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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Tuesday, December 30, 2008


When is it the 5th of January 2009?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Sweet Boy

Tonight while I was making dinner, O decided he wanted to help with the pizza bagels. I had already toasted and sauced the bagels, but I told him he could put the cheese on for me. I pulled up a stool, and got him a bowl of shredded cheese. After a few sprinkles, he said to me, "I'm doin' this kinda slow. Maybe you should do some, too."

Why not?

So I set to work helping him. After a moment, he stopped and looked up at me with a grin. I touched my forehead down to his, and we giggled, because the other person looks like a cyclops when you do that. Then, out of the blue, he kissed me on the nose and turned back to the cheese and bagels. I gave him a smooch on the forehead, and we went back to getting the pizzas ready for the broiler.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Secret Boyfriend Edition

To paraphrase Mrs. G, despite my blathering on about secret boyfriend, I have been fathfully married to my husband for three years, we share a home, a child, and three lunatic pets. I may talk the tart on these here intertubes, but I stand by my man.

I'm a pretty regular lurker reader over at Mrs. G's Derfwad Manor, so I'm pretty regularly treated to her mancake Secret Boyfriend posts. I am envious. I haven't the stamina for too many secret boyfriends. Also, I am too fickle. My secret boyfriends change with the television season. (For instance, the scifi/travel dreams I had last spring about David Tennant as The Doctor. Or the police drama dreams I had about Michael Chiklis as Vic Mackey - wierd, I know.) The one constant, enduring crush I have had since childhood is for Christopher Plummer, as Captain von Trapp, of course. He stole my heart during Edelweiss and the Laendler, and by the time he and Maria were singing about their wicked, miserable pasts, I was in love. He would reign over my myriad teenage secret boyfriends (Axel, Tom, Judd, Joey, etc...) like a handsome, older angel until Colin Firth's Fitzwilliam Darcy stripped down to swim in the pond at Pemberley. Obviously, by that time, my desires had changed...

I'm still a softy for the Captain, and for Darcy (yum!), but I've found a new secret boyfriend, and again, he's old enough to be my father. Though he's been around for a while, I only became aware of him in HBO's Rome, though I'd seen him before without taking notice, and yes, I recently went back for a second look at Persuasion. (I think I have a Jane Austen complex...) But it was while watching Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day that I fell. His character has the same wry humor, the same gentle demeanor and older handsomeness, not to mention appreciation for feminine beauty, that I so love about the Captain. Maybe it's the slow dancing. After all, it isn't likely an accident that I picked two photos in which our heroes are dancing.

Totally. Swoon.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Six Children = Bad Afternoon

After that inspiring post on Monday, my self care week went swiftly downhill. Felix's naps haven't been great and I've had to drive to preschool due to time constraints.

As I type, Big Brother J and Miss E have friends over, who also happen to be siblings. I'll call them Thing A and Thing B. From the moment they came into the house, it's been a constant stream of, "I'm getting a snack," "I'm hungry," "When are we eating?" "Can I have a snack?" and in all of that not a one of them has offered up a please, or given a thank you. When I offered to make them lunch, they demanded noodles, and since Thing A has food allergies, I'm compelled to follow his lead. Did either one eat all their lunch? No. Five minutes later, they're rummaging through the snack cabinets, without asking. Am I wrong to think this is inappropriate? When I said, "no," (because at this house, we don't graze all day)I was looked at like I had three heads.

There was wanton mess making, and no listening to my rather firm requests to clean it up. I know they're kids and prone to mess making and silliness, but I like to think that I'm not the only parental figure out there who expects a little respect. Especially from guests in the house.

All in all, I'm going to try to avoid having any more double playdates, expecially on days when we also have to take O to preschool and shuffle Miss E to her ballet classes during rush hour.

On a positive note, the yarn I ordered for Felix's last Christmas present came to day, just in time for Friday's plane trip to Michigan.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Self Care Diary: Day One

I have not been taking good care of me lately. I've made some changes in external appearance, which make me feel a little more confident, but I've shied away from some of the more important behavioral changes that are so very important if I'm to succeed at my goals. So, in that spirit, when I do good things, I'm going to post here, and hope that a visual record of positive accomplishments will help me to keep caring.

  • 30 minutes on the elliptical
  • walked both trips to preschool: @2.4 miles
  • apples and carrots, lots of water
  • vitamins


Thursday, December 04, 2008

You Put the Peppermint In The Mocha; You Put the Nanny In The Neighborhood

Ahh, the post-Thanksgiving rush... Twinkly lights, eye-bleed inducing 24/7 Christmas music, and the Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks!

I know I gripe a lot about the privileged denizens of Beacon Hill, but here's a truth I don't always own up to. I love this neighborhood.

