Purple greenbeans

I'm sitting here, waiting for D. to get here, watching the National Spelling Bee. These kids look nervous as heck. I'm pretty proficient when it comes to vocabulary, but I don't know even 2% of these words. Oh oh, one kid just got eliminated. Poor guy.


I'm a bit bored. I just googled imaged my first and last name and this is the first image that popped up:

Um, okay. Oh, D.'s here! What do you get when you google image your first and last name? You can post the link to the picture in the comments.


Finally, a reprieve?

Lately, the pain of leaving/losing A. & E. has lessened some. I still miss them fiercely. But...somehow...the pain of the whole situation is less. Which, I suppose, is good, but I'm a bit sad about it because it means I'm getting over the whole situation. And I don't exactly want to because it puts me farther apart from the girls. I know that may not make sense, and I do feel slightly irrational about the whole thing (I feel rather like a drama queen), but it's how I feel nonetheless.

I have several pictures of the girls around. Two from when A. was a baby and one from when she was 3. And I have a picture on my desk of me holding 8-month-old E. I also have many more pictures in albums, and taped to my mirror is a small, slightly yellowed piece of paper from the first time A. wrote my name. It's in purple crayon and I remember being so happy when she showed me it...she'd been practicing all week.

Sometimes I wonder if having the pictures around is unhealthy. To tell the truth, I like having them there, reminding me of the sweet girls whom I loved SO much. But when I do look at them, it's tinged with sadness.

(I've been meaning to scan pictures of them onto my computer. I'd love to share them with you, to show off my beautiful girls, but I'm hesitant to post them here, just in case. If you e-mail me, I'll send them to you.)

I know some nannies get a bad wrap and some are in it just for the money. But I loved--love--those girls enormously. I was there when they both took their first steps. My name was A.'s third word (after Mama and flower, of all things), and one of E.'s first five. I rocked them to sleep, kissed their boo-boos and gave them dessert if they'd been good. I read them countless bedtime stories, and I can't tell you how many times I wrapped them both up, put them in the wagon, and took them to the park. I mediated tantrums and fights, even once walked out of a Tom Thumb without my groceries because A. had melted down. It was never easy, that's for sure. But I loved it. I really did.

#10,000 (update)

We have a winner!

Cue the triumphant music, dim the lights, and here we go!

Juicebox Mom is fairly new to the world of blogging, and she's managed to write a blog unlike any I've seen before--quite a feat! She blogs all about children's sports from the angle of a very experienced parent. She's got information on everything from tryout nerves to what to do if you've got a rather reluctant participater. She's only written a few entries, but we here at T(O)ND are excited to see what this young marvel will put out in the future!

Congratulations, Juicebox Mom! A well-deserved win for you. And now...your trophy. This one's for you, Juicebox Mom!

Congratulations again, and thanks for coming. Have a great night, everyone!



I know approximately 9,942 of the hits are my own, but if you're the 10,000th visiter to my blog (scroll down to check), let me know and you'll win a special...uh...something. I'll have to think something up. But it'll be fabulous, I promise.

No sushi for me

A conversation between me and a random man at Half Price Books last night:

Him: Uhh, I don't really know how to ask this...but how old are you?

Me: ...*insert age*

Him: I thought so. You look really, really young but I thought you might be older.

Me (thinking, Gee, thanks): Oh...ha ha...

Him: Do you like sushi?

Me: Uh, no, actually...I'm a vegetarian.

Him: OH. Um...well, I was going to ask if you wanted to go get some.

Me: Oh! Ha ha...well...I'm kind of in a relationship right now...

Him: Oh. Well, I was also looking for a friend.

Me: Oh...sorry...hey, I've gotta go. They just called my name over the intercom thingy saying my books were ready... (WHICH THEY HAD, ACTUALLY. THAT WASN'T JUST AN EXCUSE)

Him: Oh. Okay.

Me: Sorry...well...bye...

Him: *turns quickly and walks away*

Me: *biiiiiig sigh*


Flashback Friday...and more

I'm kind of running out of steam on these Flashback Fridays...I mean, all I have are really a bunch of old pictures of me. And as adorable as I am, even that gets old after a while. But as it's time for an update and I have nothing else really to say, you're stuck with yet another picture of Young Adorable Nanny.

I think I'm younger than two in this picture but I'm not really sure. My dad made this "stove" for me out of an old cardboard box, and in my continued trend of abusing (er...misusing) my toys, I preferred to spend more time inside of it than playing with it.

P.S. It says more than just 'STOVE' at the top. It has my name, but I blurred it out. You know, for all those creepy stalker people who will find me based on my baby picture and first name. Even though I look nothing at all like that picture.


