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, January 30, 2009

Hello! say the Woodins

I was so busy knitting these guys the two weeks before Christmas that I never got around to blogging them. They were one on Felix's Christmas gifts. Three little stuffed guys and a hollow tree for them to play in. How can you not love them?


Thursday, January 29, 2009


Originally uploaded by fallingdownhouse
About a year ago, I got in touch with a couple of other knitters who are friends with my friends, the Corrdins, who were, at the time, expecting their first child. Said child was expected in July, and I figured that would leave plenty of time for us to each knit a third of a blanket, and for to collect them and knit them together.

I am as delusional about time frames as my husband, apparently.

Ruben was born in June (all good), the other girls got their thirds to me in July, I finished mine in August (still ok, right?). I finished the blanket on the 17th. Of January. 2009. (eek)

I am slow and I suck.

But I think they liked their blankie.


The 25 Things Meme from Evilbook ... er Facebook

Fibs and Ari and each tagged me on Evilbook earlier this week, and I like Fibs and Ari. Seth and Judy tagged me yesterday. I like them, too. I did the 16 Things one back in early December, and I've tried to keep my answers from overlapping.

So, here it is. Twenty five nuggets from deep within my soul, for your reading pleasure, or displeasure. I'm not tagging anyone, because I'm not. If this inspires you to make such a list, merry listing!

  1. I don't automatically love all children just because I'm a nanny. Really. I love my son, my niece and nephew, my assorted wee cousins, G, the kids I've raised here at work, and a few other precious offspring of friends, but the awful, ugly truth is, most kids I've become acquainted with over the years frankly piss me off. At best, I find them tolerable. People assume because you work with children in some capacity, you must adore them all as a concept. Not true.
  2. I do love every baby I've ever met. Babies are perfect. Their laughter could save the world. And I'm not being squishy just because I have one. I believe that as gospel truth.
  3. I don't believe in any one God. Here are some things I do believe in: women should be left to make decisions about their bodies - end of discussion; anyone should be able to marry anyone they like; responsible, unconditional parental love is essential to the future of a child, but whether it comes from one devoted single parent, two married parents, two unmarried parents, two separated parents, two women, two men, a transsexual, or an investment banker is completely irrelevant; anyone should be free to worship whom or whatever they choose, so long as they allow others to do the same, and keep it out of the public educational system and matters of public policy. There are more, but that will do for now.
  4. When I was in eighth grade, my boyfriend left me notes in my locker. I got weirded out when he started writing them in toothpaste and laminating them with saran wrap. I didn't know how to handle it, so I just stopped talking to him.
  5. I met Mark during a long summer of online dating. Yep. Online dating. It took me three months to figure out how highly I really regarded him. I'm a slow starter.
  6. I have a loving, supportive husband, a healthy baby boy, a family I adore, and better friends than I deserve, but I am incredibly lonely a lot of the time.
  7. My geographically nearest cousins, with whom I enjoy a particularly close relationship, and I share no common genetic information, which confirms for me that family is just as much nurture as nature.
  8. I waited to twenty two years to meet my blood-related cousins, due to family issues that didn't involve me, and I feel like I missed out. I don't blame the previous generation for their choices, but I have promised myself I will never do that to my son.
  9. I am a nervous/stressed/bored/sad/celebratory eater, and I think I'll probably fight that my whole life.
  10. Part of me would love to have a high profile job with nice clothes and a fancy phone. Then I remember that I hate bureaucracy, paper shuffling, phone calls, and deadlines, and I'm over it again.
  11. Rudeness makes me crazy, and when I'm rude to someone, I always feel guilty for a disproportionate amount of time afterward.
  12. I can be pretty mean when I'm on a streak. I'm not proud of that. I have a few friends with whom I can be my snarky self, so I have a venue for it. I try to keep it to a minimum out in the world.
  13. I have (and maybe I'm not alone in this?) a constant internal struggle between the desire to go out and be social all the time, and the desire to hole up with Mark and Felix and the dogs for the foreseeable future.
  14. I could happily live on sushi and baked goods for the rest of my life, so long as there was plenty of water and occasional fruit breaks.
  15. I fell in love with R.E.M. when I was a freshman in high school in 1991. This is late to the game, as they'd been recording for more than a decade by then, but my love has never waned. I'm still a fan.
  16. Two important friendships of mine from college disintegrated for reasons I never understood, and I mourn them like lost loves. Maybe more, since they meant more to me than any romantic relationship I'd had by that time.
  17. I really dislike solicitation, even when the cause is one towards which I'm sympathetic. When I have extra money or time, I give where I see fit. When I don't, I feel very uncomfortable being approached and asked for money, support, etc. The only exception is when friends look for pledges for marathons, charity events, etc.
  18. I miss theatre. Going to shows, working on shows, the manic energy in a theatre, the personalities... productions were some of my favorite times during high school and college.
  19. Somewhere down the line, I think it would be fun to design a new home with Mark, but I'm so sick of renovating our house that I'd cheerfully live in a subpar finished house until that time. Ask me again when I have a second full bath, a custom home office, and a front hall and parlor and I'll deny it.
  20. Because I'm friendly, my husband calls me the ambassador, and puts me in charge of dealing with the rest of world, but sometimes my own insecurities make me afraid to be the family mouthpiece. It can be a lot of pressure, representing the varied interests and social connections of three people.
  21. I have started, but never completed, two novels. One might still get written, but then I'd have to put myself out there and try to publish it, and the possibility of rejection on that scale makes me numb with terror. Numb with terror = severe writer's block.
  22. I love to cook for people, but I hate the restaurant business. It's a damn shame.
  23. My first instinct was to rent a great sound system and use my iPod to DJ our wedding. I even had someone in mind to do any MCing that might need doing. I got talked out of it, and I still regret it.
  24. After the wedding, I machine washed my sweaty, dirty wedding dress. It came out perfectly! Now it's hanging in a garment bag in my closet because I don't know what to do with it.
  25. Sometimes I feel like my singing voice is wasted on my son's lullabyes. Most of the time I think there couldn't be a better audience, but I still miss singing.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ten On Tuesday: Favorite Articles of Clothing I Own

