Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Location: MA, United States

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Friday, April 28, 2006

I Am A Lemming

Or am I a sheep? Apparently I'll follow anyone. Thanks to Veronique and Ari for the much needed break from negative thinking.

Simple pleasures was the theme of Ari's Blog today (he did a top ten list), so I thought I'd stop and consider some, myself...
(In no particular order)
~My pug's ears.
~Lilacs in bloom
~Baby laughs, particularly O's
~Rereading a beloved novel
~Songs with a strong tie to good memories
~A snowstorm on a day when you have nowhere to go
~Clean sheets, clean me, clean Mark
~Sunny mornings in the Public Gardens
~Coming in and getting a hug when I get home from work
~5th gear on an empty stretch of road

There are more... but that's enough to clear out the cobwebs.

Mark's back is strained, but ok. We will escape forclosure and repossession for another little while! (OK, it's not really that bad, but the prospect of him being out of work longterm is a little scary) OK, off to the treadmill for me. Must keep up!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nothing of Earth-Shaking Consequence

So many days, so much and so little of note in my life. Normalcy prevails, and I'm not sure what exactly to do. I mean there are always concerns; our major one right now is Mark's back. He says he thinks it's a slipped disc; I'm still hoping for a muscle strain. That I can deal with (by bugging him with homeopathic remedies, bed rest, and heating pads ::nagnagnag::). The alternative conjures visions of surgery, long recovery periods, lack of income, repossession, etc... Best not to go down that road for now.

So, until he gets back from the doctor's this afternoon, I'm shoving those thoughts to the back of my head.
Otherwise, we've now got proof of improvement in the dining room!

The "before" was taken at our home inspection, the "after" about a week and a half ago. More when we paint! The house in general is reflecting my newfound clutter-busting energy. My Mother-In-Law dropping in last night to give us an ornamental flowering plum and a freilsland sage for our landscaping efforts didn't phase me a bit. The kitchen was clean, the floors washed, the LR tidy, the trash taken out... It was like a whole new existence for me!

Our summer is rapidly filling up with weekends away and fun stuff... I wonder if we'll have time (never mind funding) to put up the deck Mark's planning for the back yard. It would be nice... A deck...

Enough daydreaming of decks and summer. J has his chess lesson in a few minutes, so off we all go!

This post started out slow, but I guess I had more to say than I thought... Nothing of earth-shaking consequence, but no one who reads this is expecting in-depth political analysis or international daredevil antics, so I guess I'm in the clear.

Hit A Log in the Road

I grew up on a pretty busy street; the kind that looks like a country road, but is driven by locals like it's Formula 1 racing... My dad used to threaten to put split logs in the street to get people to slow down. Obviously he never did, since it would ultimately have led to disaster and destruction - which brings me to The Scale.

My heart is just not in this.

I'm unhappy with my body, I'm out of shape, my triglycerides are too high (though everything else checked out ok!), and I'm never going to be able to handle a vacation in Florida with my stick insect sister-in-law. And yet, I snack. My friend Alta has a website devoted to her weight loss, and it's thrilling to see her success. Can I act on that? I know I can.

But. Will. I?

I found a Couch-to-5K training plan that I can do on the treadmill here at work, and I should really start it today. Instead of blogging. Or knitting. Or eating. And where is that pesky journal again?


Monday, April 24, 2006

Free meat has become a weekend highlight....

Sunday: I caught the local Stop & Shop in a mistake at the register that equaled a free pot roast. It was a $12.53 hunk of beef. With my savings card, it was marked down to $6.45. Nice deal, huh? Well, as I was checking my receipt on the way out of the store... Eeeek. Full price! So, I marched my little self back into the store, and politely showed my roast and my receipt to the beleaguered cashier at customer service. She proceeded to refund me the entire cost of the roast because it was their system error. Cool!

Of course, I do have to face the fact that getting free meat has become a weekend highlight....

Other highlights included catching up on a month's laundry, cleaning up and seeding the front yard, planting a hydrangea, my Saturday morning trip to the dog park with Maurice, and dinner at the local teppanyaki joint. Oh! and I made three nights worth of dinners yesterday afternoon. Way to make my own life easier :)

In home improvement news, Mark spent the rainy days trimming out the doorways and window in the LR, and sanding the filled nailholes in the DR. Painting time is coming! I bought a color sample of the color I like and put up a square on the wall. It's gonna rock!