Dun dun dunnnnn...

Guess where I'll be June 2?

That's right. My very first jury duty. So this is what I get for registering to vote, eh? No shorts or tank tops, eh? What's a girl in the middle of a sweltering summer to do?

Oh yeah. Courtrooms are usually air-conditioned, right? Unlike in the Atticus Finch days, where by the end of the day the ladies are covered like cupcakes in frostings of sweat and sweet talcum? Thank god for AC, and here in the south, it's the one thing most people are liberal about (using it, I mean).

Last night I had an overnight babysitting job with Natty's family. (Refresher: 4 girls under the age of 12.) All was fine and dandy until abouttt 11:00 p.m. All the kids were long asleep and I was about to pass out with exhaustion myself, so I dragged my butt off the comfy sofa and away from Jon & Kate Plus 8 (what? Don't judge me. I don't have cable at my house so I watch it when I can, regardless of what's on) to lock up the house and head to bed.

Lock the back doors, check. Make sure the back gate is shut, check. Windows are closed in case of rain, check. Front door.....why isn't this darn thing locking? Why can't I get the deadbolt to lock? (It's an old-fashioned door with no keyhole on the inside, so you can only lock it with the deadbolt. Or so I thought.)

After trying various positions of the door (semi-open, shut, slamming against it to make sure it's REALLY shut) not working with the key, and about 10 minutes of sleep-deprived me about to hit a last nerve, I'm thisclose to waking up Natty and asking her how to lock the damn door. But, I resign myself, it's a school night and she needs sleep. So I persevere.

And then...out of the corner of my eye...I see it.

A big brown dot on the wall.

A big brown moving dot on the wall.

Shit. Shitshitshitshitshit. It's a cockroach. And it's a big'un.

Y'all, I am mortally afraid of the damn things. I kid you not. I can handle baby vomit, poopy diapers and small spiders like a champ. But cockroaches? Tooootally different story. Since I'm the only adult in the house, I'm extremely tempted to run next door, bang frantically on the neighbors' doors screaming, "EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!," but I restrain.

"Nanny," I tell myself (in my head), "you can do this. It's just a little bug. You can do this."

I look around, slightly panicking, for anything I can use to kill it. The only thing I can come up is an old, heavy, metal-tipped umbrella. (Genius. I know.)

"Okay, mister," I brace myself, "I'm gonna get you now!"

Next thing I know, I'm blindly whacking the floor, the walls, the door...everything in range of el cockroach, trying to get it. Whack. Whack. Whack. Oops, I scratched the wall. Whack. Whack. Whack.


"Nanny?" I hear a little voice say. "What's going on?"

Double oops. Someone's up.

Thank goodness it turns out to be Natty, not one of the little ones. I'm so relieved it's her (she can show me how to lock the front door!) that I turn away from Mister Roach for two seconds to watch Natty come down stairs...but when I look back around for the brown monster, it's gone.

Right out from under me.

I'm not too anxious to go searching around for it, so Natty quickly locks the front door and we bound upstairs. She ends up sleeping in her parents' room with me, which I'm glad for, cause if an angry cockroach is comin' for me in the middle of the night, I'm gonna need some help.


On three: One, two, three, "Mmmmmm."

My weekend, in a nutshell:

1) sleeping in
2) new cute bathing suit
3) catching fish (or, rather, watching D. catch fish and trying to "help"...read: standing as far away from the floppy fishies as I could)
4) sunscreen (LOVE the smell of it)
5) fresh watermelon
6) warm lake water
7) a hot sun
8) and...these:

What did you do this weekend?


I can relate! YEAH!!!

Yesterday I took Natty to the barn. On the way back, she asked to stop at Barnes & Noble to pick up a book for school, and I happily obliged. I love bookstores. Old, new, and in-between...I could spend hours in them. Once, while I was lonely in Dream School City, I walked around until I found a bookstore (it was an old, old, tiny store that only sold historical novels), went to the back of it, sat down, and read my own book for about an hour. It was heaven.

But I digress.

We went in and Natty went straight to the pre-teen fiction section. I followed her. I love pre-teen fiction. I really do. As a pre-teen, I spent hours and days and weeks of my life reading everything I could get my hands on. I am, as you might say, a conaisseur of zee books.

She didn't have anything really in mind, so that's where I jumped in.

"Ohhh, Natty, have you read any Sarah Dessen? OHMYGOD she has a new book out! Natty, you'd LOVE HER. She's awesome. Great writer. You should definitely get something of hers. OHMYGOD Natty! Look! The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! Have you read those yet??? Oh, you've got to!" and on, and on, and on. And then I realized that I'd been talking for the better part of 10 minutes and Natty was about to die of boredom. So I excused myself and fled to the children's section, where I found great comfort in the antics of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (OHMYGOD, have you guys read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? She is the. best. EVER. You HAVE to read some of her stories.).