All my life I've gravitated towards small communities. Girl Scout camp was my second home during the summers, returning year after year to see the same friends among the new faces. Worcester Academy had 250 students across 7 class years, and a faculty who knew you, even if they hadn't taught you. There were old, ivy covered brick buildings, a round quad (yes, I know....), and odd traditions. Middlebury was larger by almost 10 times, but still small, and a close community. I was comfortable having a familiar path to walk, friends I could expect to see certain places, and an understanding of myself as I related specifically to my environment. I imagine some would say I have a massive crisis of identity, but that's when I was happiest with where I was.

Beacon Hill has, for me, that same feeling of neighborhood. I know the neighbors, I see them around. I have friends that I've made of over the years who live and work here. The baristas at Starbucks know my order, and give me hard time if I switch it up, as I did this morning, in observance of Peppermint Mocha season. There are children I know from O's preschool, and dogs we've met through a few dog walkers with whom I'm friendly. Beacon Hill feels like a neighborhood. Where I live, there are houses in a row on the same street, and very few of us actually know one another; where I work, there are people crammed in on top of each other, and many of them drive me crazy with their pretention and snobbery, but they interact. They are aware of themselves within the community, and for better or worse, I like that.

So, this morning, I packed out of my car, and was slightly disappointed when we didn't see one of our garage security friends. We stopped at Starbucks, surprised the barista with a different order, and saw a friend. We socialized a moment, picked up the coffee and headed to work. We stopped to say hi to a friend and neighbor of O's, with her mom, on their way to school. Felix waved to the man who sets up the outside display at the little market, and he waved back. A few moments later, I got mad at an inconsiderate driver, like I do from time to time. I got to work, and I felt like a part of something. If that isn't a cure for this isolating age, I don't know what is. Unless it's a Peppermint Mocha.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Broccoli Doughnuts; Also, Is It So Hard to Be Nice In the Morning?

I am not a traditional morning person. I need about two hours to acclimate to the day. Since Felix gets me up around 6 every morning, that means by 8 I'm pretty functional. When I get to work around 8:15, I'm ready for breakfast and a cup of tea. I'm ready for the quirky humor I get from O. I'm ready.

Every morning I park my car in a garage a few block from where I work. The garage has security personnel posted at each of the four entrances during extended business hours, so I see them most mornings on my way out into the world. I'm friendly with all of them. They make an effort to say hi to Felix and get him to smile; they also often help me with doors, etc. I don't think it's unusually friendly to say good morning, to ask how are you, or to say thank you to someone. I think it's good manners. Even if I didn't have a rapport with someone. No matter what the hour. That said, by 8, when I'm rolling out of the garage, I've usually hit my stride.

So, I was a little surprised when, after witnessing one guard making silly faces for Felix's benefit, and the other hold door for me and the stroller, and my thanks and well wishes for the day to both of them, the commuter behind me said to me as we were walking away from the entrance, "You're awfully friendly so early in the morning." She wasn't unfriendly about it, but I struck me as an odd comment.

Of course, she probably wasn't going off to work with the preschooler who conceptualized the broccoli doughnut, either. I'd have to be on my game to keep up with a sense of humor like that, right?


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

16 Random Things

Imaginary Aunt Kate tagged me on Facebook for this meme, and, being unable to do anything exactly the way I'm asked to, I'm posting my answers here, and not tagging anyone else. Do it if you like, or don't. Whatever.

Also, it was kind of nice to take a day off yesterday to recover from the relentless posting during Nablopomo. I will try to strike a happy medium in December. Plus, I still owe a home improvement post to reader Sammm...

Once you’ve been tagged, you have to write a note with 16 random things, shortcomings, facts, habits or goals about you.

1. I have super toe dexterity. I can pick up my razor with my feet and pass it to my hands if I drop it in the shower. Can other people do this?
2. There are 151 days left until my family vacation.
3. I am hopeless with a blowdryer.
4. I don't understand the appeal of Tom & Jerry.
5. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when this job is done.
6. I think I might like to be a SAHM for a while, but I don't think we can afford it.
7. The thing I miss most about life before marriage and a child is the freedom to just pick up and go away when I feel like it.
8. That said, I wouldn't trade them for anything.
9. I hate driving to work.
10. I wish we could move to Vermont and plant a big garden; I would write and bake, and Mark could build custom furniture and rehab old houses.
11. I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who.
12. I covet the new green Mac. I hate myself for it.
13. I want to go to Paris for our 5th Anniversary. I'm not sure I'll get there in 2010, but I'm going to try.
14. I wish I hadn't stopped my guitar lessons.
15. I would like to sing in a choir or chorus again.
16. I really enjoyed the book circle I was involved in this past year, and am looking forward to doing it again.