On the kid front, turns out O was cutting his first molar last week; thus all the crabbing around... We all feel terrible that we didn't notice, but molars are way the heck back there, and he's also cutting a front tooth, so we figured it was that. Bad parents/caregivers! This morning he headed off to his music playgroup with his Nana, and is now back and having a tremendous buffet-style snack (raisins, cheerios, pineapple, watermelon, and leftover foccacia). Cutting teeth is hungry work. He could stand to bulk up a little, so I'm encouraging all this (relatively) healthy snackage.

As for me, I got back to my C25K routine. Details here. I've also kept up with the majority of my FLYlady reminders, and the house is starting to look pretty good. Mark's concerned about impending Housekeeping OCD. He might not be wrong...

Friday, April 21, 2006

It's Alive!!!

OK, so it's not alive.

It is, however, A MITTEN! And it goes with the Cleveland Hat. Therefore, I'm christening it The Cleveland Mitten. Now, I know one mitten does not a pair make, which is why I'll commence The Cleveland Mitten, Part Deux shortly. It may be a gorgeous, warm, sunny spring day here in New England, but I'm knitting. Knitting mittens. Mittens for winter. Brrrrrrr!

Breaking news! Mark and I have a social life! We're having dinner with the fabulous L&T in JP tonight. Hooray! (and they say it's still my birthday!!!!

All is repaired for the time being between J and SB. I am going to make a concerted effort to arrange alternate activities for J, so he's not overdosing on SB and PM ("potty mouth;" I'll explain another day) all the time. O's still teething and his naps are all wonky. E is... well... E. 'Nuff said.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

"I'm a Smartypants!"

Yesterday, Miss E and I had a very funny conversation:

We were walking down the street, home from the bus stop, with O in the stroller. E was doing her version of the Ministry of Silly Walks:

Me: Miss E, you are a goon.
E: I am not.
Me: Yup. You're a goon.
E. I am not a goon.
Me: Yes, you are.
E: I'm not a goon.
Me: Well, then, what are you?
E: I'm a smartypants!


J had a playdate with one of his annoying friends, and the ever-awful SB got invited along. Apparently SB was taunting J to the point of tears. I can't even begin to describe accurately my dislike for this child. And disliking a child really does rub me the wrong way. I want to like him. (I also want him to go away and leave J alone!)

I frogged the "training mitten" and have embarked upon the "real mitten." Photos when it looks like more than a tube.

I shined my sink last night. I'm a believer.

Also, I have a migraine settling in, so I'm going to stop playing computer, and rest for a while.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Still Life With Mitten

No, this is not a torture device. Neither is it an alien. Both have been suggested to me... It's a mitten! A mitten, a ball of Malabrigo Worsted in Alpine Pearl, 5 US#7 dpns, 2 stitch holders, my iBook and a glass of Diet Coke. It's what I'm calling my "training mitten." When I figure out how it all goes together, I'm going to write my own recipe, hopefully to accompany the recipe for the hat I made in Cleveland. I'm using a pattern right now, but it's not a very good pattern - poorly written, explained, etc. SO, I figure I'll try it, correct it, tweak it for my own purposes, and voila! I should have my own mittens!


O's exhausted and cranky, E's at the dentist, and I won't see Big Brother J until supper time due to an afternoon playdate with one of his horrible friends. Back to the C25K program on Thursday. A bit delayed, but I'm going to stick to it!

Back to the cranky baby, who fell asleep, but woke up five minutes later and is weeping piteously in his crib. Off to try more walking and rocking...

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Will!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Marshmallows, the Marathon, Maurice, and Mark

I got this from reading Crazy Aunt Purl today - one of her readers posted it. Gross, and yet, somewhat fascinating... Personally, I prefer my Peeps slightly stale, three days out of the package usually does the trick. Mmmmm...

Here in Boston, it's Marathon Monday, and Patriot's Day. Surprisingly, enough, Patriot's Day has nothing to do with Belichick's Boys of Foxboro, but, in fact, is a celebration of all the Famous White Guys here in MA who helped us toss off the yoke of British tyranny. Or something like that... Basically, it's a crap holiday, since I still have to work. And there are a million freaking tourists in town, and I hate tourists.

Mark is sick with the bug that the kids had last week. Will I finally succumb? I'm trying not to. There are no guarantees, though. I've felt poorly for a few days, but I'm still functional. I kind of wish I could just come down with it and have done. Odd, hmm?

So, our Easter was markedly worse than previous years, due to my ill husband, but we did come away with this gem of a photo... Mark's aunt gave Maurice this jaunty bowtie and collar ensemble, which he wore without complaint for a few hours. He's such a fancy pug.