Eventually, Natty made her decision--the new Sarah Dessen book! Yes!--and we checked out. But, get this. As we were walking out of the store, Natty looked up at me and said, "Thanks for all your advice, Nanny. It really helped."

YEAH!!! Best news I'd heard all. day. I can help! I'm relatable! I remember being 12! I'm fabulous!


The Boy & I

Mondays & Fridays with the Boy and Girl have been going really well. It's nice to find to pre-teen kids who don't hate their babysitter and actually listen to what I say. What a concept, eh?

These kids, though...I really got lucky with these kids.

They LOVE games.

I LOVE games.

We're a match made in heaven.

Each time, once both kids are done with homework and beds are made and etc., etc., etc., we bust out the goods.

That's right.

Speed, cash, ERS, BS, cribbage...we do it all. And it gets i-n-t-e-n-s-e. Especially while playing ERS, which involves slapping cards (and usually each others' hands in the process). I've learned the hard way to take off my rings while playing unless I want to a) be accused of using them to get an advantage in the slapping process (i.e., cheating) or b) cleaning up blood (DISCLAIMER: I've never actually made either of them bleed. My rather large costume jewelry ring did make Boy have a sore finger for a few days, though). The games also involve lots of yelling and screaming. The kids have asked me several times to be quiet so the neighbors don't call the police.


But y'all know how competitive I get.

Usually, to be fair, we play until each of us has won at least one game. Which may take a while. Because try as he might...Boy hates the faster-paced games (ERS, speed & BS), which both Girl and I LOVE. So he hardly ever wins those. But he's beastly good at cribbage...man, he has all the luck at that game! It's ridiculously unfair. Isn't there a rule somewhere that says you're not allowed to beat your nanny 12 times in a row?!?

(P.S. We're always open to suggestions of new games.)


Eh, I took it down. And a thank you.

I had a whiny, bitchy post up earlier but honestly, I felt yucky for posting it so I took it down. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

I owe a million, zillion, quatrillion thank yous to the fabulous Niobe. About a month ago, she put up an offer on her blog: she was headed to Paris, and wanted to know if anybody wanted souvenirs. Now, if you know me in real life, you know I (try to) speak French. I've technically been 'learning' for 13 years now, and I want to go to France desperately some day. I so so so so so wanted her to send me a little something French, so eagerly, shamelessly, I begged for a gift.

Well, today, I got my gift. And I couldn't be more excited. I had no idea what it was going to be ahead of time and, to tell the truth, it's far more than I expected. To Niobe: thank you. I am positively floored, ridiculously happy, and forever indebted to you.

A petit bottle of a delicious-looking French vinaigrette, which I cannot wait to try. But I don't want to open the bottle, because, well...I'm sappy like that.

Du sucre (sugar)

Six tiny spoons, which I will now use with my daily cup of tea and feel oh so

And, the best part:

A old, heavy, well-worn silver key with a light blue ribbon tied to the top. It has the numbers 9558 on one side, and two Rs back-to-back on the other side. I've been running my fingers over it all day, wondering what door, trunk, lock it could have opened...and how many people have touched it before me.

So tell me this, friends. What do you think the key went to?


A very sweet Flashback Friday

My mom is nursing my little sister and I, in turn, am nursing my baby doll Paige Catherine. There's no date on this picture, but I think I'm probably around three and a half, judging by the size of my sister. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures.


Random Thursday?

1) I saw "Lars and the Real Girl" the other day. Very funny, very weird. Have y'all seen it?

2) I went to TCBY for the first time in a lo-o-o-ong time the other night. I couldn't help but think of a time two summers ago with A. & E. As a treat, I let them go to TBCY in their jammies, and they thought that was soooooo cool. A. got rainbow ice cream and her face turned red, blue and green. E. got regular vanilla and got more ice cream on her nightgown than herself :-)

3) I really stink at doing my own laundry.

4) As my move to Dream School looms, I'm already starting to pick out stuff for my new room. Since I'm currently sleeping in a double bed and moving to a twin sized bed, I need a new comforter and cute duvet. I'm trying to go all eco-friendly and buy a natural, organic comforter & duvet, but a) they're so darn expensive and b) they're...not that cute. I've googled a lot and not found much...Do y'all know of anything? Online or otherwise?

