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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Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Husband, Neighborhood Casanova....

Mark is doing some work for our neighbors, who are in the midst of moving. It started as a favor, and has become a small paying job, which is nice, I guess (though living next door to you clients can be trying). That said, the work is in two phases, the second of which he offered to take care of this evening, since he'll be available after his normal work day. When he suggested this, a few days ago, to J, the husband over there, he was shot down. Apparently J will be away on business all week, and felt it wasn't appropriate for Mark to be in the house alone with C, the wife.

Mark and I giggled extensively, since our houses are all of thirty feet apart, and there's mostly glass between us. Hardly the best opportunity for inappropriate behavior!

Should I be offended that J feels Mark might have reason to stray? Mark doesn't seem to be bothered that sometimes J comes over and hangs out with me in the backyard with our dogs?

Oh, suburban drama.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Stolen from a Friend

'nuff said. thanks, BoF!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

The A-Ha! Week

I've been off from work all week, and really amounting to very little. I've watched some movies (Elizabeth I; yay, Helen Mirren! Hollywoodland, which lacked something... and some others less memorable), shopped fruitlessly, gone to Boston to smell the flowers, not cleaned my house very much, and done about 17 loads of laundry.

All this accomplishment pales in comparison, however, to what my darling Amelie has done this week. She's figured it out. We haven't hadn't an accident in almost three full days. That doesn't mean she won't regress, or have random incidents from here on out, but she's consistently asking at the door, and waiting longer in between visits to the great outdoors. Hooray!

Are we done yet? Not by a long shot. But this is a good step. Hopefully, as I return to work tomorrow, and it's back to the dog walker, she'll be ok...


Thursday, March 22, 2007


Today was my big outing!

My Mom came in, and we went to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's 2007 New England Spring Flower Show. I love the flower show. I love looking at all the landscaping and the gardening, and it's always green-smelling and lush - it reminds me that spring is really coming. And despite my love of all things winter (even, perversely, driving in ice storms), I'm always ready for spring by March.

In lazy news, I've discovered that if I use the retractable leash to let the puppy out, I don't even need to leave the house to let her pee. I was pretty sure I was the laziest human alive, but this might cinch it. Sadly, no amount of retractable leash will help with the gunky ear infection she's developed in one ear. Off to the vet tomorrow for us, and hopefully they'll let me pay with a kidney, or perhaps a length of intestine, because I certainly can't afford it otherwise!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spartans, Turkey Vultures, and No Shopping

Last night we saw 300 in IMAX. I'm not what you'd call a comic book/graphic novel fan, but I can always appreciate a well-told story, and let me tell you, I was riveted. (Of course, that may have had something to do with the fact that the story was played out on a screen far larger than my house. Whoa.) I liked Sin City, too, so maybe I'm just an unexplored Frank Miller fan....

Today's been a mixed bag. I've been sleeping a lot, trying to recover from this nasty cold (poor Fibby!), and I think it's actually made me more lethargic. I was all set to shower and go out for a few hours, when I took the dogs for a routine trip out. While they were cavorting in the yard, we experienced a 6-foot wingspan flyover at close altitude. Carrion birds were lurking in pairs on the ridge lines of neighboring houses. I gathered in the dogs, whipped out the camera, and promptly forgot about leaving the house.

When I finally did leave the house, it was a fruitless expedition to Old Navy and Gap. I came home with no more clothes than I left with. (Sighs like the world) I should have stayed home here in the Wild Kingdom.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Brief Rant About Cereal Packaging

Has anyone else noticed that since we were kids, the quality of plastic bag lining breakfast cereal boxes has diminished in quality? I bought a box of Kellogg's Raisin Bran yesterday (Two Scoops!) at the store, and opened it last night during a late night munchies session, only to shred the plastic bag, leaving my flakes vulnerable to moisture and air! I've rolled up the bag, of course (I'm not stupid!), but I remember these bags being much more cooperative twenty years ago when I ate cereal every morning.

Maybe I've just lost the touch. Maybe I've just lost touch, period.


Monday, March 19, 2007

A Vertigo of Snot

So, I started a new post a few days ago, but apparently I forgot to "save as draft," so it went the way of the dinosaur. (Yes, killed by prehistoric cyber-cavemen, obviously)

I can't remember what on earth I might have had to say for myself, so I'm fairly sure that you wouldn't want to read it.

