Friday, August 31, 2012

The Time I Got My Son Kicked Out Of Daycare

Yes, you read that title correctly. As of yesterday, August 30, 2012, Jackson is "suspended" from daycare. Well, not really suspended, more like expelled since we've been asked to never come back.

Jaw.Hits.Floor.

For you lovely loyals who've been around since I sent Jackson off for his first day of daycare, you know we've had some serious issues with this daycare. I've come here to vent many times, we've considered leaving many times...But when it came down to it, every time I couldn't bear to take him away from his friends all because I couldn't stand the administration at the daycare.

So, instead of tucking my tail and leaving I put up a fight to correct the multiple issues occurring daily within the daycare. Read: rooms not meeting ratio, sanitation requirements not being met, MILK not being stocked (which they are to provide). And the teachers? They started dropping like flies due to disrespect from the new director.

This battle of mine has been waging since Spring.
Now, here we are wrapping up Summer and my battle hit its high point.

Jackson has had a biting issue the past month or so, which we (his teacher's and I) have been trying to get a handle on. Either way, his biting streak seemed to chill out for a quick minute. That is, until Tuesday when he bit a child and it broke the skin.

Of course, daycare called me all in a tizzy because Jackson's shot records weren't up-to-date. Don't worry y'all, Jackson has in fact had his shots. Our pediatrician had just not been able to get them the updated record yet. They insisted that all would be fine if I just brought in the updated record by that afternoon when I picked him up. So, I did.

Welp, apparently that didn't matter because when I arrived to pick Jack up from daycare yesterday there was an envelope stapled to his daily sheet. I opened the envelope and read the most infuriating letter I've ever read.

At one point this letter said "due to Jackson's aggressive behavior combined with your lack of bringing us a current shot record we are suspending him effective immediately."

I went into that Director's office saying, "Uh, I brought you that shot record, where is our issue?"

Only to have in response, "We just don't think this center is for you. So we're going to ask you don't come back."

That's it. Nothing about these alleged aggressive ways (which don't exist). Nothing about not having an up-to-date shot record. Oh wait, because they do! Nope. Just that "the center is not for you." AKA me. AKA this director is tired of this parent calling her out on the many discrepancies in their standards and the fact that she's driven HALF of the staff out of the center in the five months she's been there.

So I left. And I cried. And I'm still crying. Because I feel as though I've failed Jackson. I fought so hard to ensure his daycare was caring for him properly that he was kicked out. Expelled before he even really has words. I didn't know it was possible. Despite that I most surely have a law suit (yes, I think about these things, it comes with working in a law firm), I know this battle is over.

And while I cry in the corner feeling defeated and deflated, Brandon stands proud. What I see as a failure, he sees as a win. He's told me repeatedly that I stood firm for my beliefs, that I spoke for Jackson and that as his mom I did him good.

Brandon would say that we've lost this battle with the daycare, but we've won the war. We stood united in how we feel a daycare should treat its children and parents, as well as the ultimate standards a facility should have for itself (which this one clearly doesn't).

Now? Well, now, we move on.

Over the last week, Brandon and I had already been discussing pulling Jackson from this daycare after today. I'd already conceded that we'd need to leave this center before being able to get into a different church-based daycare. There's a daycare literally two minutes from our house that I'd ignored because it's a "chain" daycare. But I've read reviews, I've called and spoken with the director, asked some of the initial this-isn't-my-first-go-round with a daycare questions and feel pretty good about it.

Our new potential daycare has the same eating and nap schedule, the teachers have been there over 10 years and well they have an immediate opening. With the routine being the same, really the shake-up will be the people.

And this is where my heart weeps. For the first time since being 10 weeks old Jackson won't go to school with his best friend (his girlfriend). They're always together at school, everyone knows they're best friends and they are kind of the cutest thing ever. For this I am sad. Stepping out of my zone and scheduling play dates will be in my near future.