5) Yesterday there was a tornado watch. A watch, people. Not even a warning. But I was by myself, and let my mind wander into dozens of gruesome scenarios all of which involved me dying a quick, painful death by tornado. SO, I figure, I've gotta get a plan in action, should the bad weather (all of which was north of me) suddenly change directions and come straight for my bedroom.

Fast forward five minutes: I'm running around frantically trying to gather supplies. I have Lulabelle the bird nearby, ready to grab and shove in the corner. I've got Max the pupster's leash so I can keep him close with me. I've got a stool for Carly Grace's bowl to be on (cause, let's face it, having a fish in a bowl on the floor isn't a great idea with a thirsty dog), pillows, two flashlights (in case the first one doesn't work...) a radio, snacks and protein bars, two bottles of water (Max & Lu will get thirsty, too), my fully-charged laptop, books, 2 different phones (again, in case the first one doesn't work), and my cell phone charger (because even if my casa is destroyed, I'll need to charge my damn cell phone).

Alllllll of that in a room approximately 2 feet by 2 feet wide. It's not even a room, really...more like a really short hallway.

Long story short, no tornado. All is well.

6) I've been measured twice in the last two weeks and both places have measured me at 5'0!!! YEAH!!! I GREW!!! I didn't grow from about ages 11-19. During that time my life's goal was to make it from 4'11 to 5'0. AND I DID IT!!! YEAHHHHH!!!

(Now if I could lose those last 5-7 stubborn pounds, that'd be GREAT. Universe? Are you listening?)


TV takeover

So Carly Grace is doing fabulously. The name fits her very well, but the only thing is you have to say it with a full-on southern twang. That's right, say it outloud with me now..."Carrr-lee Grayyce." Wasn't that fun?

Despite only watching 3 TV shows a week, they certainly dominate my evenings. Either I'm flying home from nannying so I can see them or praying, praying, praying that my VCR actually is recording them like I told it to (I'm one of the 4 people left on earth who doesn't have TiVo. Or cable).

House is on Mondays. Last night's was a little odd...any House fans out there? Next week's looks downright bizarre. While I like #13, I do miss the old team. Especially Chase's accent.

American Idol takes over Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I'm still mad that Carly left two weeks ago. Wayyyyy to early, in my opinion. And I'm sad Brooke went last week, but that's only cause she's a nanny and I'm a nanny and there's a big nanny bias goin' on right there. This week I'd like to see Jason Castro go, but I think it'll be Syesha for an all-male top 3. David Cook should win but I think Archuleta's got a bigger voting fan base. Anyone? Thoughts?

And THE OFFICE is on Thursday! I. love. the. Office. Though I must admit, I was a bit sad to see the meaner side of Stanley last week. One of my favorite episodes is "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" for the sole reason that Stanley yells at Ryan...but that's funny yelling. Last week Stanley was just mean. Poopoo to you, Stan.

I've gotta say...the writers' strike was a bit of a relief. I wasn't a slave to my TV when it was going on. Now, I know I've got to watch the episodes THAT NIGHT or inevitably something will be spoiled for me the next day. Especially on AI.

As you can probably tell from the rambling, no-point nonsense of this post, I'm at work and procrastinating.

I spent 15 minutes on the phone this morning with the stupid phone company trying to pay 2 phone bills. I had to talk to 2 different people and 3 robots. It was fun. But the scary thing? The robots were smarter than the people.


My Baby's bottom

My sweet Baby. I dug her out of my closet this morning. I haven't looked at her in a looooong time. She's so much smaller than I remember.

And here's the part of the musical score on her derriere. It, too, is a lot smaller and more faded with age than I remember it. I'll have to go through old pictures and see if I can find one from right after it happened to compare.

And the winner is...

Carly Shenaynay Baby Girl Grace.


That's her name, and I'm stickin' by it. I'm calling her Carly Grace, D. will call her Shenaynay, and y'all can call her whatever you'd like. :-)

On a side note, I had a bizarre nightmare about the R.'s last night. I'm not quite sure why I'm having dreams about them lately. This one was definitely a nightmare as opposed to the good one I had last time. In this dream, I don't remember many details, but I do remember that Mrs. R. yelled at me a lot. And I yelled at her. And Mr. R. did that thing that always used to scare me when I worked for them--when he'd get really mad, his face would turn near purple. I was never afraid that he'd hurt me but when it was A. making him mad, I was terrified that he'd get so mad he'd lose control on her. And then I yelled at him. I woke up after the dream, thought, "That was weird and uncomfortable. I'll blog about it in the morning," and went back to sleep. But it's been on my mind all day. Do y'all think I'm going crazy? (Cue Gnarls Barkley singing "Does that make me crazy?")


Whoooooo's it gonna be?

