Tag Archives: daycare

Product Review – Homeocan Kids 0-9 Cough and Cold

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Homeocan 0 – 9 Cough & Cold

Anyone who has children knows better than most that like toys, children have an innate ability to pick up germs, viruses and other nasty bacteria.  The Princess is no exception.  While she was in daycare, she contracted everything, and I mean everything.  Three days after going into daycare, our Princess contracted Norwalk Virus, and had vicious diarrhea for 3 weeks.  She lost so much weight and her poor bum was so blistered that we had to put a steroid cream just to keep them from bleeding.   She was so miserable it was devastating.  The daycare fortunately refunded us 2 weeks of the cost, however, Hubby and I had to alternatively take days off work just to care for her.  I had literally just started a new job and was missing days out of the week.  I thought for sure I was going to be fired.  But I had no one else.  The daycare wouldn’t take her.  After she finally got over that, it was maybe a week before she got an ear infection that spread to her eyes, throat, sinus and lymph nodes and sent her into a fever that was so high I had to put her in bath of cold water.  She screamed bloody murder.  I put her on the couch naked to try to cool her down when she started to have a seizure.  Her eyes rolled back in her head, she started to shake uncontrollably and was gasping for breath.

Her immune system has strengthened greatly but she still gets the occasional cough and cold.  Now most medication is not suitable for children under the age of 6 for obvious reasons, but as a parent you feel helpless because there is very little you can do to ease their symptoms.  Rest, fluids and a lot of tender love and care are a given, but what can you do for those runny noses, phlegm and nasty coughs other than wait for it to run its course.  I was at the pharmacy and saw a homeopathic cough medicine for children ages 0 to 9 years.  First I thought to myself, really what is this going to do?  I had my doubts that there would be any significant improvement in the Princess’ symptoms, but boy oh boy did I eat my words.

Homeocan Kids 0 – 9  cough & cold is a homeopathic medicine that helps relieve cough, pain, fever, congestion and mucus build up.  It does not have any harmful side effects and is dye and sugar-free.  For children under 6, it’s a 1/2 teaspoon every 4 hours.  The best part though, is that it tastes good.  Now recalling my childhood memories, medicine either tasted like fake bananas or indescribable bitterness.  But the Princess will swallow this without so much as a wince.  Thumbs up for that all on its own.   There also is a night-time cough syrup that works wonders.  With a soothing sedative, this helps relieve symptoms while allowing a good nights sleep that ill children so desperately need.

I have no complaints with this medication.  It’s all natural, great tasting, homeopathic with no side effects.  It does what it claims and now when Princess gets ill when she’s past the age of 6, I will still be using this medication instead of the other brands.  5 out of 5 for this product!  For a full list of ingredients, please click here.

 

* I was not paid to do this review and I purchased the medication myself.*

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The Shake-up Routine

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I’ve heard that a change in routine will throw children into a tizzy, but I was not expecting what going from daycare to school would do to the Princess.  Don’t get me wrong, she loves school, but the change in routine and schedule has had a noticeable effect on her.  Since she was 18 months old, she has gone to the same daycare, with the same teachers, same friends at the same times with Mommy dropping her off and Daddy picking her up.  For 2 1/2 years, that was her schedule, stable and familiar.  But now, everything is different.  Times have changed.  No longer are we up at 6:30, and we’re home with the sun still high in the sky.  New teachers, new friends, new backpack, new schedule.  Also, now Mommy does both the drop off and pick up.

The Princess has been eating less, temper tantrums are more frequent and more severe, with spending more and more time in time out.  I am trying to remain the disciplinarian while being understanding that this is just a phase due to the upheaval of her stable schedule.  I’m hoping that within the next few weeks she will be back to her happy, content self, but this has definitely shown me how sensitive children are to changes and this will better prepare me for future changes and how to handle them.

