Monday, January 31, 2005

Playboy The Mansion

Yep thats right boys and girls.. there is a playboy video game out.. Its like The Sims (if you ever saw or played that)--except you start in the bare bones Playboy masion.. You have to publish a magazine every month-- shoot centerfolds, get interviews, etc.... Now.. much to my suprise (and this is no BS), there are boobs in this game.. and you can even have sex with women on the couch.. Honestly I was shocked.. Jen says well no kidding there are boobs it's a Playboy game.. But I thought since it was on a game system they would be in bikinis or something.. but nope.. they dont hold anything back.. It's actually pretty cool trying to build a good magazine to publish.. and oh yeah, trying to score with every chick is cool too.. ;-)
So, my brother's getting married...

He's 23 and has been engaged for maybe 6 months or so. She's nice and generally good for him. Last the family heard they were going to wait until 2006 to tie the knot. Then last weekend my dad gets an email from the bride-to-be saying they were planning on May 28th. Yes, May as in 4 months away. Nice of them to let the rest of us know so that we can get vacation time, hotel rooms and plane tickets. Crazy kids. :)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Random thought.

Why is the abbreviation for Missus "Mrs."? There's no "r" is Missus.

And is Miss an abbreviation for anything, or is that the word in its entirety?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Honestly, I couldn't even think of another name for this post, because it was just so damn funny.

Luc ("Luke"), the two year old, told me he had to go potty (#2). I helped him pull down his pants and he sat down on his little training potty and made himself comfortable. I could tell it was going to be a while, so I told him to just yell for me when he was done.

After a couple of minutes, he calls, "Supernanny! I needa book!"

I popped my head into the bathroom. "Excuse me?" I asked, sure that I had him incorrectly.

"I needa book!" he repeated impatiently.

I looked around. " about The Baseball Book of Knowledge?" I asked, grabbing the only book in the immediate vicinity.

"Okay!" he agreed.

I handed it to him, and 2-year-old Luc opened the book and started "reading" it, humming to himself, as he sat on the potty.

It was just the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Well, they DID love me.

First, I must apologize to all you moms out there. My first day of nannying was going great; I was thinking, "Man, having kids is a piece of cake!" I was feeling so organized and domestic and on top of things...until about 3:15, that is, when I flooded their house.

Okay, technically, *I* didn't flood it. The 4-year-old did.

He went to the bathroom and washed his hands right before we left to go get his sister from kindergarten. When he was done, we got their shoes on and took off. We got back about half an hour later to find that two of the large basement ceiling tiles had collapsed and their was water all over the basement floor. I took off through the house to find the source of the water--and it the was the bathroom faucet, which was still running. The bathroom was FLOODED. Now mind you, the mom was due home in about 15 minutes.

Thankfully, she was got home a little later than expected, which gave me enough time to mop up the standing water in the bathroom and downstairs. There wasn't much I could do about the carpet in the basement (and, of course, the partially collapsed ceiling), so I just put towels down to stark soaking up some of the water and took the kids upstairs to fix them their snack (which I had found the "recipe" for online--you peel and core an apple, cut it up, put it in a dish with some water and cinnamon, and microwave it for about a minute--the apples come out soft and moist, like cinnamon apple pie filliing. It's a great healthy snack). So anyway, the kids and I were eating at the kitchen table, the house smelling of cinnamon, when J. came home from work. We were the picture of domestic bliss--until the 4-year-old announced, "The water made the ceiling break."

I explained the situation, taking full responsibility for not checking on Noah (and the bathroom) after he had washed his hands. She was really, really great about it. She said things like this happen with kids, and it could have just as easily happened when she was with them. She was mildly worried about her husband's reaction, as the carpet downstairs was brand new, but he took the news remarkably well, too, when he got home about half an hour later (the fact that there was an "outsider" present probably helped to curb his anger, though). =-)

Anyway, they seem to still want me to come back on Monday, so they can't be too mad about it.

And there you have my first full day as a nanny.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

They love me.

Okay, you know how I hate to brag, but...things are going very well with my new family, the S's. I was there for about 6 hours today. The mom was with me most of the day, orienting me (though she did leave for about an hour to run errands). Tomorrow, it will my first full day.

