Monday, July 27, 2009

Daycare Decisions

We are getting closer and closer to Jen going back to work so Jen spent some time last week checking out the local daycare providers. I think I may have mentioned in the past that we plan to send Grace to daycare 2 days a week. She will be spending 1 day a week with my mom and 2 days with Jen's parents. Our major motivation for sending Grace to daycare is socialization. So overall we are looking for a place that will be fun for her. We have pretty much decided against an in-home type daycare as we prefer a school-like setting. To help out with our decision we ranked the 3 places that Jen visited on the criteria that are most important to us. We kept it simple by just ranking 1 to 3, 1 being the lowest 3 being the highest.

Daycare 1

Jen and I went to an open house at this place earlier in the summer and we initially thought this is where we would be sending Grace. This is a locally owned daycare with just one location but it is a pretty large place caring for about 40 kids from infant to pre-school. It is basically at the end of our street so it is very convenient. The price was reasonable and Jen really liked the staff. I was a bit freaked our at how is seemed a bit dirty but I guess that is pretty normal given there are kids running around all day. Our initial visit was on a Saturday so there were no kids there so it was a bit tough to get a good impression. Jen went back last week when class was in session and unfortunately she wasn't impressed. Of all of the criteria above attentiveness is definitely the most important to us. We want to make sure Grace is being watched and will be safe. The teachers were sitting together talking and watching the kids from afar. I realize that everyone needs a break sometimes but you would think that they would be a little more attentive when someone is visiting.

Daycare 2

The second place Jen visited was one of the corporate daycare companies that has centers nationwide. Jen really liked this place. The teachers were attentive and there is a big focus on academics. The place was very clean and there was a lot of flexibility offered that non-corporate daycare facilities can't provide. This was the most expensive place we looked at but price really isn't a factor since we are only sending Grace for 2 days. The one glaring thing we didn't like about this place was that there was no diversity. All of the kids were white and we really don't want Grace going to a daycare where she is the only Asian or minority.

Daycare 3

The last place Jen visited seems to have it all. It is a locally owned place but has about a dozen facilities in our area. They are very reasonably priced and have a good mix of focus on academics and fun. The diversity was great and the staff was extremely attentive while Jen was there. So far this place is at the top of our list. We may visit another one of their locations on my vacation in a couple weeks just to see how convenient it is but I think our decision has been made.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Water Week

We had a really nice week here weather-wise so Jen and Grace spent most of the week by the water. On Monday Grace got to check out her new pool which she really seemed to enjoy. Unfortunately she fell getting out of it and jammed her toe. She wouldn't walk on it so Jen took her to the doctor. Fortunately it is nothing serious, just a slight sprain. She seemed to be getting better throughout the day and is completely back to normal now.
Tuesday called for a trip to the ocean to model the new shades. The tide was out and it was much less windy so Grace was able to enjoy herself much more.
Wednesday was a trip to a local beach where I grew up. Grace and Jen met up with Auntie Melinda, James and Sam for some more time in the sun.
Jen also went to meet up with Auntie Kris, Kathryn and Karina at the pool for the day on Friday. I have a feeling if this keeps up she is going to sprout fins and swim away like a little mermaid. We took the weekend off from the water to do a little car shopping. I really didn't want to buy a new car until Jen went back to work but between the MA sales tax increase next month, 0% financing, and the federal tax credit for a new car purchase that were were planning to take advantage of anyway, the time was right. So, as of tomorrow we will be proud owners of a Dodge Grand Caravan. Jen fought getting a mini-van for a long time but after seeing all of the convenience features she finally relented. Grace taking her test drive below.
We ended the weekend with a cookout at the Shahs and a sample of Biren's homemade Limoncello, Mmmmmm. Good way to end a weekend. Below is Grace upset that she didn't get a taste.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Vacation is always too short

I think I mentioned in my post last week that I was on vacation this past week. We kept very busy after getting home from Maryland on Monday and had plans pretty much every day. The weather here in New England was still pretty rainy earlier in the week so we took in some indoor activities and brought Grace to see the pish (fish) at the New England Aquarium. Grace really enjoyed the aquarium especially the turtles and sharks.

Mommy Grace and the Jellyfish
Later in the week when the weather started to clear we meet up with one of Grace's China Travelmates Zoe for a trip to the Southwick Zoo. Grace really enjoyed the petting zoo and feeding the deer.

This past weekend was spent at the beach with our friends Kristen, Biren, Karina and Kathryn. The weather was much warmer than the last time we came up but the water was still very cold and rough as the tide was in. Although it didn't seem to bother Grace one bit, she really just loves the water.

Grace and Bob running

Takin in the view

Where's our dinner ?!?!

Monday, July 06, 2009

We're Back

Sorry for being a little late in posting this week. We took off late last week for Maryland to visit with some family for the long holiday weekend and just got home tonight. This was Grace's first flight since coming home from China and she did surprisingly well. Luckily we didn't have any major delays which made things much easier. Grace had a blast hanging out with all of her aunts, uncles and cousins. We spent a lot of time hanging out by the pool and also took an excursion to a local petting zoo. Some pics of the weekend below.....

I only look scared....flying is fun!!!!
Mommy and Grace at the Enchanted Village

Grace and Uncle Mike
Grace and Daddy in the pool
I just love this picture
Pony rides are serious business

No trip to Maryland is complete without a little crab