Last Day of Daycare

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Today marks the Princess’ last day of daycare.  It will be the last time we will be up early to travel via the transit system, it will be the last time I will be waking up and coming home in the dark during the Canadian winter months.  It will be the last time she will see her teacher’s and old friends before she begins a new journey in school where she will meet new teachers and friends.    I am so very proud of the little girl she has become and firmly believe that the wonderful staff definitely had a helping hand in that.  They were there for all her sicknesses, all her happy moments and her bruised knees.  She was able to go on trips, go see plays and have experiences that she may not have had, had I stayed home instead of going back to work.   While she did manage to contract all viruses and bacteria that came through that place, but her immune system is rock solid now, just in time for school.  We’d all hate to see her miss a day at school.

The Cash Drain has Officially Ended!

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Today is a wonderful day!  I filled out my very last cheque for daycare and no longer will $800 a month be removed from my bank account.  While the daycare my daughter attends has been absolutely wonderful, I will not lie when I say that I am ecstatic that I will save close to $10 000 a year on child care.  From the time she was 18 months to now, we have spent close to $25 000.  That is an OUTRAGEOUS amount.  I do not receive any subsidy as Hubby and I earn too much and the daycare is on the cheaper side.

When I first began looking at daycare, I called one very close to us.   When I finally asked about the cost, I wished I hadn’t.  $1 700 a month.  For one child!  While I was not about to pay that amount, I was curious what was included.  Apparently, $1 700 gets your child gourmet baby food, bilingual language classes, dance classes, instrument lessons, art classes and sports.  I declined when he asked if I wanted to be put on the list.  I didn’t want to say it, but at the time, my daughter would eat crumbs from the floor that had been between her toes before she’d eat gourmet food.

It is hard to believe when I first entered her into daycare that it wouldn’t be long before I would be signing the last cheque and now real school is right around the corner.  Milestones have come and gone, but I am thinking that with an extra $10 000 every year, maybe Hubby and I may be able to go on a very well-deserved vacation.  Or maybe Disneyland?

Image from cashinbundles.com

The Good, the Bad and the Ugliness of Daycare

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My Princess has been in daycare since she was 18 months old.  I went back to work on weekend and nights when she was about 10 months old but didn’t go back fulltime until she was 16 months.  I moved from Ottawa to Toronto when I was 7 months pregnant and decided that when I went back to work, I wasn’t getting a transfer.  I knew I needed a job that paid the bills, left a little in the bank and would still cover the cost of daycare.  I searched all over Toronto but most were either inflexible hours, too little pay or ridiculously far away from where we lived.  So I found a job where I worked nights on the weekend.  Despite hating it, it put money in the bank and I didn’t need a sitter.  But eventually it just wasn’t enough, I really didn’t want it to be my career, let alone my job.  So I started looking again for another job.

Finally I found the job where I work now.  I am a food writer for a catering company in Toronto and I’m also the Head Catering Coordinator.  The hours are great, so are my coworkers and it is only a 35 – 45 minute commute each way.  Not bad for Toronto.  I began my search for childcare.  We found one woman who ran her own daycare out of her home who lived near us.  She was relatively priced, had children of her own, so it seemed like a great fit.  We went away the weekend before I was supposed to start and when we came home that Sunday I had a message on my machine.

“I’m really sorry to do this to you so last-minute, but I’ve changed my mind.  I’m closing down my home daycare.”

Are you serious?!  Thank goodness for my in-laws who helped us out extraordinarily with our search for childcare.  They watched her until we found someone else.  While I was searching for the first place, I had come across a Nanny (or so she called herself) that was fresh out of college.  She was currently working at a daycare, but wished to go into business herself.  She was willing to come to our home and watch her.  She was all up to date with her CPR and First Aid.  She graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at a Toronto College.  She had references from daycare, families and other related jobs and all the references came back stellar.  I even had a police background check done and it was clean.  I did my research and was thorough, she was the person.  It wasn’t long until we learned our lesson.

