Today I thought I'd share a little bit about Gibi and Haha - common players in the dramatics of our daily lives and often talked about here on the blog :) I get asked often about their grandparent names as well as about how we settled on our current childcare situation so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone since they're both grandparent related and address both questions today.
My parents, Ian and Joyce, picked out the grandparent names Gibi and Grandpa in 2007 when I found out I was pregnant.
My mom wanted something unique and "un-grandma" and so she settled on Gibi (like G.B.) to stand for Grandma Buchanan. My dad channeled his inner old man and picked out Grandpa :) We tried to encourage him to pick Chief (this was the name that everyone called him when we used to go on mission trips to Mexico), but he wanted Grandpa, so Grandpa it was.
I went back through my blog and in the summer of 2010 Luke stopped calling my dad Grandpa and started calling him Haha. I have NO CLUE where it came from, but he started saying that his grandpa's name was Haha and so we ran with it :)
Now for a little history, when I was in High School my mom took a job as an administrative assistant at a super small, private Christian school named McKinney Christian Academy. The school was located in an old bank building and she officed out of what was once the vault.
She continued to work at MCA as they grew and in 2006 when I started there as a teacher, she was the assistant to the Upper School Principal. She and I worked together during my first and second years of teaching. During my second year I found out I was pregnant and Dave and I started to talk about childcare and the possibility of me staying at home and all of those big decisions. We had decided that I would stay home, but I was torn because I absolutely loved my job and felt like I was doing exactly what I was being called to do. It was then that my mom told us that she wanted to quit her job and watch Luke for us full time. I was SHOCKED! My mom LOVED her job at MCA, but she was so excited about the opportunity to spend this precious time with her first grandchild and she really felt like I had just started my teaching career and she wanted me to be able to continue.
My mom watched Luke during his first year and we had a great system. We lived about 10 minutes away from them and I would leave for school and then about an hour or so later Dave would pack Luke up and drop him off at my parent's house on his way to the country club. I picked him up after school and headed back across town. In the spring of 2009 we decided we wanted to move closer to my parents and began our VERY specific search... we wanted to live within eyesight of my parents house :)
If you had told my "high school self" that I would one day be searching for a house within toddler walking distance of my parents I would have laughed in your face :) But we were so excited!!!
We found the perfect house for us (about 10 houses down the street from my parents) and immediately made an offer. Our current house sold within a week of being on the market (which was CRAZY fast at the time) and after a TON of delays with our buyer's closing and a super stressful actual move, we were in our new house on Luke's first birthday.
My mom continued to watch Luke during the 2009/2010 school year and the added convenience of living so close was amazing. She would split her time between her house and mine and I would often come home to clean laundry and vacuumed carpets. AMEN!!! Living close by was awesome for lots of reasons, but one of which is picking up a grandparent or two on our nightly walks around the neighborhood :)
In the Fall of 2010 we found out I was pregnant with Mason and my mom told us that she wanted to go back to work. She and Luke had THE BEST time together, but at that point he was so independent and they went out and about, did all kinds of outings together and such and throwing a newborn into the mix wasn't something she was up for.
It was a difficult pill to swallow because we LOVED having my mom watch Luke. I mean, it was the absolute PERFECT scenario. We started the search for daycare for TWO KIDS (holy tuition, batman!) and started narrowing down our choices. We started with traditional daycare settings as well as Montessori academies and after visiting several were left feeling like that wasn't going to be the best place for our kids.
I know that some people love the structure and amenities (like being able to see your kids from your computer at work), but they weren't for us. Next we looked into hiring a nanny. We interviewed a couple and felt okay about going that route, but didn't want to make a decision before checking out several in-home daycare options we'd received via recommendations.
I visited half a dozen or so in-home daycare options and liked them okay, but AS SOON as I walked into Miss Lisa's house I knew that it was where I wanted my boys to be. She was warm and welcoming and open about her policies and procedures. Things that I immediately liked about her were that she did pre-school curriculum, but nothing super rigorous. She told me that I could drop in unannounced ANY time I wanted to and she was a big believer in routine. I liked that I didn't have to pack a lunch for the boys every day, that I could drop off a big box of diapers and container of formula and bottles and she kept up with the supplies so there was minimal for Dave to worry about packing every morning (since he would be the one bringing them). She watched a mix of full and part time kids, but never more than 6 at a time and never more than 2 babies.
It's hard to explain - but I just knew that Miss Lisa's house was the right pick. Dave was a lot more analytical about the whole thing (lists, spreadsheets, etc.), but in the end we went with my gut (aka "mother's intuition").
The boys went to Miss Lisa's house together for the 11/12 school year and then it was just Mason in 12/13 when Luke started PreK. Griffin started going to Miss Lisa's house in July of 2013 (she was 3 months old) and I can honestly say that during our 4+ years with Lisa I have never once worried about my kids. I know that they're safe, being well taken care of and having a blast with their friends. Lisa will text me pictures when they're doing fun things and none of my three ever protested about going to her house.
I know it sounds cliche, but I think finding a place that you "feel" is a good fit is super important. Leaving your babies is hard, and finding someone who you're comfortable with makes all the difference. Get recommendations from friends if possible, call their references and don't be shy about asking questions.
Lastly, since I'm sure some of you were wondering - budget wise, in-home daycare made the most sense for us as well. Lisa watches mainly teachers kids and she takes summers off so we don't have to pay her year round. Several traditional daycares we would have had to pay through the summer or risk losing our spot in the Fall.
So... there you have it! If you have any other questions about our grandparent names or picking childcare PLEASE let me know!
Happy Thursday, Friends!!!