My Aries self has been in a sulk for a week or so. I can't quite put my finger on any one thing - just a Universal conspiracy of misery, I suspect. I fell prey to horoscopes in Cookie magazine, and discovered my own portrait there amongst the illustrations. I stole this from them, but I'm hoping they won't sue me, since I'm giving them full credit and I'm certainly not making any money from it. Just made me laugh...

Oh, and .... (drum roll, please!) The. Afghan. Is. Finished. I gave it to Jamie, Dy, and Rylee on Saturday evening, finished, bound off, and loose ends threaded. Brilliant! Now I move on to mittens! My Mom has the pictures, so I'll post them as soon as she emails them to me!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Someone's Got Anger Issues...

So, if you go here, you'll find the unedited version of this comment along with the original, but I wanted to draw attention to this, 'cause I find it funny.

Apparently, I have a drive-by blog-stalker, and he feels I'm self-indulgent...
"WHAT THE F***! "We're Very Very Busy and We Have A Lot to Do and We Haven't Got A Minute to Explain It All to You" But you have 10 minutes to f***ing write this post? You self indulgent F***! And why were you so busy? 'Cause you went to Concord to eat cake? You went to BJs to buy food? WHAT THE F***! And then at 9 you went out for ice cream. Yah! Very very busy indeed. F*** OFF!"

This poster's name is Briz. If anyone knows him/her, s/he needs some valium and a stiff drink. Seriously, dude. Chill out. The word "fuck" loses it's power when you overuse it. Blogs are, almost by definition, self-indulgent, and I never asked anyone to come read it. Had our little friend, Briz, taken the time to develope a sense of what he was reading, he might have noticed that he's reading the online diary of a nanny, for christ's sake. We here at MOMP are not looking to save the world, just one family :)

Also, of note, the title of the post is the title of a children's song that gently pokes fun at the busy life of people who work in offices. It's written by Sandra Boynton, whose cartoon animals are great, and her childrens' book are legendary. It's sung by Kevin Kline in a fake British accent, too. So, it was a joke on my part.

Someone's got anger issues...

I woke up 29 today.

I have 364 days left to decide if I care about being 30.

Of course, if i were a shade younger, I might be interested in this. Thanks, VJ-S for the heads up!

The vomiting keeps on coming. J is home sick, alternately sleeping and moaning, after a night spend worshipping the porcelain goddess - I'd tell him it's good practice for college, but he's only 7... O's crabby, and Miss E will be home from school early due to Good Friday and the fact that B---&M--- doesn't seem to believe in actually holding classes in the springtime. Nice for the students, I suppose, but awful for the caregivers.

Boy, I can't wait for the weekend!

Mazel Tov to Allen & Angela, who've chosen a date and location for their impending nuptials!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday today. I'm 29. Yep, 29.

Last night was lovely; Mark and I went to dinner at Aquitaine in the South End. We ran a little late, due to RedSox Nation and the First Night Seder traffic, but it was all fine in the end. Mmmmm.... Warm beet salad with chevre and craime fraiche, filet au poivre with cognac sauce, chocolate mousse with a 20 year tawny port.... And home by 9:30 - not even out late on a school night!

Today has been nice in that many friends have checked in to say happy birthday, and Hallmark has been working overtime sending some very cute ecards from folks, but overall, I hate working on my birthday. (Artisan cheese to go with that finely crafted whine?) O's had a stomach bug since yesterday, and has thrown up no less than five times in 24 hours, twice in his crib, resulting in a MESS. So, that's why yesterday, when the rest of his family departed for Philadelphia for their big family Seder, I stayed home with O until Nana arrived at 4pm, so I could head home to change and drive back into the city for dinner. Originally I was s'posed to be off for the time they were in Philly.... Sad. No time off for me.

Insult to injury the older kids stayed home today after deplaning at Logan, and they NEED. TO. GO. BACK. TO. SCHOOL. Unfortunately for my sanity, their out early tomorrow, and then they're off for the ever-so-useful MA holiday, Patriot's Day. I feel that this holiday is really about the running of the Marathon - and I'm certainly not going down there with these three in tow!

Grump. Grump. Grump.

On the upside, it still my birthday!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Maurice the Bunny Killer

Is it possible that this ridiculous pug could attack this quivering baby bunny? The answer, of course, is no, but he did find a dead bunny a few days ago in the yard, and apparently flushed this little guy out of the warren and into the light well outside our basement window.

So, shoot me, the title was sensationalist.