It started off fairly early that she was not showing up to work, or calling in sick.  Once she told me she couldn’t work on Monday because she “thought” her cousin was getting married.  Then we started to hear from our neighbours that there were people waiting outside for her throughout the day.  We had a discussion with her and told her that under NO circumstances was she to have anyone in our home.  She said she understood.  Next thing we noticed, food from our fridge was missing.  Not a little bit at a time, like cans of soup, tube of cookie dough, you name it, it started to go missing.  We started looking for daycare, because it was getting to be too much.  Then this (insert expletive) did something so atrocious that she will rot in a special place for what she did.  Hubby and I keep all our twoonies to put in the Princess’ piggy bank.  It goes towards her college fund and the Wednesday prior to this day, we had counted it and there was $100 in it.  Hubby suggested that we roll it and put it in the bank.  The next Monday, I came home from work and found numerous Tim Horton cups in our trash.  I remember she brought one when she arrived that morning, but there were three in the garbage and Hubby said he didn’t have any.  Then I went to the sink and found three bowls of Alphaghetti in there.  And none were of my daughter’s special children’s bowls.  Hubby said when he got home, there was someone waiting outside.  Hmm.  My spider senses were beginning to tingle.  I was going to call her that night to ask if she had anyone over.  But first, I had twoonies in my purse that I was going to put in her piggy bank.  Now I kept our laundry money, spare change jar and the Princess’ piggy bank in our bedroom with the door closed.  She was aware that our bedroom was off-limits and she was never to go in there.  So that night, when I went to put the change in the piggy bank, I lifted it up and much to my surprise, it was EMPTY!!!!  Oh I have never been so angry in my life!  I began frantically searching around my home for 50 twoonies.  Asked Hubby if he had taken them to the bank and he said ‘no’.  So I called her.  And this is how the conversation went.

“Hi (insert name).  Did you have someone over today?” I asked calmly.

“No.”

“Well Hubby said he saw your friend outside.”

“Yeah, they were waiting for me.”

“Well I found coffee cups in the garbage.”

“Oh, well they came up to use the bathroom.”

“Did they eat my food too?  I found bowls in the sink.” Rule number one for criminals, get rid of the evidence.

“Ummm.”

“Listen, the Princess’ piggy bank is empty.”

“I never went into your bedroom.”  Caught you!

“That’s funny, because I never told you that’s where the money was.”

Dead silence.

“Listen, you are fired and I’m calling the cops.  You stole money from a baby!  You are low.”

I called the cops and they came and took our statement.  I was assigned a detective and they tried numerous times to call her and go to her place of residence, however, because she lived in an apartment building, and she didn’t answer the buzzer, they couldn’t go in the building.  Robbed a baby and got away with it.  But I was offered this little tidbit of information.  Apparently, in Canada, if you have been arrested but never charged formally, these offenses never show up on your record and our dear sweet thief had been arrested TWICE for shoplifting and theft and ONCE for domestic abuse, but all charges were dropped.  So my background check did absolutely nothing to protect my child.  I did however, call her references and informed them of what she did and they were absolutely wrong to give such stellar ones when she was nothing but a thief.  I felt so guilty after that.  I left my child in the care of someone who robbed her.  Stole money that was to be for her education.  I felt like I made the worst decision of my life.

Soon after that, we found the daycare where we are at now.  It was close to home, reasonably priced and was professionally run.  That is not to say we were not without bumps in the road.  Three days after going into daycare, our Princess contracted Norwalk Virus, and had vicious diarrhea for 3 weeks.  She lost so much weight and her poor bum was so blistered that we had to put a steroid cream just to keep them from bleeding.   She was so miserable it was devastating.  The daycare fortunately refunded us 2 weeks of the cost, however, Hubby and I had to alternatively take days off work just to care for her.  I had literally just started a new job and was missing days out of the week.  I thought for sure I was going to be fired.  But I had no one else.  The daycare wouldn’t take her.  After she finally got over that, it was maybe a week before she got an ear infection that spread to her eyes, throat, sinus and lymph nodes and sent her into a fever that was so high I had to put her in bath of cold water.  She screamed bloody murder.  I put her on the couch naked to try to cool her down when she started to have a seizure.  Her eyes rolled back in her head, she started to shake uncontrollably and was gasping for breath.  I was frantic.  I have epilepsy, but to see it happening to your child is frightening.  She had 12 seizures that day.  She was rushed to the local Children’s Hospital where she spent days in and out of it for close to six months.  Any virus or germ or bacteria that was going around her daycare, she got it.  I never believed it when people told me that once you put them in daycare they get sick all the time, but they were right.  Her drastic change in health put a lot of strain on us emotionally, physically and financially.  I was starting to wonder if going back to work was the right thing to do.