Okay, so I left the poll up for as long as I could. Then I began going stir-crazy to post something. So hold on to your seatbelts, this one's gonna be a whopper.


My poor parents. This past Wednesday (I had all intentions of writing this Thursday, when it would have been more relavent, but oh well) they not only got a phone call from me screaming, "I'm a medical mystery! NO ONE knows what's going on with my lips!!!" but they also got a frantic, hysterical phone call from my little recently-driver's-licensed sister screaming, "I got in a car wreck!"

Allow me to explain. First, my lips.

Last Sunday, I woke up with two red bumps on my lips. One on the top, one on the bottom. They were a bit painful but I just figured I had bitten them in my sleep or something.

On Monday, there were more of them, and they were getting more painful. It kind of felt like my lips were REALLY really really chapped, and it started to hurt when I smiled. Trying to fix that, I kept them slathered in aquafor, blistex, vaseline...anything.

Tuesday, I woke up and they hurt like a mofo. They were puffy and swollen and really red. Plus they were now COVERED in tiny little painful bumps. I called my doctor and made an appointment for Wednesday. In the meantime, I avoided salty foods (which caused them to b-u-r-n) and kept them slathered in greasy balm.

Wednesday I had my appointment early in the morning. This was the worst day of all. They hurt SO badly I could hardly talk. I went to my doc, she took one look at them through her little magnifying glass, and said, "Oh my GOD your lips are covered in blisters!"


I hadn't added anything new to my diet, hadn't changed cosmetics...everything was the same. Except my mouth was covered in very small, very painful blisters. My doc immediately made me get an appointment for another doctor. I saw him that afternoon. He, too, couldn't figure out why the heck they were there (NO, it's NOT herpes). He shook his head and told me to keep on with ONLY vaseline and to call him if they got worse AGAIN.

At that point my mind was going a bazillion miles an hour--"Is it some infectious disease that nobody's heard of???" "What if it IS herpes, and if it is--how the heck did I get it???" "Will I never be able to eat again?????"--but I made it through the day. The next day, Thursday, they were much better, for some reason. A lot of the blisters had disappeared overnight. So I stupidly put blistex on before bed. Woke up the next day. Blisters again. Damn.

I'm not sure if it was the blistex (cause I use that allll the time and it wasn't a new container) or if it simply aggrevated the blisters to come back...but I threw the can away. And even though my lips are starting to get better again, I'm still only using vaseline. Very, very weird.

NOW. Next story. (I told you this was going to be a long post. I still have a 7-question meme to get to after this one, so I'll make this one short.)

My little sis was in car wreck Wednesday night. Yeah, the same night as the 'medical mystery' diagnosis. Short and sweet, it wasn't her fault, we have a witness, everyone's okay but the car, but it's getting fixed. I could have added drama and detail to that, but I realize that a person's attention span averages 7 minutes, and I'm coming dangerously close to that, so I'm moving on.

SO. The meme. I was tagged by the awesome Jenny whose blog was one of the very first I started to read. Basically, the rules are to share 7 things about you and tag 7 people at the end. (P.S. I got a little overexcited and used most of these in the comment section under Jenny's post, so I'm just copying and pasting.)

1. I can't really cook. At all. I'm really good at microwaving chicken fingers for my nannykids, and I make a mean PB&J. But that's about it.

2. I have a baby that I've had since I was born. Her name is Baby (I'm original), and she was the kind of baby doll who you could feed a bottle of water to and...she'd "wet" her diaper. One day, Baby was suntanning on some sheet music (my parents are musicians) and had water on her backside. When I picked her up, she had a black print of a perfect musical score on her derriere. It never came off. I'll have to post pictures of it sometime.

3. I do NOT like adventure. If you see me at an amusement park, I'm the girl sitting on a bench under an armful of purses while everyone else is riding the roller coasters :-)

4. I can't stand spicy food. Everyone tells me I have a "chicken tongue." My feeling is, why eat something that burns your mouth off?!?

5. Max the pupster is sitting next to me snoozing. He just randomly wagged his tail. Guess he was dreaming about food.

6. Baby Girl Fish still doesn't have a name. I'm actually pretty used to just calling her Baby Girl or Little Girl now. But--about the poll: Shenaynay, y'all? Really? I put that in there cause D. made me. I promise I'll make it be somewhere in her name--first or middle or something--but I don't think I'm going to call her that...though I know D. will. I still like Lucy Carly Shenaynay Grace. Maybe I'll call her Carly.

7. Two of my very favorite movies are "Garden State" and "The Squid and the Whale." Have y'all seen either? (I'm guessing probably Garden State, probably not TSatW.