Mark rescued him with some cedar shingles, hoping not to imprint human scent on him. He headed back into his warren, and left Maurice wondering where his tiny friend had gone... Luckily for MOMP, Mark had his cameraphone out during the bunny rescue.

I Sum Up

I am a bad, neglectful blogger. I am. I've just been so damned busy. Really. So, in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, "I sum up."

When last I blogged (excuse me!), I had changed the name on my driver's license.... I think I wrote that on Wednesday....

4/06: Worked, played at VJ-S's house for a few hours. Downloaded much Sufjan Stevens.
4/07: Ah, yes, the vortex into which my life was sucked. I agreed to take in the famous SB for the day again, and he joined our merry party around 10:30 AM (do these kids EVER have school?). We departed shortly thereafter for Callahan State Park, Maurice in tow. We took him hiking, he went swimming, and we all went back to my house to drop hime off. Then I took the gaggle of children to McDonald's for food that will kill them. They behaved like Wild Things, I screamed like a harpy, and we all left. Owen slept at home for a few hours, and I packed in a frenzy. We all departed, SB in tow, for Chestnut Hill, where we were to rendez vous with SB's somewhat flaky dad. Guess what? He was late. This puched back our departure time for Amherst, which in turn put us in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic, going westbound on the Pike. Yeah. Buckets. Of. Fun. I got home from Amherst at 9PM, and collapsed.
4/08: Shopping with Mom. In a marathon 7 hour expedition in the wilds of Natick, my mother bought me a spring wardrobe for my birthday. How much does she rule? So much!
4/09: Happy Birthday Yseult! Mark and I tackled our long-neglected lawn, resulting in 14 bags of lawn detritus, which we piled into the trailer and brought to the town compost center, after going to the Transfer Station to get a permit. Whoohoo, we have a dump sticker! We really live here. Oh! and we plotted out the deck, and Mark started digging holes for footings. We have a granite slab in our backyard. Nice.
4/10: Back to work. Nothing special to note.
4/11: Today! Started a "couch to 5K" training program on the treadmill. Am a little weary. Got my license! I can now be carded on my 29th birthday, which is Thursday, two days from now, on the 13th.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, since I'm only working a half day due to the first night of Passover. Time for me to get some stuff done, and Mark's taking me out to dinner at Aquitaine in the South End. Yay!

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Well, I did it.

After changing my SSN to my married surname last fall, I finally got around to changing my driver's license on Monday morning. So, while I wait for the new license to arrive, I have a flimsy looking paper replacement. Guess I won't be buying any booze for a few days, hmmmm? Hope I have it back by next week so I can get carded on my birthday!!!!!

My friend Erik wrote a great editorial in his publication, The Yellow Scene, recently. You should check it out. Plus, I'm going to add the link in my nepotism column at some point when I'm not swamped with kid-related duties.

I think that's all that's in my head today.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Page 161

Richenza had the following activity posted on her website. Random amusement for me:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Here's mine:

"'One sacked, one dead, one's memory removed, and one locked in a trunk for nine months,' said Harry, counting them off on his fingers."

We're Very Very Busy and We Have A Lot to Do and We Haven't Got A Minute to Explain It All to You

Rarely do I run around like I did this past weekend.

Saturday began with a WW meeting (so-so results), a trip to BJ's (spent my Guilt Money), then home to my kitchen to create tasting cakes for my friends Al & Kara:

Golden Butter Cake with Chocolate Creme Patissiere and Buttercream with Ganache
Persian Genoise with Vanilla Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Buttercream
Lemon Genoise with Lemon Curd Cream, Strawberries, and Buttercream
Vanilla Bean Genoise with Vanilla Whipped Cream, Strawberries, and Buttercream

In the end, we scrapped the existing combinations and invented a new one for them. Yum!
I drove up to Concord, NH, for dinner, cake tasting, and catching up with them and our mutual friend, RGS Guy, and the Elusive Colleen's Double, his girlfriend. I ended up staying over and going for bagels with Al & Kara before heading back to Framingham. Then, I made red sauce, crawfish stock, and cranberry-peach sorbet, before we headed up to Maynard to visit the Morgans with Maurice. We ended up staying for Chinese take-out. At 9, I met my old friend, Om, for ice cream in Westborough before collapsing in an exhausted pile at 11 PM. And all this with one less hour of weekend to work with!

Back at work this morning, the kids have gone back to school, and O and I celebrated by sleeping away the afternoon. ::yawn::
Home tonight to roast a chicken and grill a pork loin. Tasty.