I subscribe to the Ten on Tuesday list, but I think this might be the first time I've ever posted one of my own. The list gave me pause, and made me think a little, which is funny, since it's about clothes. I'm so not a fashiony girl, but I certainly have favorite clothes. I know, weird.

In no particular order:

  1. Cherry patterned flannel pajama pants.
  2. Denim pencil skirt
  3. Black cashmere v-neck sweater
  4. Raspberry beret faux wrap cotton blousy thingy
  5. Black knee high riding boots
  6. Pink ultra plush terry bathrobe
  7. Black cocktail dress with lace banded empire waist
  8. Pink satin fringed wrap with the embroidered Chinese butterflies
  9. Black and gray pinstriped trousers
  10. Teal button down blouse with the sateen bust detailing

I tried to find a unified theme other than that they make me feel good when I wear them, but there just isn't one that I see. Any observations from the InterTubes?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Open to Interpretation

Twice in the last week or so, I've dreamed of being part of a large gathering staying in a big, old house. Felix, and the logistics of his care, figured centrally in both dreams, but the focus was on my emotional reaction to changes in those logistics. In one dream, I was staying in a large, run down Victorian home, owned by David Tennant, the British actor who plays The Doctor. He was only present in the dream briefly, there was something about Celtics tickets... I was more concerned that Felix was sleeping on a bed on the third floor, and I couldn't hear him.

Last night, I dreamed I was staying in my Gramma Brown's house. There were tons of people there, like a house party, and I kept having to explain that I was the owner's granddaughter, and that they should listen to me. Also, a guy who looked a lot like Spencer from The Hills (which, for the record, I do not watch - but I do watch The Soup), kept taking Felix away from me, and I would storm around the house looking for him, and find him sitting with my brother-in-law.

Both dreams also involved maneuvering in the deep snow.

Anyone out there in InterLand have any thoughts?


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank Goodness Today's Going to Get Better Around Noon

I've been away from work for four days, so it was a bit of a mental struggle to get myself out of bed this morning and head into the city with the small fry in tow. Add to it a dusting of snow on top of the foot we got over the weekend, and people were bound to be idiots on the road. This I was prepared for.

