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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The Story Of Montessori

Keegan began at a Montessori at the beginning of January. I spent last Fall looking at schools. This started when I realized that public kindergarten here (which by the way hasn't even been available statewide until a law was passed making it so Sept 2009) is only 2 1/2 hours long. I just could not see putting Keegan in a short program and then expecting him to be successful in a full day first grade the following year. I feel very strongly about him having a good school experience. He is the kind of kid who doesn't like learning shoved in his face. He likes to choose what he is interested in and have learning be more of an activity. I began my search by talking to other friends who send their kids to private schools. I researched many online and toured three. Jeff came with me for two of them. One of them was a beautiful campus with lots of resources and a well known reputation, another has this amazing community atmosphere and goes all the way through high school. The first one I liked but wasn't crazy about. And for that kind of money you want to be sure. The second one required a time commitment from the whole family that we are not able to give right now and also required everything I packed for his lunch to be vegan. If we were vegan I might have been able to swing it. But I am a confirmed carnivore. I believe strongly that we were built to be omnivores (see also Micheal Pollan). The third school Jeff and I loved right away. We went to an open house without Keegan and were completely impressed with everything. Jeff had been skeptical about the Montessori approach until we saw it in action. The following week I observed the youngest kids classroom for an hour. The following week Keegan spent a half day there and really liked it. They offered us a spot starting in Jan and we decided it was better than waiting until September because it would give him more time to transition.

At the end of December his old school had a going away for him and I brought snacks and the kids gave him a balloon, a teddy bear and a book they made and signed. Keegan did really well his first weeks but has had some incidents, mostly in the form of not wanting to come in from recess. And they are very understanding and I keep reminding myself that he just left the only school he can remember having been there since he was 17 months old. They held a family night a few weeks ago and Keegan was excited about showing us around and showing us the various activities. We find that he willingly tells us about things he has learned and does not bring home pages and pages of busy work like the last place. And every day when I pick him up I am continually impressed by the kids. Self assured, smart, responsible and happy.

I have told Keegan that he can stay there for as long as he wants. It goes until 9th grade but most kids transition after 8th grade. I am still a big believer in public school. But I also believe that the right environment makes all of the difference. And as long as I can get over the hurdles being put up by probate court, his guardianship will cover the costs.

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