Here's the gist of how I've felt for the last five days; as if my head were dipped in glue, wrapped in batting, and then given a swirly. Yeah, that good. This cold blows. At least I'm home from work this week, since presumably the bosses got out of Logan and off the Cancun at some point, even if it wasn't their originally scheduled departure time.

At this ungodly hour, however, I'm sitting at my dining room table, supervising a few minutes of post-breakfast puppy-play. Then, they will go back in their crates, and I will go back to sleep for a few hours.

The Ides of March were cruel to me this year. Not like they were to poor Caesar, but cruel, nonetheless. I ended up having to leave work early with a 101.5-degree fever, shakes, aches, and dizziness - fun times on the MassPike!

March has never been a favorite month for me - it's a month you get through. In college, I s'pose, there were a few good times, like the trip to Truckee, CA, where N&I discovered cat pate. (H here will remember vomiting into a bucket, since she decided to get a stomach flu while I visited... see? March always screws someone!) The next year I was in London for a week, which was pretty cool. Maybe I'm just travel-jealous and wish I was somewhere warm like The Burger.

I'm feeling much less sorry for myself now, though no less crappy. I've been to Whole Paycheck, Trader Joe's, and Stop&Shop and had a nice long nap since last I wrote, and if it weren't for the nausea - stemming perhaps from blowing my nose 14,000 times today? like a vertigo of snot? - I'd be in pretty good shape.


Friday, March 16, 2007

I Love the Winter Weather...

For the first time in two weeks, I'm not too exhausted to stay awake while O naps! It's like a gift from the heavens - unlike today's weather here in Beantown.

I'm deep in the throes of a nasty cold, pulling up the rear in the parade of sick children I mentioned last post. Serves me right for complaining, I guess. Last night I sent myself home from work early with a fever of 101.5, complete with shakes, nausea, dizziness, and achy muscles. Driving home was awesome. Lots of sleep was my friend, and at least now I'm not feverish while trying to care for other people's children.

The family is off to Cancun tomorrow, which leaves MoMP with some time off. Much needed for R&R at this point. Mom and I are going to check out the flower show on Tuesday, and I'm hoping to get up to Concord tomorrow to see Tranlsations, in which an old friend is acting. Beyond that, keeping the dogs company and knitting... Ain't it grand?

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Oh my, will the parade of sick children never end!

I am a very spoiled nanny. This I know. In a normal work week, I spend the first 7 of my 10.5 hour day with just O. We do our thing, and then I have some combination of older kids for the hours between school and the return of the parents. During O's naps, I can nap, workout, pay my bills, chat online, do whatever... It keeps me sane during the long days.

This week, however, I've had sick kids on my hands since Tuesday. Big Brother J was home Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday, and though he went to school today, Miss E stayed home. This presents a particular challenge for me, since E is the child that I feel least close to. She's needy, whiny, and has very little common sense. Sometimes, it's hard for me to get past all of that to the sweet, imaginative, optimistic kid she is underneath.

I think, also, that I missed a crucial point in bonding with her. I was gone from her second to fourth birthdays, and somehow she grew away from me, and the fault is likely mine, but I've never fully been able to mend it.

It's different with J. I was there, full time, until he started full time school, a natural pulling-away time for school aged kids, and I've never worried about distance between us. He drives me batty a lot, but when it comes down to it, he listens to me, and we have a fair amount in common, which makes being his nanny a little easier.

And O doesn't remember last week, never mind the first four month of his life, before I came back to the family. Bonus!

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I know I'm spoiled, but I want my routine back!


A Broad Spectrum

I've been reading a little lately on speech pathology and early language intervention in toddlers, due to O's delayed language skills. The reading always brings you around to discussions of Autism, and its spectrum conditions, and other PDDs...

Close friends of ours have a young daughter who's been diagnosed with Autism - the extent of which won't be clear for a few years, I think, since they've caught it young, and she'll be exposed to treatments and therapies in due course. Since Mark and I have come to the point in our relationship where children are the next logical step, it gives me pause. The spectrum conditions that are so evident to experts now went largely undiagnosed up until quite recently, and apparently a genetic predisposition to these conditions is more than likely. I wonder, then, if, in either of our family trees, there are mildly autistic members? or those presenting only one symptom, which is possible, but still carrying the genetic material, which could be true, too...