Beacon Hill is a lovely neighborhood with narrow brick sidewalks and charming gas lanterns. When it snows, the streets and sidewalks are picturesque, but they do become rather treacherous, due to drifts, ice, and mountains of snow from plowing and cleared cars. It make navigating a sturdy stroller a challenge, and often forces the stroller set out onto the narrow streets in spots where the sidewalk is unpassable. That was the case this morning, and I was prepared for it.

I stopped at an intersection, waited for a car to come down the street, and when it was clear, I started up the street, moving as quickly as the slush allowed, in case another car appeared. Technically, a car and a stroller can both go down the one way street, but both have to hug the opposing sides to make room. Enter the giant SUV. The old man kept coming at me, not moving over at all, forcing me into a snowbank with my stroller, and then stopped, leaving me now choice but to shove my two foot wide stroller through a foot wide space between a three foot high snowbank and his Land Rover. He just glared at me, as though he expected me to levitate over the snowbank into the too narrow sidewalk to my right. That or back up and walk an extra five minutes around the block. When it was obvious he wasn't going to budge, I decided to shove my way along the snow bank. As I pushed, I slipped, and fell into his car. It was loud, but I guarantee my shoulder hurt more than his car did.

I'll admit that here, nursing a sore shoulder, I yelled, "Thanks, jackass!" at the scowling old man behind the wheel. I shoved the stroller the rest of the way clear and kept going.

What happened next was ridiculous. As I hauled myself off to the turn to work, he backed up after me, rolled down the window and yelled, "Come back here, f*cker!" Ok, really? I did the super mature thing. I kept walking, and silently flipped him off over my shoulder.

On such a happy day for so many, this little raincloud seemed particularly stupid. How could someone be that angry about thirty seconds of waiting, or six inches of roadway? Who would let such a tiny inconvenience turn into something curseworthy? (Me, apparently, but in my defense it was reactionary and pre-caffeine...) Maybe he was a Republican?


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Motor City and Points North

MoMP actually left New England a few weeks ago. Gasp! I left civilization the internets behind when I headed to Flint, MI, by way of Detroit, to attend the wedding of a beloved cousin to his college sweetheart. It was a wild weekend of travel, family, and the usual wedding related high jinks. It was also the first time I've been away from Felix for a whole weekend.

The plan was to meet my Mom and Uncle Ron at my parents' house at 6:15AM on Friday, and carpool down to TF Green Airport in Providence together for our 9AM flight to Detroit. Then, the ice storm hit.

When my alarm went off at 5:15, it was raining hard and gusting, but I wasn't overly concerned. All the weather reports had indicated that Providence was only getting rain. I figured I'd check the flight status after I brushed my teeth and washed my face. When Mom called to tell me that they had no power, no trees left in the yard, and no way out of the neighborhood due to the storm, I was floored. Turns out, poor Ron had tree limbs through his roof, across his driveway, and no power to boot. He had to cancel his trip to deal with everything. Mom was optimistic that she could get out later in the day, and hopefully fly standby on a later flight, so I struck out solo towards Providence, intending to fly - literally - by the seat of my pants. Theoretically, half my family would be within 2 hours of me when I landed, if my Mom couldn't make it out.

It was a wild and wet ride down 146 to Providence, and 295 south was a windfield, but I made it to long term parking with plenty of time before the flight. I got myself some Starbucks, and settled in at the gate with my knitting.

We boarded on time, and then we sat... and sat... and sat... for more than an hour and a half, waiting on a mechanical problem. Our flight crew was fantastic under the circumstances, providing water and trivia questions - with prizes! Did you know that Oregon and Florida are only one time zone apart, despite the fact that one touches the Atlantic and one touches the Pacific? (The panhandle is Central and the eastern moutains of Oregon are Mountain.) Did you know that there are only four states which have capital cities whose names begin with the same letter as the states themselves? (Indianapolis, IN, Honolulu, HI, Dover, DE, and Oklahoma City, OK) The upside of being grounded was that I was able to keep in touch with Mom via cell and know that she was confirmed on the next flight out behind me.

I landed in Detroit, and hour and a half later than scheduled. I waited two hours for my mom to catch up, enjoying some terminal takeout and finishing my book circle selection for the month. She landed, we collected our rental car, a Chevy HHR - fuel efficient but UGLY! - and headed north towards Flint.