She had lost so much weight and became so weak that she had troubling walking.  She would collapse for no reason, continued to have seizures any time she had a fever and we went for countless tests.  Seeing her hooked up to an EEG machine, with wires running off of her head was so heart breaking.  She went to visit a pediatric neurologist who gave us good news.  She wasn’t epileptic, although her chances of developing it later in life are increased.  He gave us pills that were to crush in her cheek if she had another one and to monitor all her fever’s closely.  Thank GOD she hasn’t had another one after that.  It took about a year in daycare before she was able to ward off any viruses.  But despite her not getting them, she brought them home to us.  Hubby never got tonsilitis until we put her in daycare.  But as soon as she went in, he was getting it every 2 months.  He could even tell before it hit that he was getting it.  Finally in January, after going to the doctors, he had his tonsils removed because the doctor said that his tonsils were basically working against him.   The surgeon said they were the size of meatballs they were so infected.

Now despite a tumultuous year and a half, there were great things about the daycare.  My Princess is a social butterfly and has so many friends.  We would have parents come up to us and say how much their children talk about her.  Kids would fight just to sit next to her.  Her daycare also had fashion shows, plays, puppet shows and field trips that has greatly enriched her life.  Just this week she was able to go to the African Lion Safari which is where you drive through a park of African animals and get to see them close up.  She got to see monkey’s and lions and loved how the monkey’s climbed on the car.  They provided her with life experiences and friends that she may not have gotten if I had stayed home.  I am not worried about her going to Kindergarten now because of how well she flourished in daycare.  I also know now that her immune system is stronger, she won’t be missing that much time at school.  I would recommend our daycare to anyone and if we have another child and I go back to work, we will definitely be using that one again.

The Trials and Tribulations of the Working Mom

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I am a working mom.  I took a little time after coming off Maternity Leave before going back to work full-time, going back when she was 18 months.  I worked part-time nights on the weekend after my leave ended.  I thought 1 year was not yet old enough for me to be apart from her.  You only get some much time with them, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of the time.  But eventually, I needed to go back.  I noticed that when talking with other adults, the only thing I could talk about was the Princess.  I was up-to-date on developmental skills and the latest children’s toy, but as for fashion, gossip and news, I was lacking.  After discussing it with the hubby, I made the decision to go back to work.  On any given day, this is what my day looks like;

  • 5:30 am – Hubby goes to work, the Princess crawls into bed with me until we have to get up to start our day
  • 6:30 am – I get to enjoy my breakfast
  • 7:00 am – The Princess has risen and “FEED ME” is the first thing she bellows.  Treehouse goes on the television, her breakfast is eaten and I begin sorting out our clothes, feed our cat (Remi) and 2 parakeets (aptly named Alfred and Hitchcock after my favourite movie, “The Birds”)
  • 7:20 – 8:10 am – We shower, brush our teeth, brush our hair get dressed, run around hectically, search for lost shoes, and one last potty trip
  • 8:20 am – Wait for our bus to come
  • 8:30 am – Our bus arrives and we’re on our way
  • 9:00 am – We arrive at her daycare, shoes are changed, kisses and hugs goodbye are exchanged and I am begin walking back to the subway
  • 9:15 – 9:50 am – I am on the subway for my daily commute to work.  This is the time where I get to read.  As I am an avid reader, I am doing the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and I’m currently reading “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
  • 10:00 am – 5:30 pm – I am slaving away to “The Man”.  My lunch is used to update Hubby on dinner, complain about our days, and ask what the plan is for the rest of the night
  • 5:35 – 6:15 pm – I’m commuting home
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner starts (Hubby picks up the Princess at 5 pm so as he’s home first, he starts dinner)
  • 7:00 – 7:30 pm – Quiet family time, for example colouring, reading, etc
  • 7:30 – 8:00 pm – Shower time for the Princess
  • 8:15 pm – Bedtime along with hugs and kisses and a bedtime read
  • 8:30 pm – dinner dishes begin and a quick tidy
  • 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Relaxation
  • 10:00 pm – Mommy and Daddy bedtime

