This week Monica started back to work part-time. We both spent a lot of time wondering if this was the best thing for Stanzi, but after talking with several people we agreed that it wouldn't be a bad thing for her to spend a few days each week away from us. That is, assuming we could find a decent child care provider. We visited a few local centers, and each time we came away with the impression that this wasn't all that different from the orphanage where she would've spent her entire first year. There was no way we were going to do that to her.
Then we went to see our friend Jill. She and her husband, Stuart, own the Ashland Road Animal Clinic, which is where we've been taking our pets ever since we lived in this area. While both of them are veterinarians, a few years ago Jill stopped being actively involved with the clinic when she had her first child. She now has two beautiful kids--Dryden, age three, and Claire, who's just about to turn one. Well, she's a great mom, and has a houseful of toys, so after some conversations she agreed to take care of Stanzi three days a week. We're very happy with the arrangement, because she gets lots of attention while still being able to socialize with some kids close to her own age. This photo was taken at their house, in fact. Okay, she may look a bit shellshocked, but it was her very first day. On the whole, things are going very well. In fact, watching little Claire charge around the house seems to have inspired Stanzi to do a lot more crawling!