Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Recap-So much to say!

Friday afternoon - Jamie and I went to visit a daycare in our area.  We had read about this place on-line and as soon as J read me the owner's note I knew this place would probably be "it" for us.  The owner built the place five years ago and designed every inch of the building with kids in mind.  She was very warm and welcoming, easy to talk to and passionate about her building and the kids.  This place currently had 50 kids enrolled.  We were taken back to the nursery which is bright and airy.  The whole school smelled clean and looked clean.  We were told this room and the room next door were "no shoe rooms".  Everyone had to take their shoes off because shoes have germs and the kids are often on the floor having tummy time or crawling, etc.  I loved this.  None of the other places did this.  The doors were full glass whether to the outside or the hallways so that adults could see kids on the other side of the doors and kids could see out.  There's a kitchen and bathroom in every room so kids aren't wandering hallways.  The cribs are smaller but have see through end panels so there is no angle your kid can't be seen.  All of the classrooms exit out onto the play yard, not the parking lot or another ungated area since there are firedrills once a month this is huge.  There's a fire house next door which the kids love.  As kids get older they have school wide lesson plans weekly divided into age groups.   For older kids they have a gymnastics program, swimming at the Y, spanish, and computers.  The outdoor play equipment is in great shape with recycled plastic mulch underfoot and a tall white fence.  They serve snacks family style so we saw the three year olds practice saying please and thank you and pouring their own juice after nap time.  Their snack included a carrot stick, a marshmallow, and cracker mix.  The owner who was with us said to the kids "Is a marshmallow a healthy food?" and they all yelled "no!"  That was cute.  All in all a well thought out school.  The owner said they had 90 kids before the economy took a dive and now only have 50.  I kinda like that low number.  There was one teacher to three infants when we were there.   Here are some pictures from their website:

The nursery.  This picture must have been taken at night.  The shades are down and it appears darker here.

I never wanted to put my kids in daycare as I spent much time as a kid there myself.  I feel really comfortable with this place though.  I would have signed Friday if I had to.  I am going to submit an application today and put down the payment for our first week, they waved the application fee.  Jamie loves this place as much as I do.  It's ten minutes out of our way but it's really close to all of the places we frequent like Wal-mart, Sam's, etc.  So, it's not that bad.

We were crunching some numbers Friday afternoon after this meeting and going over what my salary would be if I worked 3 days a week and paid 3 days of daycare.  I hate giving up my current full time salary but I hate the idea of my son/daughter being in a daycare all day like I was.  I'm scared of what's going to happen to our income with only a portion of my salary remaining but J is doing really well at his job and it seems like his monthly take home is increasing by the month so that's good.
Friday night - J and I made it to dinner.  I offered to drive since I knew he would want to research where we were going as soon as we got in the car.  I didn't tell him but gave him some hints.  He had a couple of guesses as to streets he thought the restaurant was on but he was wrong.  Once we were about 2 miles away he googled and got it.  I let him know it was nearly next door to one of his favorite dessert spots.  That gave it away.  He blurted the name out.  We parked and were seated promptly.  A small little restaurant called "I Fratellini".

The inside was even more lovely than I had imagined.  Just a few tables and a great atmosphere.  It was cool out that night so the french doors were open and the fresh air moved through the restaurant.  We shared a Caprese Salad which included Mozzarella and tomatoes on top of bruschetta.  It was wonderful and they were nice enough to split it for us.  Two large portions.  Next we ordered.  We both ordered non-itallian dishes because we were going to be making an itallian recipe from Emeril I had found on-line the next night.  Limiting ourselves in an italian restaurant to non-itallian dishes wasn't a good idea.  Jamie had a veal chop with potatoes and I had a whole roasted pompano fish.  Jamie had pointed mine out on the menu and it sounded great despite the fact that a fish head and tail would be on my plate.  I was thoroughly satisfied.  The fish was presented beautifully with a wonderful spread of roasted capers, tomatoes and kalamata olives.  I loved it.  Jamie (my critic) wasn't so impressed with his veal but we agreed at the end that we should give the place another try for him before making any conclusions.  We skipped dessert at the restaurant and headed toward the Clayton Art Fair which we visit every year.  We usually walk it very quick as everything there is so expensive but Friday night we made record time!  I think we walked all six or so blocks in like half an hour never stepping into a single tent!  At one point we even sat and rested because my stomach was tight.  After the art fair we went back to the street we had dinner at and met Jamie's Dad at Chill-a serve yourself yogurt type place.  It was great seeing and talking with him as always.  Then we called it a night.

I couldn't have asked for more.  Dinner out with my cute hubby, a walk around town and dessert.  It was great.

Saturday morning - The next morning we got up and headed down to the Central West End for a 17-family garage sale.  J used to work with a couple of people from this neighborhood and saw the ad on facebook so we thought we'd go, especially since it said there'd be kids stuff.  We caught up with two of his former co-workers and I made three purchases for $15.  A three photo pottery barn frame for $5 and two great kids toys for $5 each.  So far we have a large collection of toys (most of which grow with the child) and we've only spent $10!  So great!

Saturday afternoon Jamie and I were in the kitchen!  I had found two recipes I wanted to try this weekend which I was excited about since I haven't really cooked in months.  We are really trying to watch our money so making large casserole type dishes and eating them for dinner all week helps. We cooked Emeril Lagasse's Sausage and Eggplant-Stuffed Shells in a Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce.  (Hello old appetite!)   I have missed being in the kitchen with Jamie.  We both love to cook and we save all of our recipes and rate them with comments for next time.  This recipe is awesome but we both prefer tomato sauce to cream sauce so next time we think we would just use tomato sauce but the mixture of spinach, eggplant and sausage was great.  Here are a couple of pictures...

Sunday - we lazed around the house for the most part.  J played tennis with his Dad and a couple of his Dad's buddies and though I didn't plan on going originally it was so beautiful outside that I had to take Wilson out.  I took him to the park where J was playing and brought some tennis balls.  Wilson is OBSESSED with tennis balls and though I brought him a few of his own he always wants the ones the guys are playing tennis with-on the other side of the fence.  We played fetch for 15 minutes or so and then the rest of the time was spent watching Wilson run circles around the tennis court chasing tennis balls he would never get to.  He always amazes me.  He can sniff out a tennis ball too.  He found 5 tennis balls, some were in mud.  He got a bath yesterday afternoon when we got home and he's now one fluffy Golden.  He was exhausted from his morning escapades and probably looking forward to a nap but then J's Dad, Jim, and his niece, Lilly, came over for the Ram's game and Wilson didn't get to sleep until 10:00 last night when we all crashed.  Oh, and I made Rachel Ray's mexican lasagna yesterday for lunch which was excellent!  No pictures.

All in all a great weekend.  No projects really , just enjoying my darling hubby, my wonderful doggie, fabulous weather, great food and family.


Julia said...

That daycare looks and sounds great! that is the hardest part, in my opinion---finding a good place for baby.

I think working 2 days a week would be UNREAL and perfect and even 3 days would be great. My new venture with 3.5 days is fine but my goal in life, besides never working again, would be 2 days. I hope you guys can make it work!

Yay for the progress.

Jem said...

It's a hard decision to go with day care and you have to trust that this place will work 100% for you and your baby. Sounds like you found a great place to leave the little one.

also, what a yummy weekend you had!