Final decisions on the daycare will be made today when Brandon and I have a chance to visit and sit it for a bit with the new daycare.

It seems my prediction this would be a big week full of big decisions was quite right. And now, I'll leave you to tell me whether I'm crazy or if maybe perhaps you'll be infuriated and cry with me.
Oh.And.Also. We haven't even talked about the ENT appointment! Looks like a post for the weekend, considering we're scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning.

*sharing my story with Cassie for this week's Mommy-Brain Mixer

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At This Moment

I'm leaving work to get Jackson for our appointment with a new ENT.

Going into this appointment today, all I'm sure of is that I can't spend another Fall battling ear infections. We're back here again: the constant doctor appointments, the sleepless nights, the praying for a solution, yet again.


Thankfully, this guy is a trooper.

Now let's hope he behaves for mama at the doctor! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

August Group Giveaway

A few of my fabulous August Sponsors have come together to host The View From 510's very first Group Giveaway. This is a great handful of ladies, so be sure to show them some love. Oh, and with the variety of goodies up for grabs, I decided this time around everything goes to one lucky reader!







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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

All About The Eyes


In our world, every little thing is actually a big thing. I think this is just something that comes along with being a mom. It's the mama bear in us. While we attempt to juggle it all, there are often things that fall to the side. It happens, we're human. 

As a mama to a Toddler, most of my days are spent partaking in Jackson's rapid learning development. He points as he looks around taking in all the items, which leaves me wondering what he's really seeing. Every book we read produces new sounds, words, expressions and tones. 

Did you know 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes? Our little ones can even have an eye exam as young as six months old.  


Oh man, those sweet, still-blue six-month eyes.
Just imagine them as 16-year-old eyes. Wait, don't. That's too much for this mama heart. 

I've worn glasses since my teenage days, my parents wear glasses, my in-laws wear glasses. It kind of seems inevitable, which just gives me more incentive to have Jackson's eye-care kept up-to-date. 

Undetected vision conditions negatively impact learning in 1 of 4 kids. Whoa! And although the schools typically conduct exams, they don't produce the same level of results as comprehensive eye exams.

Which means this guy? 


Needs the most adequate eye care available. You know, so he can be the smartest in the class. 
Mamas, add it to the back-to-school list: eye exams. 

A quick search with VSP Vision Care revealed plenty of VSP doctors in our area. Really, the list of options went on forever. Search your area here. Now there's officially no excuse not to take the kiddos in for a look. Plus, you know you're overdue for an exam too. 

Just think how many times over you read that one favorite book to your toddler...Yeah, let's make it count. 

Visit SeeMuchMore for more information about VSP and vision care benefits. I was selected for this post by Clever Girls Collective, and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Reminder to My Mommy-Self

Currently my mantra:
Source: funnyimage.org via Erin on Pinterest


We've endured a grueling reminder of what life with a sick baby is like over the last week. Jackson with ear infections is such a sad semblance of my happy boy.

I take a deep breath as this week begins. It's going to be a big one, full of big decisions. I can just feel it.



Everything really comes down to this sweet face, though.


Despite the hours of worry, lack of sleep and lots of heartache, it's all worth it. A glimpse of no-ear-infection-Jackson appeared yesterday and it was blissful. To see him on the mend from this current infection is such an assuring feeling.

Appointment with a new ENT is scheduled for Wednesday. Updates to come Friday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Because Letters Are Fun

Dear Football Season, you are so close I can basically smell you in the air!

Source: google.com via Erin on Pinterest

Dear New Followers, I am beyond excited you're here. My little GFC widget has multiplied in numbers this month and for that I'm thankful. Not just because the number has gone up, but because I already see many of you commenting regularly. And that, makes my blogger heart happy.

Dear Jackson, my sweet, sweet baby. I hate that you're suffering yet another ear infection. But this, my love, deserves its own post.

