Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Think You Want to Know About This Dream I Had

In the evenings, Jarod and I have been re-watching previous seasons of LOST. So far we've made it partway through the third season. It's been really fantastic, except for the part where I have nightmares thanks to Ben Linus. (The smoke monster I could care less about, but Ben Linus haunts me.) Recently I've had some real doozies, but nothing beats Thursday morning's dream.

In the dream, a group of people and I were being pursued by Ben and the posse he'd assembled. The posse was made up partly of people wearing sickly yellow shirts and/or driving sickly yellow cars, but mostly of miniature pinschers with sickly yellow paws and forelegs (yes! evil dogs!). As we were pursued through a nameless college campus with excellent landscaping, we could see them coming by their sickly yellowness. It was then that we prepared our defense. The one thing that would deter them all, people and cars and miniature pinschers alike, not to mention Ben Linus himself, was...

...wait for it...





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KITTENS!

That's right, kittens. Ben Linus may have done untoward things with bunnies, but dude just can't take the threat of kittens. It makes sense, really. What is the opposite of evil? Kittens, of course! If only our castaways had known, they could have done as my dream companions and I did, and make a net with balls strung for the kittens to cling to. Hidden under a tarp, this made an excellent deterrent when we raised it right as they were about to close in on us. I'm quite certain it would have held them off, what with all those fluffy, grey kittens hanging so sweetly in front of them, but I never got to find out because that was when the phone rang, and I woke up.

Next time I take a morning nap, I'm totally turning off my ringer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trio

A few posts ago I wrote about it being okay to make kids wait, and I realized after commenting on another blog and saying that I'm a nanny that I need to clarify. Most of the time, I'm pretty quick to get what a kid needs. If you can take care of a need right away, go ahead. I'm just saying that you shouldn't feel terrible if one time out of twenty you cannot meet a need immediately. And as a child gets older, it's great to give them natural opportunities to practice waiting, such as explaining what you're doing that is causing the need to wait. For example, "I am putting away the dishes now; when I am done, I will make your snack." All those times that they needed something and you got it for them will reinforce that their needs will be met. Right now I take care of an eight-month-old that is not good at waiting for her bottle. The moment she sees me get the bottle out of the drawer, she starts trying to claw her way up my legs to get the bottle that...isn't even made yet. But each time we go through the same routine, with me side-stepping those sharp nails (and, admittedly, affectionately calling her Claws), she is a bit less dramatic about it (and, oh, this baby is dramatic), having gradually learned that the bottle is eventually ready to meet her waiting lips. I'd bust out some charts about development and language acquisition and understanding of time (your two-year-old has no idea what "ten minutes" means, so it's better to mark time by activity rather than chronological time), but frankly, I'm just feeling too lazy.

...

So the other day I read in Self Magazine that if I do 350 minutes of cardio a week, I can lose eight pounds in four weeks. Guess what's in four weeks? VACATION! So if I follow their plan, I can preemptively lose the pounds I'll gain back in delicious French pastries, kebabs, and gelato. YESSSSSS!!!!

...

Speaking of vacation: YOU GUYS! I'm so excited about my vacation! I know that this is, like, the twelve-thousandth time I've been to Nice, but the beauty of Nice is that there are always more things to do and explore, plus each subsequent trip allows us to get to know the city better so that we can better enjoy all it has to offer. We already know which spot has the best kebabs and what ice cream spot is the best, and my culinary goal this time is to seek out more crepes. Each time we go on an excursion to another town along the Riviera, and this time we're heading west by bicycle to Cagnes. Musee Renoir is there, so we will carry on with our custom of being nerds that visit museums on vacation. I suspect most, if not all, evenings will find us at Place Rossetti, enjoying some WiFi and some gelato. This time I'm going to try the rosemary and maybe the basil. I'll definitely go for round two of one scoop lavender, one scoop vanilla and round who-knows-anymore of one scoop hazelnut, one scoop cinnamon.

Good grief, I'm salivating already.

Four weeks! Hooray!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everything is ALL MY FAULT!

A certain eight-year-old I take to school each morning has been having a hard time adjusting to the new school year. Her shirt is uncomfortable, her jumper shouldn't do that, she can't find her socks, no one lets her eat what she wants for breakfast or lunch, and why hasn't anyone gone to the grocery store? This fridge that is clearly full of food has nothing to eat in it! She just knew you'd say no to her having lasagna for breakfast, so she didn't even ask! And her lunch only has two things in it! Sure, she turned down every option you offered her, but it's all your fault! She will starve to death by lunchtime, and you don't even care! You did this! It is ALLLL YOOOUUUUUURRRRR FAAAAAUUUUUULLLLLTTTTTTTT!!!!!

Oh, eight. I hope you're not just a glimmer of what her poor parents will experience when she is thirteen. Because otherwise, I fear it will be military boarding school and coal for Christmas.

Poor eight.

Friday, August 21, 2009

She Works Hard for the...Really Nice Shower? The Beach? Pain au Chocolat?

