled into baby Laurie's schedule (she is the only one younger than Andrew - by two weeks). Now every day when we pick him up I ask how he did and they assure me that he is doing great. He loves to watch and interact with the other kids (there is also a 1 yr old, a 2 yr old and two 3 yr olds), he has been great about napping, and he has just been a genuinely happy baby.
Andrea sends me pictures to show me how he is doing and it always makes me smile to see him happy. There are many times when I wish it was me that was taking care of him all day, but it helps to know that he is in such good hands and that he is enjoying his days. I feel like it's a win-win for us. I get to interact with adults during the day and use my brain (and the paycheck doesn't hurt!) and he gets to play with other kids and have fun all day. I'm always so happy to see him when I pick him up in the afternoons and I cherish the time that we have together in the evenings.
So a HUGE 'Thank you' goes out to Andrea and Marc for taking such good care of the most precious thing in my life.
With his girlfriend, baby Laurie, doing some tummy time
Porter loves baby Andrew
At the park smiling in the stroller
Some playtime with Marc
Andrew and Marc are buddies