Dear Blog, holy cow do I have a million posts in draft. There's just so much going on lately that I'm having a hard time gathering all the thoughts and preparing the words properly. Exciting things in the works little blog, exciting things!

Dear Budget, we're considering a Dave Ramsey program. Thoughts?

Dear Baby Fever,  you sure as hell are hanging on for dear life. I don't appreciate it.

Dear Life, as people say, you have your ups and downs. It's a funny ride this journey. As I find myself on the brink of a quarter-life crisis I can't help but wrack my brain with what-ifs and what-cans...






Dear Husband, you are great. No, you're better than that. Lately I've been reminiscing on our early days. You know, the honeymoon phase, which coincidentally were before we even got married. We were so carefree then.

Dear Life, even though I complain often, you've blessed me in so many ways.


Dear Friday, as always, you da best!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Not-So Toddler Bed Transition

This happened:

And then, well, it didn't.

Remember our anniversary getaway with a gorgeous view?
You can bet we didn't have The Toddler with us!
Nope, he was left with G-Pa {my Dad} for a couple days.

Over the weekend with his G-Pa, Jackson slept in a toddler bed. I knew of these sleeping arrangements before arriving to my Dad's house, but honestly didn't think it'd really happen. In true mommy fashion, I brought the pack-and-play just in case.

I mean, he's only 17 months old {today}!

To my dismay, G-Pa reported back that he went to sleep with no fuss and didn't wake up until 8 a.m.!
Freaking 8 a.m.?! The kid barely lets us get to 6:15 most mornings!

For Brandon, this was the final sign that Jackson was ready for a Toddler Bed.
Here's his reasoning:

Reason One: Many mornings Jackson wakes up screaming and upset. For a month he had an outright aversion to his entire room. Then that animosity focused in on the crib. 

Reason Two: He sleeps fine on a little cot at daycare AND doesn't even get off of it if he wakes before nap time is over. 

I wasn't convinced though.
My reasoning?

He's just a baby! 
Right? 
Please just say yes.



Well, the Husband won out. We changed the crib into a toddler bed, got a little bed rail, a pillow and rearranged some furniture. All in hopes, we'd up the appeal level of his room.

And? It worked. It really did! 

By no means was it miraculous; we still had to put in some leg work. Story time lasts a little longer. Mommy or Daddy stick around to rub his back for a minute. And when we slowly walked out of the room a few, "lay back down" reminders were said.

He did good, and my mommy heart was so proud.

Then it's like a flip switched.  He was waking way before the sun, screaming and banging on his door. I was stunned after how well he received the change just days prior.

Cut to a 4 a.m. morning with a screaming Toddler, hormonal crying mama, and a Dad pulling the crib rail down from the attic to drill it back into the bed. Yes, you read that correctly.
Monday morning at 4 a.m. Brandon drilled that sucker back together and BAM no more Toddler Bed.

We now know, our little man has a double ear infection which has left me wondering if it was the Toddler Bed or the ear infection...

Mamas, please chime in below! How old was your Toddler when you transitioned beds? Do you think Jackson's rejection could be his ears?

*linking up with Cassie from Two In Diapers for Mommy-Brain Mixer. Please take a moment to say hello if you're new here!*

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Room With A View

When we went away for our anniversary, we got to wake up with this...


My favorite kind of sunrise is one looming over the Blue Ridge. 


But when the rays finally flow through the valley, its a glorious site. 

Insta-Life

1) Roses from the Hubs on our anniversary. 
2) One of the many beautiful views on our anniversary trip to Asheville, which I've yet to share. 
3) The Toddler admiring Dad as he mows the lawn. He kind of loves him. 
4) The Toddler Bed Transition. Don't worry, this is its very own post. 
5) Well, it's hard to see in this photo, but this sweet blog of mine hit a milestone, 400 Followers. Woo Hoo! Welcome, new friends! 
6) This is what a Toddler looks like when they're experiencing sleep regression. 
7) Due to the sleep regression, mama sent said Toddler to Grandma's and slept in later than ever! 
8) We had a much needed date night. 
9) Currently Happening: Shopping Spree aka new shoes.