As if there aren't enough things to worry about, with food allergies, terrorism, sexual predators, the phenomenon of celebrity baby names, and a tough college market, Autism is like a lurking shadow, especially when it comes into your life on a personal level.

I promise, I'm not making a mountain out of a molehill - it's not like this musing is going to stop me from having children... It's just been on my mind while I've been researching O's options, which are far, far less scary.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I'm guilty of lurking for the past few days - truth is, I've been preoccupied with a few things, and it's affected my writing, if you can call it that.

We had a lovely weekend, which included having friends O&N staying with us over the weekend, with their awesome dog, Scout (photos when I finally get that roll of film developed). We had The Fabulous L&T over for dinner on Saturday, and we were a very merry party of six for Persian Walnut Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Cider Braised Kale and Apples, Soybean Curry, and Frozen Greek Yogurt with Honey and Fig Sauce. I kick ass. No false modesty here. We also took the hounds to meet my parents' dogs, Niner, Chance, and Leah. The neighbors' dog, Frank came over for a visit, making a grand total of 6 dogs in my parents house. Hilarious. I wish I'd had the camera...

The workweek has been busy, O turned 2 yesterday, and this morning his parents decided, with his pediatrician to do a speech intervention. Hooray! I'm psyched to start getting to the bottom of why a smart, expressive, engaging toddler has no real words - and to start getting him talking. Big Brother J has been home for two days with a fever, so we've been chilling, watching movies and playing online with his collection of Webkinz.

Serious thought is going into the house these days, and Mark is getting ready for another big push when the cold fronts move out. With Daylight Savings coming early this year, we''ll have more light to work by, right?

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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Travelin' Gator

Click on the link masquerading as my title, and back track to the August entries. Read up from the bottom, and on from there... My friend Chris, writing as the Traveling Gator, is producing some incredibly engaging and poignant travel memoirs as we speak. His gift for wordsmithing is unique, and his voice is really coming into its own.

Plus he's been in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Egypt in the last six months. How can you resist?

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We're Going On Vacation!

My parents own a number of annual points in the Disney Vacation Club, and for a combination of my upcoming 30th Birthday and our 2nd anniversary (holy crap! we've been married two years!), they've offered us a long weekend away!

We're going to try out the property at Hilton Head for two nights, then we're staying in Savannah, GA for a night! And with hotels and airfare covered, we can actually afford to enjoy ourselves a little! Hooray! I'm excited about Savannah, especially, since I'm a huge fan of Paula Deen, and her restaurant, The Lady and Sons, is right in Savannah!

I can also see The Mercer House, made infamous by Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil (great book, if you haven't already read it...).

So, we're booked on a Friday morning flight on April 27th, and we return the 30th, four days of southern cooking and quiet, dog sitting included! I can hardly wait!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Do They Have Bahs Downthayah?"

Two portly middle aged men in team jackets and hats said to me, after asking if the "Gahdin" was around "heyah." I love this town!

O&I were running to the Post Office on New Chardon Street this morning when we were waylaid by these ... umm... gentlemen(?). I patiently pointed to the rising silhouettes of the Charles River Park Apartments, above the Department of Mental Health building (you know it, the one with all the crazy (haha) stairs and balconies? it might not actually be where the DMH is, but there's a sign nearby...), and said, "Just to the right of those high rises, you can't miss it." The title question followed.

"They certaintly do!" I replied, hauling the stroller into the crosswalk, so as not to miss the walk light and be stranded with two middle-aged dudes looking to get drunk at 10 AM.

Then I played the "How Many Bars Can I Name in that Neighborhood Without Using Google?" game:
Penalty Box
Upstairs Lounge
Paddy O'Rourke's (a stretch, but it's in the Bullfinch Triangle!)
Grand Canal

Subsequent searching got me a link to Grand Canal, which I love, and seldom go to anymore. Legend tells that once Mark, staying on alone after a group Sunday brunch session, got his foot stuck between the foot rail and the bar at Grand Canal, and drunkenly called his friends for help, hoping they'd bring a helicopter... Hmmm.... Back a million years ago, Becs and Ys and I would go dancing at the Upstairs Lounge, which had a small but dedicated goth night. Ahh, the good old days...

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