Here's what I need, really: one full day with the house all to myself, coffee and half & half stocked in the fridge, some sort of chocolates at the ready, and a good night's sleep the night before. I'm not going to get that anytime soon, so I'm just trying to deal with the reality of life, which is that I'll have snatches of time here and there during which I'll get very little done, but maybe someday I'll figure out where the musty smell is coming from and take care of it. In the meantime, how do you like the scent of this candle I've lit?

Lately I've been getting confused about adoption documents, which is understandable, considering that there are so many and the instructions so specific, but at the same time I always feel quite foolish when I ask our caseworker a question only to discover after she has kindly answered it that it was written plainly in the instructions. People complain about adoption agencies having a high rate of turnover, but I think I know why. It's because human beings can't read instructions, and boy would it ever get old to keep answering questions that are already answered in the literature the prospective parents are supposed to be reading. The well of our caseworker's patience must be deep.

These days I vacillate between counting down to our vacation and freaking out because OMG FIVE WEEKS HOW WILL I GET THIS DONE? Which is silly, really, because it's not like anyone has imposed the time limit on me except for me, myself, and I, and that trio is kind of obnoxious. What me, myself, and I should really be doing is going, "Nice job doing all the paperwork and keeping track of schedule for work with four different families. Here, have a cookie!" Actually, the cookie part does come up, come to think of it, and often.

OMG FIVE WEEKS!

And then...aaaaah. This is one vacation I will definitely have earned.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday is a Day of Rest

Today I've pretty much done nothing, despite there being plenty of somethings that need doing. I've had this cold that is continually mostly better, but then never really disappears completley, so I'm using the excuse of needing a day of rest to finally kick it for good in order to silence my protestant work ethic. So far I've not done much other than sit on the sofa, re-watching the second season of LOST and eating things that don't require any effort on my part. Jarod made a frozen pizza. I ventured downstairs to grab some pecans and chocolate chips (trail-er, sofa--mix!), and I managed to feed our high maintenance cat. I've been all over the internet looking at recipes and projects that certainly won't be getting done anytime soon. But I've got plans at least. Oh, I've got plans. I'm going to cook! I'm going to clean! Our lives will be revolutionized!

First, though, I'll need to wake up this cat that's draped across my lap so that I can get up.

Or maybe not.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Letting You Off the Hook

This morning I looked after three kids under the age of two. More than once, someone was crying. Sometimes more than one someone was crying. And I'm okay with that. While for the first few weeks babies cry largely to tell you of a need, as they get older, crying begins to also indicate preference. Sometimes they will cry due to hunger or need for sleep or a diaper change, but often it's because they are bored or they would prefer to be held in your arms while you are standing up (not sitting down, what's wrong with you?) or they'd like to stare at the ceiling fan some more, and you just got in their way (again, what's wrong with you?). While it's not a good idea to let a baby cry indefinitely, even in the cases of a sustenance and dirty bottoms it's okay if the need is not met right away*. Babies need to learn everything, including how to wait. Patience is a skill to be cultivated, and if you meet your child's need immediately every single time, you'll find that by age three you have a little tyrant on your hands. So if you are wiping someone else's nose or butt (including your own) and need the baby to wait a few moments, that's okay.

You're welcome.

*I'm not saying to let them squall for an hour or anything, but five minutes? Ten as they get older? Even longer once they can comprehend basic instructions? Totally okay.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Foreshadowing

Remember this?

ugh

Something has been done about it. A different something than I anticipated, but a pretty fantastic something nevertheless. Here's a hint:

little helper

Photos forthcoming once I've got everything finished up in there.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Balance

Jarod is going to be in London on his birthday. On my birthday, I'd like to be in these shoes.

This seems fair, does it not?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Inflatable

I've been trying to think a lot less about what to eat and how much to exercise because I can get a little obsessive about it, and obsession can only lead to two things:

1. In thinking about food, I start thinking really hard about how there is food right there on the table, and it's made of cookies. I like cookies! I think I'll have one! Maybe just a third of one, right? Because I didn't exercise today. Oh, okay, I'll eat the second third. Oh, wow, that last bit looks pretty lonely, and it's no that big, soooooooooo...

2. I begin to feel guilty about the fact that I just ate yet another cookie type food item and haven't been working out at my usual levels, nor have I had the time to cook anything other than baked goods lately.

This is not productive in any way, and I should really just knock it off already. But I'm not good at cutting myself slack or at resisting treats, so...yeah. I'm working on this, but am pretty much accepting that until September 25, this is my life. The treats, the guilt, all of it. And the thing which is the monkey wrench in the works, which is my schedule. I guess I haven't mentioned that.

Awhile ago I wrote about some changes I'm making regarding my work schedule. What I'd hoped was that the family I am no longer going to work for would be able to make other arrangements when the kids start school in two weeks, but I also left the option open to them that I could continue to help out until I leave for vacation on September 25. It should make me feel good that they value me enough that they'd rather keep me on until I leave for vacation instead of securing other options as school begins, but to be honest, I'm just ready to be done. I love the family dearly, but I need this overly busy chapter of my life to be over before I am forced to buy bigger pants.

Or maybe someone should just come and confiscate the cookies.