Have Instagram? Be sure to follow us @theviewfrom510 

*linked up with Life Lately

Monday, August 20, 2012

Show & Tell Monday: Home Edition

I've got good news and I've got bad news.
The good news? You're about to view some beautiful spaces.
The bad news? Absolutely none of it is our home.

Remember my post on wall collages?
Well, you've inspired me to get some things done around here.
Therefore, the photos of our current 510-home will not be shown, for now.

Today, you'll get snippets of my dream home. 

It's my one day home. You know, the forever homeAt least, in my mind that is. 
It's the home our child(ren) will return to after college and recall their memories of childhood. 

1. If you were searching for a home now, tell me what would be on your "MUST" list.
           -Laundry Room Upstairs
           -Play Room for the kid(s)
           -Fenced in Back Yard {deal breaker}

2. Show me your favorite room in a home {either your home, or any home, i.e. kitchen}.
Source: bhg.com via Erin on Pinterest


3. If you could have any room redone, tell me which one would it be and what would you like done?

         For our current house? It'd have to be the kitchen. As avid "House Crasher" fans, we've decided        our first choice would be the kitchen. We're thinking of knocking out a wall and and adding on a good eight feet. Maybe even add a sun room off the kitchen...Oh my, what that would do to this house! 



4. Tell me where your favorite stores are to shop for home decor.

          I'm always looking for a good bargain when it comes to home decor. And these days, it's really not that hard to do. Home Goods, Kirkland's, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few. And I almost hate to say it, but I've found some good picture frames and miscellaneous items at Big Lots as well. Just saying. 

5. Show me your dream home {it can be your home, if you already have your dream home}.

Source: houzz.com via Erin on Pinterest

Could this house be more beautiful?!


Pssssttt...Follow me on Pinterest here!

Oh and be sure to join Becky for her first week of Show & Tell!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Realities of Being a Blogger

Meaningful content, creative designs and a tight-knit community don't just happen overnight. No, it's something every blogger puts much time and effort into.

We spend countless hours writing posts, reading blogs, researching blogging trends, participating in forums, leading forums, joining hops, hosting giveaways, researching brands, attending conferences. Oh and let's not even begin to count the hours spent on social media outlets.

Our spouses, children and friends are of course priority #1; however, in the back of our minds at every second is our blog. For most of us, these sites become so much of who we are that in the end it's hard to separate the individual from the blog. And really? That's what I love about it.

A blog begins to flourish when walls are let down, strangers are let in and we give ourselves to this outlet 110 percent. I've "met" many bloggers over the last year that have touched my heart, altered my perspective on motherhood, work and life in general. They have encouraged and allowed me to wear my heart on my sleeve blog. And for this I am undoubtedly grateful.

As I drove home the other night, I imagined what it'd be like to actually surround myself in a room full of these women. Almost immediately tears began to swell as I pictured myself gossiping face-to-face with Sarah about Evie and Jackson, gushing over the awesomeness of Hayley and Zane's dark hair with Melissa and having the chance to finally meet this dear friend in person.

The idea was overwhelming and it was then I knew.

I knew that attending BlogHer 13 was a commitment I needed to make for myself, not just for this site. If you would've asked me a month ago if attending BlogHer was a legitimate option, I'd probably have said no. But today I can say with full faith that I will be attending BlogHer '13.

Sure, I'm still a lot little terrified to make this commitment. But knowing that come July 2013, I'll be able to actually hug this girl and this girl allows me to maintain faith and persevere through the many hurdles that need to be overcome before July.

Oh and while we're at it, a shameless plug. Because if I'm going to get to BlogHer then I'll need some amazing sponsors along the way. I'd say, the ladies currently on my sidebar are a great start. But every month there are new opportunities to become a sponsor, and this blog of mine has grown leaps and bounds this month alone thanks to sponsorships!

