In cas you have not had a chance to get on over to GoodReads I wanted to let everyone know that the March book has been selected: The Goldfinch, selected by popular vote. If you are on the fence about this one, here is the New York Times review – hope it helps. This book is longer but you have some extra time so fingers crossed you have a chance to read it! We have over 40 members, so we should get some good discussions going.
In the near future we will begin group nominations for books- we will select 6 books at a time, and assign them each a month. This gives people plenty of time to space their reading, reserve items at the library or find copies at their favorite used bookstore! Happy reading! (The Goldfinch link is an Amazon affiliate link)
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Like much of the world, our past 16 days has included a significant amount of time cheering our fellow countrymen (and women) on to victory (or defeat) at the Olympic Games. I’m a huge Olympic enthusiast and I always look forward to the Games. While I admit I burned out on these a little more quickly than usual my overall takeaway is the same: Olympics! Yeah! What you couldn’t have missed if you were watching America’s NBC coverage is that this Games marked the 20 year anniversary of the infamous Nancy Kerrigan Knee Incident, also known in some circles as Damn Tanya, That Was Harsh.
Prior to the Opening Ceremonies in Sochi ESPN ran a 30 for 30 titled “The Price of Gold” (Nancy declined to participate) and NBC has been teasing its alternative, done by (gag me) Maryy Carillo. Sorry guys, but Maryy is just plain mean sometimes, and she is annoying. More annoying than Matt Lauer’s facial hair. Mary’s interviews (with both Tonya and Nancy) ran before the Closing Ceremonies, and both confirmed what American already knew: Tonya Is Reaaaallll Bitter. Also: Crazy.
Anyway, watching these specials brought a lot of memories rushing back, mainly of watching the 94 Olympics incredibly jet lagged in the living room of our temporary quarters in Germany while we waited for our household goods to arrive. I was obsessed with Nancy Kerrigan (she shared a name with Nancy Drew, NO ONE COULD BE COOLER) and I watched every minute of the skating programs with rapt attention. I can neither confirm nor deny that I had my fingers crossed hoping Tonya would fall. As I got older I branched out to love more than just the figure skating, and I have a lot of fond memories of my family watching the Games together. Skiing, curling, hockey, speed skating….I watch without discrimination.
All of this to say: the past two weeks have made me really excited for family Olympic watching as Gracie gets older. There is something so magical, watching these young athletes defy logic, gravity and physics to hurl, twirl and launch themselves around slopes, tracks, rinks, stadiums and everything in between. How many of you signed up for lessons of some sort of watching the Olympics (gymnastics and figure skating, but of course) part of you thinking maybe one day it would be you? I was sweetly oblivious to my own lack of coordination back in the day. Current-Daisy knows I had not a snowballs chance in hell.
Anway…Sochi is over and we can all look ahead to Rio…but I’ll be secretly waiting for South Korea’s Games, where I can introduce Gracie to all the excitement. Parenthood is not always what I expected and can influence you in the oddest of ways, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.
Whew. As I briefly mentioned in my one year letter to Gracie, after a lot of thought and discussion, B and I made the choice to enroll Gracie in daycare. She starts in March, and we had the terrible task of breaking the news to our nanny and our nanny share family. This was really hard, because we genuinely like everyone and the arrangement was (for the most part) working well for us. So why the switch? For us it was about flexibility and finances. They are not glamorous reasons, but they are ours and we own them.
First and foremost, our student loan payments are set to go up by a lot in the next two months. A painful, painful amount that has caused serious re-evaluation of where all of our money is going. And when childcare is the most expensive monthly line item outside of your housing it means you have to take a good long look at it to make sure you are spending wisely. We love our nanny, and she has done nothing short of an amazing job with Gracie. That said (and here is the flexibility+finances part) we pay by the hour, and any time we needed her to come early or stay a little late, it adds up. And because those are not “shared” hours with the other family, we pay the full hourly rate ourselves. So if twice a month B has court a few counties away and has to leave early and then my train is late once or twice (inevitably) it definitely changes the bottom line. Not to mention, when you are late and have a nanny you are directly impacting someone who might have other plans directly after work. We ultimately decided to look into daycare to see if better options existed.
We didn’t have a lot of hope looking into daycare- in the city you can easily spend well more than “nanny prices” on daycare and many of the recommended facilities have extensive waitlists. Like, sign up before you conceive extensive. We somehow lucked out that a facility we had been interested in was opening a new location, and we were able to get a spot there. For now the cost is on par with our nanny share but when she moves to the toddler room in a few months, the savings are substantial. A huge upside for us is that the daycare has much longer hours, and while we don’t expect to need them often, it is nice to not spend an entire train ride home stressing that you are ten minutes behind schedule. It will also be helpful for me- working from home with flex time has meant I’ve done a lot of work at night, after Gracie goes to bed. This new arrangement should allow me to get a little more time during the daytime hours. Some other perks for us: the daycare serves all organic food, has a nice system for a discount if you miss a certain number of days due to illness (unheard of!) and will give Gracie a dedicated crib that we can “decorate” with things from home if we want. They have outdoor time, an indoor playground and the teachers seem really sweet. There will be a group of one year olds starting in her room around the same time, so I’m glad she’ll have friends to move up to the toddler room with later this spring. We hope that the savings we have will give us a little more wiggle room for a few date nights here and there so our current nanny can come back and babysit- we can’t imagine not having her in our lives!
Of course, all of these things are great but daycare has its downfalls as well. We are nervous about the transition, and about the germs (currently accepting any and all tricks to mitigate daycare germs). We are going to move her bedtime routine around so Gracie’s bath comes directly after daycare (clean hands, fresh clothes) and we are starting her on probiotics as well. This means that every afternoon I have to pick her up, rather than seamlessly transitioning from “working in the other room” to joining her in the living room to play and read books. We will be using public transportation to get home (yay one car family….) which has its own ups and downs. It also means that Rhett Butler won’t have people around every day, which is something he really likes and has helped his anxiety. Gotta think about the dog too! Ultimately though we hope that the good outweighs the bad and this is another positive experience for us.
Changing childcare is as stressful as changing jobs. B and I both did a lot of “is the grass really greener?” hand wringing and we had a lot of late night talks about what the best option for our family is. It is scary, leaving something good for something unknown, but we are making the plunge. Fingers crossed!
The votes were tallied and with 55 total responses, GoodReads won by one vote. Ultimately I figure Goodreads is actually geared towards, you know, reading, so lets do it! Come join our GoodReads group (with a very, very unique name…or not) and friend me on GoodReads!
Friend me on GoodReads!
The group is open so you shouldn’t have any trouble joining, but if you do, let me know! I plan on putting up a few polls including official voting for our first book selection, so when you get a chance, hop on over. We will finish picking our book by this Friday, so you have plenty of time to vote!