Now this the presumed schedule we have set up, but that’s not to say that sometimes there aren’t a few bumps in the road.  Sometimes there are delays in the bus and subway, or work runs late for both Hubby and I, or the Princess gets sick at daycare and one of us has to go pick her up.  In any given day, I get approximately 2 hours of relaxing time.  Oh the joys!

Parenting Is Hard Enough

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I was recently having a discussion about Alicia Silverstone pre-chewing her food and feeding her son.  Then we discussed the whole “co-sleeping” debate when Mayim Bialik wrote about attachment parenting.  Everyone had an opinion on what was the right and wrong way to parent.  I remember getting all sorts of parenting advice, whether it was warranted or not, and there were days where my brain actually hurt.

Should I breastfeed?  What about formula?  How long should the baby sleep in our room?  Should we use a stroller or baby carrier?  There was so much to think about and we were getting advice at every corner.  All I wanted was to raise a well-rounded, polite, out going child.  That’s not too much to ask is it?  I asked the likely people for advice, my doctor, my mom and mother in-law, friends with children and did my own research on the internet.  Then I would get it from people on the street.  I didn’t even ask them for their opinion, I merely passed them on the street.  What the heck?

Now that I am a mother and many of my friends are having children, sometimes they come to me for advice.  I do what I did.  I went to my own mother, my mother in-law, ask my doctor and did my own research.  At then at the end, I did what I thought was best for my daughter.  And that was all they could do.  I told them I was not about to be an insufferable know-it-all and tell them every last detail of my parenting experience and that ultimately, they would do what they thought was best for their children.   Do not listen to all the chatter, use your natural instinct and your child will turn out alright.

Historically speaking, women came together and birthed and raised children as a community.  Now it is more of an attack on parenting.  We are judging each other instead of helping each other.  Good grief, parenting is hard enough without everyone and their neighbour chipping in their two cents.  So what if you co-sleep?  If it works for you, then by all means.  Pre-chew food?  Not my first choice, but then again, it’s not my child.  Parenting is as deeply personal as religion is.  It varies from person to person and if we are not supposed to judge people on their beliefs, then lets not judge them on how they raise their children.  What works for them, may not work for you or I, but it works for them.

I am quite proud of how I raised my daughter.  I gave birth via c-section with an epidural.  I breastfed until she was 5 1/2 months.  She wore disposable diapers as opposed to cloth.  She was in her own crib, in her own room at 2 months.  I immunized her, but didn’t opt for the flu shot.  I never put her in a playpen to play.  I took away her soother at 6 months, and stopped bottle feeding at 14 months. I made my own baby food in the beginning then switched to jarred.  I give her allowance, as I make her do chores.  She gets put in timeout.  She has pets, and reads the Goosebump series.  I didn’t give her juice until she was 20 months old and only because she contracted Norwalk Virus.  Her “security blanket” is actually my old bra (she has been dragging it around since she could crawl, and actually hides all my bras on me now.  I will find them in toy box and under her pillow from time to time.)  I stayed home until she was 18 months and then went back to work full time and put her in daycare.  I will not pierce her ears until she is 5.  She has had overnight sleepover at a friend’s homes.  She still has naps and enjoys morning cartoons.  And while some people may not agree with some of this, it doesn’t matter to me.  My daughter is an independent, intelligent, creative and imaginative little girl.  She says please and thank you, she gives hugs and kisses, shares and plays well with other children.  Only I know what is best for her, as she came from my body.