Click here for more details, or simply scroll up to my Sponsor tab.

Are you with me, BlogHer 13? Who else will I finally meet in person?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mommy-Brain Mixer

Welcome to week 4 of the Mommy-Brain Mixer, ladies!

One of my new blog crushes, Cassie at Two In Diapers , hosts a weekly mixer full of mamas sharing stories about motherhood and little ones. I adore reading these stories and going through your comments with stories of your own children!

Last week there were an amazing 95 link-ups! The Mixer is thriving!

This week, I'm honored to be co-hosting the hop!

So, welcome to...


You can find my Mommy-Brain post for the week here. I hope you'll check it out if you haven't already!

At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we will be linking up our writings about anything and everything motherhood!

We want to see funny posts, serious posts, sweet & sappy stories, mommy-brain episodes, memories from when your older children were younger, thoughts & lessons learned, and anything related to motherhood or little people. You know that post you wrote yesterday about your teething baby? Or that hilarious post you wrote about your 2nd grader's school play? Those are perfect, so link 'em up! 

The Mommy-Brain Mixer is the perfect place to find some great new blogs to follow, make some wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy some entertaining new reads!

To make things even more fun Mar, over at Raising Bean, is hosting a sister link-up for you to join, too! Head on over there after your finished here and link up your recipes, DIY, arts & crafts, and sensory activities!  

Let's get to it, friends!
 
RULES:
1.Follow Two In Diapers
{the first link below}

2. Follow your co-hosts
This week's lovely co-hosts {the first 4 on the linky} are:


3. Link up your mommy post!

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link-up and maybe even follow them!
{and comments are always loved} 

5. Tweet about the Mommy-Brain Mixer to help spread the word! 

 

6. Grab this adorable button and place it somewhere on your blog!

Photobucket

If you are interested in co-hosting the next Mommy-Brain Mixer, email Cassie at twoindiapers@gmail.com!





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Thing About Wall Collages

If you've pondered photography, DIY projects or home decor in the last six months then you know Photo Collage Walls are a top trend. And really, it's hard to deny their beauty, if done right.


Possibilities are truly endless...

Source: loveoffamilyandhome.net via Erin on Pinterest

and yet I'm still intrigued. 

I've spent more time over the last year drooling over others' creations than I'd like to admit, but have yet to get a nail into my own wall. My indecisive personality seems to be the only thing standing between me and many photo collages in our house. 

The thing about wall collages is that they take a balance of planning and whimsy to successfully produce. 

Gathering items that correlate, but aren't too matchy, items with meaning that have actual reference to your life is no easy thing. Then to actually get these items on the wall? This is where I get stuck.

My love for symmetry kills it every time! I have all intentions of creating a wall collage, but then I scoot one photo one way and the other back again. When I finally stand back to take it in I've damn near lined things up. Every single time.

Have you succeeding in creating a wall collage? I'm open to advice!

*linked up with Michelle for Oh, How Pinteresting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Everything Changes

*this post has been linked with Two in Diaper's Mommy-Brain Mixer. Find more details here*

As mothers, we're documenters.  In turn, we pride ourselves on monthly updates throughout the first years of our children's lives. And without fail, every month is proclaimed the favorite and every milestone the greatest yet.


But a day will come when you miss an update. Trust me, it happens. Your mom guilt will overtake you body and soul. Mom guilt is a funny thing that way. Something as simple as a monthly post pulls at your heart as if you'd failed him a million times over.

Can I be honest?

When the day actually arrives, I've blinked and an entire month has passed. The many memorable highlights of the last thirty days have faded into a blur of past and present and the few notes I jotted down don't seem to do the time justice.


Take for instance the pre-second-haircut Jackson above. His second 4th of July was spent playing at the pool followed by some running around the yard. Oh and that outfit, the one he only wore once (like most of his closet).

