Monday, August 28, 2023

Little Bites

 * We had a great meeting last night (Sunday) with newfound family members. A previously unknown uncle of my children was discovered about 5 months ago. This past weekend he and his wife came to meet us. It was very cool. 

* I saw my friend Aria again this afternoon. She gave me another hug and introduced me to her sister. They are very close in age, they are not twins, and yes, they are sisters. I knew about the sister, but had never met her previous to today.

* I went to the lake this evening and someone who loves me came looking. It was my son, Nathan. I was picking beach glass from the shore and suddenly there he was, sitting on a rock behind me. I kind of love when my kids come looking for me.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Exhaustion Takes Over

It's been a long month and especially the last few weeks. The tension and fatigue, along with a ragweed allergy, finally caught up with me. I would have taken a nap on my lunch break yesterday, but my car was getting new tires and, although the break room couch is comfy, I knew I would never fall asleep on it my first week on the job. I walked to work in the mist Friday morning, soldiered through a day of toddlers, and went home with a headache that turned my stomach. I went straight to bed even though I didn't go right to sleep, and I stayed there until late this morning. Fearful of the virus, I took a test but it came back negative. Decongestant, nasal spray, and rest have alleviated most of the symptoms. I think I'll be fine by tomorrow morning, especially if I can get a good night's sleep.

I was surprised when I left the toddler room yesterday to see a small familiar face walking into a nearby classroom. It was Aria, one of my little friends from the other daycare. I was blessed to give her a hug and tell her I love her.

It's been a low key kind of Saturday. Beautiful, sunny skies and mild temperatures. Just the way I like it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Updates (Kind of like Bits and Pieces)

 * My doctor answered the message I sent and agrees it sounds like I had an allergic reaction while on vacation in Cape Cod. He has referred me to an allergist.

* I am never quite ready to come home from vacations even if it rains, which it did. In spite of the rain, and sometimes ocean mist, we had some fabulous beach days.

Cockle Cove Beach- 8/12

Morris Island Loop Trail- 8/13

Chatham Pier and Fish Market- 8/13

First Encounter Beach- 8/13 (sunset)

Marconi Beach- 8/14

Head of the Meadow Beach- 8/16

Provincetown Pier- 8/16

Nauset Beach- 8/17
Breakwater Beach- 8/18 (sunset)

* My friend Lisa, who lives on Cape Cod, was able to come visit me Friday morning. We shared coffee and a long talk. She moved back to the Cape 19 years ago! I can't believe it's been so long already. 

* I started my new job on Monday. It's been mostly training so far with a little time in a few classrooms. The first child I was asked to sit by was on a cot attempting to take a nap. God really does have a sense of humor. It was the one little girl whose name I happened to know, although I had never met her or her parents. She is the 2 year old cousin of the twins I just left behind at the other daycare.

* I walked to work Monday morning. Today I took my car and came home for lunch. Such a change from what I've been doing the past six years.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Cape Cod

It's been a beautiful week at the Cape. We visited at least seven beaches (Cocle Cove Beach, First Encounter Beach, Morris Island Loop Trail at the Monomy Wildlife Refuge, Marconi Beach, Head of the Meadow Beach, and Nauset Beach), stopped at the Chatham Pier and Fish Market, and walked down Commercial St. in Provincetown. We bought pie at Marion's Pie Shop and had ice cream at the Brewster Scoop in Brewster, Sundae School in Chatham, and the Ice Cream Cafe in Orleans. 

Our first night we bought clam chowder from Mac's Fish Market. On Sunday we ate at the pier. I got fish (haddock) and chips. On Monday, after our day at the beach, we went to Arnold's Lobster and Cam Bar where Laura and I split a Seafood Platter (whole belly clams, calamari, shrimp, scallops & codfish). When we went to bed four hours later, I was feeling itchy. I had some hives in random places, which is not totally unusual for me. I read my book before we turned out the light. It was when I settled down to sleep that my throat first felt a little scratchy. It got scratchier as time went on and my tongue slowly began to feel thick and stiff. By the time I woke Laura's friend Dorrie, who was sharing a room with me, I couldn't talk above a whisper. (I'd already swallowed an extra Claritin.) Dorrie woke Laura and they called 911 but by the time the EMTs arrived my tongue was starting to feel a little better and my voice was beginning to come back. The head EMT said he didn't think I was having an allergic reaction (at least not anaphylactic) but I didn't eat any more seafood after that. I will admit it has been hard to watch them eat it and go without. I would have loved to have another round of Fish and Chips but I couldn't chance it. I'll be talking with my doctor when I return home.

(I started this while still at the Cape but never had a chance to finish.)

Friday, August 11, 2023

Friday. My Last One

It's over and done. There was only one baby today, my newest. A sweet, little girl named Maddie. I could have gone home once the other baby teacher came in, but I decided to give others the option. I stayed for two and a half "lunch" breaks for others and left at noon. I sat on the floor with four year olds, stroked the head of a sleepy 18 month old, hugged the cook whose not-yet-born grandson will be at my new daycare and left. I almost went out the door without saying goodbye to the director. but was stopped by our assistant director who said, "Don't you leave without saying goodbye!" It was a bizarre day. 

I came home to cry and pack my bags for vacation. I didn't plan for it to fall into my schedule between jobs, but it feels perfect.

Thursday, August 10, 2023


(Pictures sent from Florida by my daughter.)

More goodbyes were said today and there are more to come tomorrow. I am ready to start my new job the Monday after my return from Cape Cod. All the paperwork has been filled out the PPD test read. All the background checks and fingerprint requirements are computerized. Everyone so far seems cheerful and friendly. I am looking forward to working in my hometown.

In other news, my oldest daughter has been in Florida this week and had the pleasure of visiting my eldest son and his family. It makes my heart smile to see the pictures, and Lord knows I needed to smile this week! What a great bunch of grandkids I have!

