General News

Item 1
I tried 2 crockpot recipes last week, and both were a big hit. The meatloaf was especially tasty - very moist & juicy, not the least bit dry. The other meal was a chicken cooked in wine that was so tender, it fell off the bone when I tried to take it out. I think it was a bit tipsy. Even the carrots were singing Irish drinking songs. 

Thanks to everyone for all the recipes!  I look forward to trying them all as the weather gets chilly.  (And I should have known my aunts would have plenty of them to share.)

Item 2
Both girls are at a new daycare this week. I was sad to leave the old one, where Helen was such a Big Girl on Campus. Sometimes it feels like I'm raising the popular kid, because when we arrive, all the kids rush to her yelling "Helen!" And the teachers give her big hugs when she leaves each day. 

It's taken 3 years for me to finally notice that not every kid gets this kind of treatment. So taking her out of her element that she's known for her whole life - well, understandably I was nervous. Helen started with the 3-year olds in May, and had a great teacher for exactly one month. And then, that teacher moved to a different room. Instead of hiring someone permanent, they shoved a new floater into it every month. After 3 months, I knew I had to find something else.

And I was lucky enough to find a great spot. It's a smaller daycare, where the owner teaches Helen's class. I visited with Helen about a week before she started, so we could ease into The Big Change, and it would give us something to talk about at home when I mentioned "new daycare" to her.   

The teacher was very high energy and held those kids' attention extremely well. It reminded me how much I was not called to teach young kids.  Being "on" that many hours a day?  EXHAUSTING!!  But they're clearly focused on learning good stuff. The room also has 4-year olds in it, so Helen will be challenged - which is good.  She's eager for it. 

Alice's class has 2 teachers that are there for the long haul, and they really love the babies. Consistency and reliability at daycare is important to me, so I knew I'd found a great place when I saw it.

On Friday, when I picked up Helen, Alice's teacher remarked that Helen seemed to have made a lot of friends in her class already. She said that when Helen came by to peek at her sister, some of her classmates were heading for the playground, and they all said, "Come on, Helen! Let's go play!" The teacher said it normally takes a while for new kids to adjust, and for the others to reach out and be friendly. And here she was seeing that kind of behavior already. She was telling me this little story, I think, to reassure me that Helen is settling in nicely and I didn't need to worry about her.

The high school geek in me is cringing. I probably would have taken WEEKS to make one friend.

Item 3
There was an anonymous commenter in the last post who kindly suggested that I turn this blog into a book. I will point that person to THIS ENTRY where my sister did just that for me almost 2 years ago, as one very special Christmas present that made me weepy.  In that entry is a link to buy the book online. If you want to buy the book, I can assure you no one (me or my sister) makes any profits whatsoever - just watching the sales counter tick in an upward direction is reward aplenty.

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