Somehow, that day, that month, has changed him. I've blinked and that shaggy-haired kid has grown, accomplished and loved in ways that are vastly different than the months before.


Christmas cause-and-effect toys. Check.
Growth Spurt. Check. 
Adding to the vocabulary. Check. {dog, ball, bowl, trash}
Displaying genuine emotional connections to people and places. Check.


Seemingly similar cycles of months do not exist anymore. Even the minuscule second when he smiles or laughs with a new inflection changes who he is. It changes who I am as a mother. 

Much like when, out of the blue, Jackson started chanting "Yah!" in the deepest toddler voice known to man. Brandon and I took a quick look at each other then proceeded to die laughing. This hint of a deep voice has continued all month. And while he still hits those high notes like a champ, his voice has grown. I literally hear my baby becoming a boy. 


Layers deeper than the various milestones in monthly updates, we attempt to capture the empowering love of our child. Not the love for our child, but truly his love of us, of life, of family and even of his silly four-legged friends.


It's a profound love, rooting itself further into our hearts each month through change.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Social: Foodie Edition

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
I should probably say apples. But really, I'm going to have to go with cheesecake. 

Source: google.com via Erin on Pinterest


What's your guilty pleasure/comfort food?
Refer to Answer 1.

What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've ever eaten?
Some crazy fish soup served to me on a trip in Spain. I knew it shouldn't be eaten, but did it out of customer-guilt to the chef. Six hours later? Food poisoning. Damn that fish soup!

What foods do you avoid at all costs?
You'd think I'd say fish soup, which would be true. But even more than that nasty fish soup, I avoid churros. Yes, churros. Those delicious fried Spanish dessert goodness. We'll just say the fish soup inevitably ruined these for me as well. 

What meal reminds you of your childhood?
My Grandmother's french toast. Hmm, doesn't get much better than that.

Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.
Poppy-Seed Chicken Casserole. 
Hands down. 


Since the day I received this recipe, it's been a favorite to ever come out of the kitchen. It's a special recipe that was handed down to me by someone I'd never expected...find the full story here and let me know if you give it a try!

Sunday Social

Friday, August 10, 2012

Letters. Links. Love.

Dear August, you have officially been dubbed a marathon. No. Make that a triathlon.
I'm going to need a vacation by September 1. Although, I bet a seriously long nap would do.

Dear Millie {aka most spoiled dog ever}, quit shedding. I would pay a million dollars for you to quit shedding! Please and thank you.

Dear creative mamas, thank you for keeping me inspired. Must.make.this.fabric-word-art. Must. 

Dear BlogHer 12 recaps, ditto. The inspiration is contagious. See you at BlogHer 13. {Right Sarah?!}

Dear Christmas, I'm genuinely thinking of you on a semi-daily basis. I blame Lil' Luna's Christmas in July series for my current fixation.

Dear Plain Chicken, I love your recipes. And this? I've been drooling over all week.
King Ranch Mac&Cheese.

Dear new readers, I'm glad to see many new faces around here. Don't be shy, say hello!

Dear 16-month-old Jackson, I've just realized I still haven't posted your photos from 4th of July much less a monthly update. Oops. 


Dear self, your baby has changed dramatically in the last month. Hang on to these moments.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Adding to the Collection

Rarely do I mention my wild dreams of being an artist because in reality I don't have a single successful brushstroke in me. No, I've even had a teacher fail me for my many visible brush strokes.

So instead I study and collect.

Our weekend in Asheville just happened to coincide with their annual Village Art and Craft Fair. For years, this has been a favorite event of mine. There's always someone who stands out. And this year did not disappoint. This year, I couldn't say no.


Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, 
and hidden that will not be known. Matthew 10:26

I liked the painting, yet wandered away not quite sold. Then I was told its story, referencing the scripture inspiring the painting. That's all it took. I was sold. 

Add it to the collection.