That's Josh in the white T shirt, Jake with the cowboy hat and Henry on his lap. Parker is squeezed in between Henry and Jonah and Jill is stretching her mouth into a silly face. Austin has long, curly hair and Charlotte is dancing in front. Those are grandchild numbers 1, 5, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, and 17. Eight of my seventeen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2023


My last day with the twins, the only two who stayed with me for the entire year. Such sweet and naughty little things! They were just five months old when I met them last September and now they are pushing 17 months. They learned to sit up, crawl, stand, walk and climb. They're starting to talk too. Julia calls me "mommy."

Today was Wednesday and I had four babies. Three were my regulars, the other was the new baby who still isn't sure he likes the daycare. (Actually, he doesn't like it at all.) Poor little guy... It will probably take him a couple of weeks to adjust. I was so hoping I would be left with my three little girls and no constantly crying baby, but we got through the day and he is a sweet little guy.

Today we read books, blew bubbles, and sang songs. I fed them breakfast, lunch, and snack, they took naps, and there was lots of floor sitting and snuggles. There was a bit of mischief and naughtiness, some crying and more than a few giggles, and of course lots of hugs, kisses and ear snuffling.

On Monday I stayed until Mom came to retrieve them. Today Danielle was there to relieve me at 3:30 pm, and offered to take a few pictures. I decided to give them a last hug and kiss and tell them goodbye which made me suddenly emotional. What will they think next Monday?

Tuesday, August 08, 2023


It has been my responsibility at the daycare to open our baby room each morning. During the school year we might have up to seven or eight children arrive by 8 am. Denise, our present cook, would come in to help once the fifth child arrived. Those were busy mornings full of breakfasts, bottles, diapers, and lots of toys. Mornings are quieter during the summer. Today we had just two infants, one a brand new start.  He's just 3 months old and adjusting, which means he's quite sad in the morning. He won't have time to get used to me. Thankfully, he's done very well with our other infant teacher.

Today I opened the infant room, but first I sat in the toddler room because the toddlers were arriving in droves. (I always help out there until my babies arrive.) I went back to the infant room when more toddler teachers came in. I went on an very early break today, 9 am. (Totally out of the ordinary but okay.) On my return, I helped out with the Pre-K class (4 yr olds) for a little while before giving one of our school age teachers a lunch break. From there I went to break the two toddler teachers. Two hours of mostly sitting while the little ones napped, and then a little time of coloring at the table before it was time to leave for my TB test.

Some of our toddlers were in the infant rooms last year, including two of my girls. A third will return in September. My little friend Mara always looks for a hug and recognition. I doubt she remembers her time with me in the baby room, but there is no question that she knows I love her. She cried when it was time for me to go today. Ugh. :(

Three more days. One more with the twins...

Monday, August 07, 2023


I feel like writing, although I'm not entirely sure what to say...

It's my final week at the daycare. The little ones have no idea I am about to disappear from their lives. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor with them crawling onto my lap today. I gave them hugs and kisses, told them to use "gentle hands," blew bubbles, and steadied three small bodies on one chair so they could look out the window at the rain while the other sat on the floor. I washed their hands and faces, fed them, changed their diapers, and put them down for their naps. I stroked their hair, smiled at their silly antics, and picked up the toys they left strewn across the floor. Nothing out of the ordinary, except it is my final week at the daycare.

Change is hard. Even good change.

Sunday, August 06, 2023

One, Two, Three

Something new is happening. It's beyond just a possibility now. The wheels are turning.

Last week I submitted my two week notice at work. I had already given a verbal notice on Tuesday. There wasn't much reaction from either my boss or the assistant director, and absolutely nothing from the owner on Friday. (It's so weird...) It's the moms and a few coworkers who are making me feel emotional, even those whose children are no longer in the infant rooms. In all likelihood, I will disappear without the children ever realizing I am not coming back and that makes me sad.

The letter states my final day as August 11th, but the letter on the front desk gives my last day as August 18, 2023. I will be gone on vacations from August 12 through the 19th and I don't expect to be paid for that time. I've already been told he doesn't pay for any time off once a notice has been given. I wrote a nice letter and said nothing negative, even though the past year has been a bit rough. 

My new job is with another daycare just a little over a mile from home. It will save gasoline, mileage on my car and wear and tear as well. This is the reason I have given all who ask about the change. (I'll be replacing four tires in a few weeks. Yikes!) Yesterday afternoon Hannah and I went for a walk with Killian and found it will take me about 25 minutes if I decide to walk back and forth to work on any given day. One point three miles there, one point three miles back. I think I'm going to love it.

Almost all of my paperwork has been submitted. My friends and coworkers were phenomenal with giving references, and fingerprints/background checks are now transferable via computer. I have an appointment for a TB test on Tuesday, with a reading Thursday afternoon, and then I will spend a week in Cape Cod with my friend Laura before starting at the new place. In spite of being a tad emotional, I am feeling great peace.

Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Sunday in the Park

We had a picnic on Sunday, my local kids and me, and it was wonderful. It had been set in order to welcome a new family member, although he's all grown up and has been for some time...

Back in February, while doing some online research, Hannah discovered her dad had a previously unknown sibling. I won't get into the why's and how's right here, but he is a genetic half sibling to James. A bit of DNA and several months searching online databases led Hannah to this discovery about six months ago. "The Uncle" and his wife had planned a visit but were exposed to the dreaded pandemic virus just in time for it to manifest its presence during their impending visit and so the meeting has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a future date.

The picnic. Bethany rented a pavilion and we gathered at the park, a practice picnic of sorts. The weather was brilliant, the food delicious, and the company sublime. I spent the afternoon with my kids and it was nothing short of lovely.