We checked into the hotel and met up with the assorted family members already gathered. I had time to hug the groom before he headed out to the rehearsal, and then we were off and running. We set up the function room for the rehearsal dinner, ate, and broke it down again before showering and falling, exhausted, into bed.

The next morning, over continental breakfast in the lobby, we decided to accompany my aunt to the salon in hopes of getting mani/pedis. Yay! I heart I'm Not Really A Waitress. After that, we did some errands at the local superstore.

Has anyone in New England ever heard of Meijer? It was like a Super Walmart bred with a Target. Cheap, high quality, and great groceries! I don't like the cheapy feel of the Walmarts around here, and I don't trust the produce at the Super Walmart. In the words of my mother, it looks like someone stomped on it most of the time. This place had nicer produce than the Whole Paycheck I try not to shop too much at. Why are there none of these in New England?

Anyway, after our superstore adventure, I went over to my aunt's room to do her makeup, since I'd brought all my fancy pots and brushes along. My aunt is this tiny, gorgeous thing, with sherry colored eyes and great facial bones, so she's super fun to make up. Then it was off to do my own face before we departed for the wedding.

The ceremony was held at the Longway Planetarium in Flint, and it was one of the coolest locations for a wedding I've ever been to. They brought in twinkle lights wrapped in tulle, and small bare limbed trees that had been whitewashed. They used the meteor shower graphics to mark the I do's, and used spotlights and dome lights in the darkened planetarium for drama. They picked really interesting, non-weddingy music for most of the ceremony, and the effect was great!

The next day we were up earlyish to breakfast with everyone before we packed up for Detroit again. We had some time to kill between check out and out flight home, so Mom and I went shopping and had some lunch at the Somerset Collection in Detroit. Our flight home was completely uneventful, but by the time I got in my car in Providence, I was ready to be home with my boys again.

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Maybe I Need A More Serious To Do List?

Here's how I've done since yesterday:

Get car oil changed/lubed
Groceries (went to Trader Joe's for dried fruit, frozen artichokes, fish, kefir, Punjab spinach sauce, and Israeli couscous, does that count?)
Finish mystery knitting project
Make a vat of spaghetti sauce
Return some pajamas at Old Navy
Cast on for toe-up, 2 at a time socks

I think I'll add:

Clean House
Watch at least one of the movies we have from Netflix


Friday, January 16, 2009

Summary and To Do List for MLK Weekend

Ok, I'm out of Obamicons, for the time being.

It was like getting my feet wet after so long away from the blog. Basically, starting the trip to Flint on the 12th of December, and ending with a two week stint back at work full time, I was in my life over my head, and the blog had to go dormant. Here's the short version:

Spent three days in Flint with a large contingency of my Mom's family for my cousin Tim's wedding. Christmas rushed up way too fast. Christmas Eve I had to work, then haul tuchas to Rhode Island for the G clan's Christmas Eve. Christmas morning at our house with my parents, the brunch here with them and my in-laws and Mark's aunt and uncle. Sunday was my parents annual open house, which meant an afternoon of schmoozing. Back to work on Monday, worked New Year's, then spent the Eve watching Wall-E and drinking really good wine. Worked a half day Friday the 2nd. During the course of the week, my uncle, my aunt and youngest cousin, and my brother and family were staying with my parents, so there was visiting there, too. My cousin Becca got married on the 3rd, then it was back to work as the kids headed back to school. Since the 5th I've been working on a big project which, even as we speak, is nearing completion, and I finally feel like I'm getting a tenuous grasp on my everyday existence again.

So, yeah. I'm off from work for a few days with a list of stuff to do, mostly centering on the house and the kitchen and the car. I'm kind of excited.

Here's my To Do List:

Get car oil changed/lubed
Finish mystery knitting project
Make a vat of spaghetti sauce
Return some pajamas at Old Navy
Cast on for toe-up, 2 at a time socks

And away I go!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Who Did That?

Thanks to Alta Marie for the heads up. I'm an addict!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009



A Little Welcome Back Haiku

Happiest New Year!
Screw all the resolutions.
It will be OK.