J. has already christened me "Super Nanny," which the kids called me for the rest of the day. (Well, that and "Your Majesty," which I also told them they could call me. If you've never heard a 4-year-old try to say "Your Majesty, can I have some milk?," then you just haven't lived.)

My only low point of the day was when I picked up Noah, the 2 year-old, and started him hanging upside down and stuff (in my defense, most kids LOVE this). Well, he started screaming to beat hell. J., who was in the bathroom getting ready for work, casually called out, "Oh...did I tell you that Noah's scared of heights?" I called back, "Yeah, I just found that out" as he went tearing into the bathroom, still crying. He seemed to recover fairly quickly, though.

When I left, the oldest, Madison, asked me when I was coming back. When I told her I'd see her the next morning, she asked, "Can you spend the night, too?"

I think my first day was a success.
Change o' plans.

I got word last night that the preschool will be closed for the rest of the week due to that water main break. I called J., my new "boss," to tell her that I was available to her now, instead of having to wait. So, I'll be starting my nanny job on Thursday instead of next Monday. (Well...J. will be there, at least tomorrow, and it will only be half a day, but I'll be technically on the clock.)

The downside to all of this is that I never got to say goodbye to my preschool kids; hell, I never even got to tell them I was leaving. I was going to do all of that this week, but we were closed on Monday for MLK Day and then we were shut down the rest of the week for the water main break. I'm going to try to go back and visit on one of my days off, but... man, I'm going to miss those kids. (However, M., my old boss, is pulling one last stunt that makes it a lot easier for me to leave. See, she still charges parents on snow days, holidays like MLK Day, etc., and the WHOLE REASON FOR DOING SO is that she can still pay us, her staff, for those days. Well, I found out that she's charging the parents for the four days we were closed for the flooding this week--but is she paying her staff? NO. So she's making a PROFIT off of this little incident. A rather hefty one, might I add. Since she's still charging the parents, she could easily afford to still pay us; she wouldn't be losing anything. But nooooooo. Now mind you, this woman is RICH. She and her husband own a freakin' AIR PLANE. They have a huge, rock-star RV that they paid for IN CASH. So paying her staff for the last four days wouldn't be a big deal to her; however, to us peons, losing almost a full week's pay is a VERY big deal, you know?)

Anyway. That chapter of my life is closed. It's time to move on--and, starting Thursday, I will.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Is it bad that this made me laugh?

I mean, it's a sad story, but...come ON. Couldn't she have seen this coming? Not even a little?

This is BOUND to show up in one of those Darwin Award emails.
Furniture Shopping - Ug.

My husband and I have a hard time shopping for furniture. (This is the understatement of the new year) We have lived with only second-hand family hand-me-down and creatively make-shift furniture for the last 2 years. (Jen, maybe you should describe our "entertainment center" for everyone ;) We've tried several times in the last 2 years that we've lived together. Know that when I say "it usually ends in tears" that I'm not being metaphorical. (True, I'm a crier by nature, but still!)

We're having our family come out for Easter so we've decided to use that for our new motivation and goal date for new furniture. We decided that we need an entertainment center, a sleeper sofa and a hutch cabinet.

So we went out last weekend to look at furniture. After going to every store in the Detroit metro area, some multiple times, after ordering and canceling pieces, after Tim fell in love with the ugliest sofa ever and we argued about why it wasn't going in my livingroom, after the afore-mentioned tears, after fitting amazingly large boxes into the back of a two-door Mercury Cougar: we finally ended up with a lovely little entertainment center in our livingroom and a hutch cabinet ordered and paid for. Tim's cranky and I'm confused- isn't new furniture supposed to be fun and happy?

We still haven't decided on a sofa and that's what we need to order asap so that it's here by Easter (only 8 weeks away!). He wants comfortable. I want pretty. Ideally, we'd like both. We're also cheapskates so we'd like it to not cost an arm & a leg. One wouldn't think that was too much to ask!

Has this problem afflicted any of the rest of you? How have you dealt with it? On a side note, has anyone ever had leather furniture, and, if so, how did that go and was it worth the cost? Do I have hope for both a good livingroom and a good marriage or need I surrender the fantasy?! ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Science experiment.

