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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Monday, February 26, 2007

Do I Love New York?

I don't think so... Manhattan makes me tired, and my skin breaks out, and when the 1 Subway downtown isn't picking up passengers from 72nd to 42nd streets, getting from the Loncoln Center area to Grand Central becomes far more of a trial than it ought to be.

I went to NY to celebrate the birth of a friend's daughter, and while I was there, I stayed with my college roommate, and had dinner with an old friend from high school. It wa nostalgic and happy and cool! My friend's daughter is beautiful, and I got to hold her and feed her and sniff her forehead - baby lust fulfilled is a beautiful thing!

By the time I got home last night, I was beginning to think that I been away for 100 years, like Rip van Winkle in a V-Dub...

I drove to Stamford, CT on Saturday afternoon, took the Metro North into Grand Central, walked 9 blocks south to my friend Nikki's apartment, we took the subway to the 20s and had supper at a pub, then subwayed back up to her place. From there, I walked over to Penn Station, and hopped the NJTransit to Liz's place.

Thank the cosmos for high thread-count cotton sheets and squashy pillows! I slept like a baby.

In the morning, back on the NJTransit and the subway to Lincoln Center, and walking another few blocks to the baby shower that was the point of my whirlwind trip to NY.

After going north to go south on the f'ed up 1 line, I finally got back on a train and headed back to CT to fetch my car... I was running so late, though, that we had to postpone our interview with the potential dog walker...


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Friday, February 23, 2007

Establishing the Hierarchy

I have been a bad blogger.

I have, however, been a very good puppy mama, and a pretty good nanny, so I'm excusing myself.

There are quite a few pictures of the new puppy on
The Year of the Nanny, so head on over if you haven't already.

It's been funny watching the household shift with the new addition. Maurice is doing very well, except that he's neurotic about his food bowl and her food bowl and what might be the difference. My thumb felt the consequences of the first feeding altercation. From then on, we've set the bowls about six feet apart, and one of us supervises feeding time to keep the natives from getting too restless! Even Mark and I have to readjust. In order to give the dogs breakfast, and give them some play time before it's crate time again, I get up at 6, take everyone out, feed them, and play with them until 6:30, when Mark is ready for work. He watches them until he leaves at 6:45, then I come back down from showering, etc, and take them out one last time before leaving for work at 7... Makes me sleepy in the afternoons.

It's worth it, though. She's a great dog. She's spunky and silly, but not very high maintenance, which, after a pug (though I do love him madly) is a relief! They play really well, so in some senses, by getting another dog, we've rendered ourselves obsolete.

We're still trying to find a competent dog walker, since the flake who used to walk Maurice is currently unavailable, so we have two interviews next week. Until then, one of us will cover the midday feeding/walking session. With the freezing and thawing and snowing of the last ten days, our backyard is starting to look like the streets of Deadwood, and our floors are a disaster (hooray for plywood subflooring - indestructible), never mind the fact that policing the poop is difficult when it's freezing, thawing, raining, snowing, etc... icky.

It's fun to be back on the top of the heap, though. I am pack leader, hear me bark!


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pugs Love Snow!

But they don't love having cold feet.

We learned this when he refused to pee when we let him out both last night and this morning. He just tried to get all four feet off the ground simultaneously, and when that failed, he crawled up onto the back steps and looked pathetic. I got a late start to work this morning trying to get him to pee.

So, after more than twelve hours without peeing due to the wintry conditions in our backyard, I bought him fleecy booties at Petco. O&I returned to my house, suited him up in his Land's End Squall Jacket for Dogs and his fleecy booties, and we headed out the door. After a minute of frantic spinning (ooooh! footwear!), he peed (bladder infection averted!), and then lost a bootie in a tiny drift - but he was a happier pug!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 13th, Part Deux. Oh, and It's a Snow Day!

For the kids, anyway. For me, it's just a day home with all three kids. Meh. As you can see, the roads were a mess this morning. It's hardly Oswego County, NY, here, but even on a bad traffic day, it doesn't take an hour and twenty minutes to travel the 23.2 miles from my driveway to the parking garage. It was slushy and wet and ... it snowed out the flight on which our puppy was supposed fly!

(OK, that was just me catching the whining bug from the kids...)

Both in the windshield and in the rearview mirror, note the lack of any other cars on the road. This was a deceivingly quiet moment, occurring about a mile after I passed the plows on the Pike. They slowed all the rest of the traffic after them, leaving those of us ahead of them to gain a few miles of road. It all caught up a few minutes later.

The kids have been rattling around all day, bored senseless because they can't go outside in the sleet and freezing rain. The best work they've done all day was to build a fort with their Cranium fort building set. It's a pretty awesome toy, should you have the kind of house that lacks pillows, kitchen chairs, and old sheets from your parents' bed. That was how my bro and I rolled. Yo.

It is also Valentine's Day, for those of you who observe it. Mark and I skip it in favor of acknowledging that we love each other the rest of the days of the year. He may not bring me flowers, but he does bring me the odd Vosges Haut Chocolat Naga Bar from Whole Foods just cause he saw them and remembers they're my favorite!

The kids got a visit from one grandmother, and a balloon delivery from the other. My Mom used to make Red Dinner. Steak, salad with catalina dressing, beets... Pasta with red sauce... There were many versions of Red Dinner over the years.

I did cast on for the front panel of the sweater. I finished the first sleeve yesterday. Just shy of half done... I might even get it done before the weather gets warm again.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Sudden Weight of Maturity

There are moments, I assume, in everyone's lifetime, when they feel the sudden weight of age and maturity. For me, today, holding my husband's hand while we walked behind the hearse from the church to the cemetery was one of those moments. I felt like an adult. And yes, I know that I am, and have been for some years, an adult, but I mostly don't feel like one. I still feel like my parents' little girl, despite my house, my husband, my dog, and the children I'm raising.

