Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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A Substitute Nest

Operation "Find A Wonderful Daycare" has officially started. I went through the referral packet yesterday and made my initial phone calls. I had tour this morning and have two more scheduled for next week. These are places that welcome drop-in visits, it is just easier to meet with the director and get all the info if I schedule something.
Today's center was very nice and it was definitely a comprehensive tour. I had a question checklist I made from various sources and I had a mental one going as well. Each room had my eyes darting around for safety procedures, appropriate activities and how the children were interacting. I didn't read the list of fees until I got home. Ouch, it is expensive. I know this should not surprise me, but I hadn't a clue to how much these things cost. So I'll be using that center to really compare value for the buck when I check out the others.
The strangest part of the visit was my emotional rollercoaster ride. When I first got there I found myself examing the center from a professional angle. Basically assessing it as if I was doing a site visit that I would be writing a report for. Then I reminded myself that it is a personal mode that I need to be in. We went through all of the rooms from infant to kindergarten. (Did I mention that New Hampshire is the only state without statewide public kindergarten? Even Mississippi has kindergarten, so that's just sad.)

Anyhow, we went along meeting each of the kids as the rooms' focus got progressive older and more able. It was in the three year old room that I almost started crying. I know, I can't believe either. But I think I was choked up imagining Keegan old enough to do all that cool stuff. Then I realized that he'll being doing all that cool stuff without me. I know, I know developing independence is a healthy self esteem builder. But I just can't think about it when he is still my little guy. I left being impressed with the center but acknowledging I didn't have anything to compare it to yet. I also had to make myself think about it as a long term thing. I am still getting past that temporary concept. I need to deal with the idea of this being our life, well for the rest of his childhood. I also got a flash where I think it will be so positive for him to be with people who are educated and certified in early childhood education and that they chose this as a career. Later on in the day when we were playing and chatting together on the couch Keegan flashed one of his winning smiles. They still make my heart leap. And I almost started crying again. Because I was thinking that he'll bond with his teacher and she get those special smiles. And I was already jealous of the not yet existent connection they will have. I know it is nuts and I should be happy they have a connection. But it hurts to think I won't be the only woman in his life. He is going to discover new things, and accomplish new things and I won't be the one doing it with him. Right now that is over shadowing the rest of the issues. I know every mommy thinks their child is special and they are. But Keegan is, well he is magical. He has this innocent joy that makes me believe in goodness and hope and miracles. I am addicted to the feeling I get being around him. I don't want his glow to change.
So I will spend a nice weekend with him and then we'll be back out next week finding the perfect place for him. That is the best job I can do as a mommy right now. I take that job very seriously.

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