I'm a little embarrassed (and, at the same time, a little proud) to say that we still have our Halloween pumpkin on our patio. At this point, it looks like a balloon that's about three-quarters deflated. I'm really starting to wonder: if we leave it out there, will it eventually disintegrate into nothing? How long will it take to disappear entirely? And are we really so redneck that we would leave it out there long enough to find out?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

It's a girl!

We went out for pizza and came home with a guinea pig.

After dinner, we ran to the pet store next door to buy some bedding to clean Fancy's cage. Right up at the register, they had a really cute orange-and-black guinea pig that they had just received from a local shelter. They were selling the guinea pig and her cage for $30. I asked the lady how much it would be for just the guinea pig, explaining that we already had a cage (and a guinea pig) and had been thinking about adding a second one (well, *I* had been thinking about it, since I knew that guinea pigs are naturally social animals and usually do better as a friend. Jeff wasn't as enthusiastic about the idea, though). The lady let me hold her, and after a few minutes she said, "Well, if you want her, she's yours." I asked how much and she said, "No, you can just take her. We just wanted her to find a good home." She told me that we could take her back the next day if Fancy and this one ended up not getting along. Even Jeff had to admit it was a pretty good deal.

They've been introduced now for about 45 minutes, and it looks like it's going to work out. There's a lot of squeaking and chattering and chasing and minor scuffles, but from what I read online, this is all perfectly normal as they get used to each other and establish dominance and all that. If they weren't going to get along, we'd know it right away--they would have started fighting right away (and the serious fighting, too; not just the minor "hey, I'm the boss here" scuffling).

I actually got Jeff to admit, before we introduced them, that he really hoped they got along because this new one was really cute. I think her name is Caramel (we haven't quite decided yet).
The Weather

(Yes, I'm bored at work so we shall blog about the weather.)

But seriously folks, we're having really strange weather in Detroit. It blizzarded all last week; snowed a bunch on Tuesday; rained and fogged on Wednesday; and now (Thursday) it's 50 degrees and all the snow is gone! I don't know how to dress or what to expect and everyone's getting colds because of it.

It seems like the weather's totally out of the ordinary all over the country. How is it where you are?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

My (other) new career.

As some of you know, I recently became a mystery shopper (where companies pay you to go shopping "undercover" and complete a report on the customer service you received, cleanliness of the store, etc.). I had my first "shop" this past weekend (a Frederick's of Hollywood at a local mall). I made $9 for this particular assignment, which is pretty cool; unfortunately, while I was at the mall, I SPENT $25 at Bath and Body Works and Borders (in my defense, Bath and Body Works WAS having their semi-annual sale and I got some really good deals). At this rate, this new hobby of mine is going to put me right back into bankruptcy.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Renee really IS smarter than me.

(Than I?)

Since I can't figure out how to post a picture on my own damn blog, just go here...

Yeah, so I got the job. I put in my two weeks notice at the preschool. I'm sad to be leaving the school, because I've gotten attached to a lot of the kids. I also really enjoy most of the people I work with. I just feel like...I don't know. Time for a change, I guess. More money, closer to home--and I can build a relationship with one particular family. I'll be helping to RAISE their kids (at least for the next year or two, anyway). That's a pretty big deal.

I've been doing my homework, too. I've been watching Nanny 911 on Fox every Wednesday night, and I ordered a book from Amazon called "The Nanny Textbook." I also ordered "You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again" (about nannies in Hollywood--supposed to be REALLY good).

So...yeah. I feel torn. It's bittersweet.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Has anyone else noticed that we haven't heard from Anna lately? I got one brief email from her after Christmas, saying that she was leaving the next day for New Years (she was going to Toronto). I do recall her saying that she had a tentative trip to Cancun or some other tropical place planned for right after New Years (yes, our Anna is quite the jet setter). I can only assume that she'll be back from her worldly travels for work on Monday...we'll see if she checks in.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Happy Birthday.

Speaking of growing is Amanda's 12th birthday.


I feel bad, because sometimes, when people ask me how old she is now, I have to stop and do the math; quick mental calculations so that they don't think I'm a horrible mother. I mean, who doesn't know how old their own kid is? (Except for deadbeat dads or something--parents who aren't really in their kids' lives.)