The face of mortality, I'm certain, had something to do with it. Seeing a family in mourning for someone who died at 57 years old, after an inexplicable illness and rapid decline inevitably reminds you that you're not going to live forever. Accepting your place as a mourner in a family you've chosen reminds you that they're not going to live forever. That thought was sobering, but it also served for me as a mark of passage. I will mourn with my husband again, and he will with me, because death is a part of life, and life is what we're doing together.

This isn't the first time I've lost people important to me. And while I had affection for Mark's aunt, and my love for his family makes my heart ache for their loss, her death doesn't affect me as personally as it does my husband and his family. Why then should this funeral elicit these thoughts? I can't say. Perhaps as every life affects the lives around it differently, so does every death.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

In Absentia, In Memoriam

Forgive my Latin, you scholars of dusty languages... I've been absent from the blog due to the passing of Mark's aunt, Linda. She died Thursday morning, we were notified by noon. Today is the wake, tomorrow the funeral, so please consider this MoMP's period of mourning.

Though Linda was far too young to leave us, her passing is at the end of a difficult illness, and is to some degree a blessing that she doesn't suffer any further.

If you pray, keep Mark's family in your prayers, if not, keep us in your thoughts.


Friday, February 09, 2007

Dialing It In

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Banff Sweater, Part I

The sweater started on Saturday night:
From Knitting

This is where I was at on Tuesday afternoon, after one skein:
From Knitting

This evening, I finished the back panel, with a chunk of the second skein remaining:
From Knitting


Monday, February 05, 2007

If Maurice Were Getting A Sister...

... what should we name her?

some suggestions:


write-ins are always welcome!


The Dog Ate My iPod...

Call me Alexander, because yesterday started off as one terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad day. It ended rather well, but I'll get to that later. I woke to Mark shouting at the dog, wandered downstairs and found my husband and my dog, both looking like they were anticipating sleeping in the dog house. Turns out, while Mark was out for a few minutes, the dog got onto to the kitchen table, and pulled my purse over. He decided my iPod looked tasty and chewed on the screen to confirm his suspicions. Mmmmm, neoprene skin and yummy iPod lcd screen...

It still works, and is now sporting a fabulous "giant-wind-storm-on-Jupiter" motif. Everyone will want one when word of this gets out, and, as Fibby pointed out later, at least it wasn't a Video iPod!

After two tries, I finally had a passable birthday cake for my brother-in-law, who was coming over to join our Stupidbowl posse. I burned/undercooked the first cake, broke the buttercream, and then didn't have the right proportions for my whipped ganache. Boo. Reviews were fine on the final product, but let me tell you, I seriously considered winging a Delonghi mixer out my kitchen window at least once.

Though the Fabulous L&T bailed just before game time, due to overindulgence and air travel over the weekend, it was ok that we were a small party for the game; just Mark & I, Jason, and Fibby, who brought her knitting for the game! We feasted on oysters, chips and salsa, and cake. We cheered for the Bears and cried over the Colts' victory, and remarked that while Prince's halftime performance was, in fact, better that the last few Stupidbowl shows, it was a rather unremarkable offering. Take me back to the year U2 played halftime. As well as continuing with the Banff sweater (see below), I also got all of our wedding photos sorted and into albums. Organization, here I come!

Saturday was s'posed to be a quiet day; lunch with my friend AM, an afternoon of cooking and homey chores, and then a night of babysitting in Beacon Hill, but we ended up heading to Rhode Island to visit Mark's aunt in the hospital. She was failing pretty severely then, but since we've heard that she's improved a little, and has been awake and even spoken a little. All we can do is hope and pray in our own way.

I did babysit on Saturday, and the kids and I had a nice evening, and I got started on my Banff sweater. I had to swatch a bunch of times before I got close to the right gauge, and I still am a little off on the row gauge, so I'm going to have to proceed with caution. Right now I'm just loving the colorway and hand of this yarn. Happy Me!

Back at work this morning, I was tired... apparently 11pm is too late for my almost 30 year old bones. I was also cold! Drafty old houses here in Beacon Hill. Luckily the sweater knitting is keeping my hands warm.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

New Year's Resolution, Part I of XII

I have completed one twelfth of my Project 365 resolution, and I'm rather pleased with myself. My shots my not be high art, or even very good, but they do begin to illustrate some common themes. (Again, these themes may not be very profound, but they are themes.) I have also taken three pictures of my feet in a month. Huh.

Running around with my digital camera has its uses, but I've also been itchy to take up my SLR more often, too. Not to say that the photographs will become magically better, but I'm more inclined to take risks with that camera, since it feels more authentic than a point and shoot.

Now I just have to stay on top of uploading all those pesky JPEGs...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Luxury Nanny's Aesthetician

Yesterday the rest of Boston was paralyzed by fear of subway terror from Ted Turner, but here at MoMP it was Miss E's weekely half-day Wednesday, when she's home from Kindergarten by noon, and we have all afternoon to persue girlish activities. This week, E wanted to play hair salon, and as she's matured considerably in this particular vein of play since the last time I wrote of it, I agreed.

She has, in fact, gotten quite good at hair brushing, etc... So I settled into my seat and let her go. She must have brushed my hair for 20 minutes - oh, bliss! She then says to me, "C, do you have any face lotion?"

I answered warily, not quite understanding her motivation, that I did have some in the guest bathroom. She raced off to get it, warbling, "You need a fay-faysh-fayshah... a face massage!"

She preceded to carefully dab moisturizer on my forehead and cheeks and massage it in, finally declaring, "There. Now your skin is nice and soft."

Career of the day? Aesthetician. Definitely.