And that's the thing. Technically, I'm NOT in her life. But it's not because I don't care; quite the opposite, in fact. But it's just so hard, with her not knowing the truth...I've gone into all that before, and I'm not going to go there again. Suffice it to say that 12 years is enough. I've reached my limit. I'm done with the bullshit. When she's ready to tell Amanda, she knows where to find me. Until then, I need to keep my distance. I can't bite my tongue any longer, and I'm afraid of what might happen if I'm around her until the truth has come out.

That's not to say that I won't call and wish her a happy birthday today. I'll fake the usual happiness and laughter; I'll talk to my daughter about boys and music and what she got for her 12th birthday. I'll say how I'm looking forward to seeing her again--knowing, deep down inside, that it probably won't happen any time soon. And I'll realize, once again, that my own daughter doesn't know who I am.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

This one was taken inside his classroom. What a big boy! :-) Posted by Hello

This was taken at our house just before leaving this afternoon Posted by Hello
My Baby's Growin' Up

I never thought this day would come. Now that it's here, though, I'm feeling a little trepidation... Brent starts pre-school tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon! He'll go from noon-2:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He seems to be really excited and I hope he does well. But he's such a mama's boy, I'm a little nervous for him. It's partly our fault that he's like that-- the ONLY people who've babysat him are my parents, John's parents and my friend Chrissy, whose husband John grew up with, so he's not all that comfortable around strangers (I'm not saying that's a bad thing).
So for the first time, I'm a little sad that he's growing up. John's not helping, either. After we put Brent to bed tonight, he said about 10 times in a sad voice, "Brent starts SCHOOL tomorrow" :-)
I'm sure I'm worrying for nothing... in fact, he'll probably do better than John and I do. John's off tomorrow, so we'll both be going to drop him off and then out to lunch. I think the pre-school's drop-off routine will be really good, though. We pull up to the door, and the teachers come out to the vehicles and get the kids out and bring them up to their classroom. And they give us a number to display in the window for when we pick them up.
I'm sure by this time next month I'll be anxiously awaiting Tues and Wed afternoons so I can get a bunch of stuff done. But for now, I think I'll just be sad for a little while :-)

Monday, January 03, 2005

Pros and cons.

I have an interview tomorrow for a nanny position.

A friend of mine, who shall remain anonymous (we'll call her April), used to work with me until she left to become a nanny. She left in Sept and says she's been very happy.

Well, at that time, I signed up for various nanny agencies; however, although families have expressed interest, nothing has ever come of it. Either the hours they were offering didn't work with my school schedule, or the pay was too low, or they had a dog, or they lived too far away....I've kept my profile active, just in case something compatable too long, but I've assumed I'd just be at the preschool until I do my student teaching in September.

I got a call from a family over the weekend--a family who lives about 3 miles away. I talked to the mom for quite a while tonight, and so far, I really, really like her. There are three kids: a kinder who would be in kindergarten all day; a preschooler would be gone in the morning; and then a 2 year old who I would have all day. In the summer, of course, I would have all three "full time" (which is still a lot easier than the summer camp I did last year).

Here are the pros for leaving my current job and going to work for this family:

1) Only having to work for ONE family (according to "April," this is a big plus)
2) More money than I'm making now (granted, more hours, too, but that's not the point)
3) Many paid days off, as the father is a government employee and therefore usually gets at least one day off a month. I wouldn't have to work but would still get my weekly rate (I'd be paid a "weekly" amount rather than an hourly one)
4) A summer bonus
5) They're willing to accomodate my student teaching schedule in the fall; I could still do student teach in the fall of 2005, come back and work for my family the following winter and summer of 2006 and then begin teaching on schedule the fall of 2006 (assuming I found a teaching job)
6) 3 kids instead of 30
7) It works with my school schedule.

Here are the cons:

1) I'm leaving a job I like. WHAT IF I don't like nannying? Maybe I shouldn't rock the boat.

Mom pointed out that I'm leaving a "teaching" type job for a "babysitting" type job; however, in my opinion, I can still do the same things with these kids that I do with my preschool kids--I an still do reading stuff, teach them letters, numbers, colors, etc. I'd just be doing it at their homes instead of at a preschool. And I'd be working more one-on-one with the kids, rather than having a whole class of kids at a time.

So...I meet with her tomorrow after work, but it's basically to make sure 1) I like the mom 2) she likes me 3) I like the kids 4) they like me. If all goes well, it looks like I have a new job.

What do we think?