Damien the Wild Stallion

So I have sad news.

Very sad news.

I might be selling my car.

Damien the Wild Stallion, aka my pride and joy, my trusty Volvo that's chugged along for 363,006 miles (as of now)...my BOY!

I bought Damien three weeks before my 16th birthday. That's right, *I* bought him. With my own money. This was absolutely shocking to my friends at school, the thought of me *gasp* BUYING MY OWN CAR, because why weren't my parents going to take me to the Mercedes lot on my 16th birthday and say "pick one" like all my other friends' parents did?

Uh. Cause my parents aren't gazillionaires?

I knew I needed to have a car because the 30-minute trek to my high school twice a day (translating into 2 hours of car time) was wearing my parents thin. And because I had a booming babysitting business, and I could bring in more money (and clients) if I had my own transportation.

So about 6 months before I turned 16, I started perusing the classifieds and online. I had two specifications: RUNNING, and CHEAP. I know, I'm so picky.

I had a brief love affair with an ancient white pickup truck, for whatever reason (I shudder thinking of it now). I also fell for a cute little yellow Volvo that was in my price range! And perfect! But oh. It wouldn't drive backwards. Oops.

But about three weeks before my birthday, I found a little white Volvo that looked great online at a small, family-owned dealership. My dad and I were all set to go check it out one day, but then I got an emergency babysitting call, so he went on alone. On the way back from babysitting, I got a phone call from him.

"Hey kiddo," he said. "Bad news--the white Volvo was sold. But I found a green one that looks good!"

(Enter angels singing, etc.)

I went to check out the green Volvo, and it was love at first drive. A 1994 Volvo 850 with approximately 330,000 miles on him.

It ran, and it was cheap.


Damien's been my constant companion ever since. I was so sad to leave him when I went up north for college, and so happy to be reunited with him when I came home! He's my sidekick, my ability to wear my politics on my, uh, bumper. He's dragged me all over town, endured spilled milk and yogurt from kids in the back seat, been kicked at, and torn apart by little fingers (oh, and big ones too...I used to have rowdy friends). But he's kept chugging along.

So why, after this passionate love I have for him, am I considering selling him?

You'll have to check back in a few days for the answer. Because this post is very long already and I have to go. Sorry for the cliffhanger!


FYI (about the post below)

I changed up the wording in a few spots so that I wasn't making so many generalizations. Bloglines is only carrying the old version of the post, so if you're reading this in Bloglines (not sure about Google Reader), click over to my blog to see the correct version of the text.

Edited to add: Okay, well now I think Bloglines has corrected itself :) The correct version of the post contains bold and italicized words.


I'm not an extremely political person. In fact, I'm relatively ignorant (and ashamed to be) about most political topics. I mean, I listen to NPR in the car, scan CNN's headlines, and check the AP newswire several times a day, just to stay abreast of the news. But I'm not so big into politics.

With one big exception: social issues.

Human rights, civil rights, gender equality, abortion...the list goes on.

I am:
pro-choice (which does NOT mean I'm pro-abortion)
pro-same-sex marriage
pro-polygamy (between consenting adults)
pro-equal wages, support, and benefits for both men and women
pro-equal wages, support, and benefits for everyone of every race

You probably know where I'm going with this. California. I'll just say that I'm very, very sad about the court's decision.

Not allowing same-sex marriage is discrimination. Pure and simple.

Not everyone in our country is religious, or a Christian. Our country should not run by some peoples' interpretations of the Christian bible's words. Period. (And yes, I know there are a LOT of Christian churches and people who do believe in same-sex marriage.)

While I'm grateful that the court did decide to uphold the some 18,000 marriages that were conducted during California's brief period of legalized same-sex marriage, if you think about it, all this does is add another "class" of people in California.

There are opposite-sex couples who are married with full marriage benefits.
There are same-sex couples who are married with full marriage benefits.
There are same-sex couples who want to get married with full marriage benefits, but can't.

It's just unfair.


Lessons in self-tanning

Well, not tanning, exactly. But more like "I'm trying not to scare people away from me with my Day-Glo colored legs so I'm trying for just a *hint* of color without being burned to a crisp."

AKA voila. A touch of sun. Sounds perfect, right?

I was dubious, but HI SWIMSUIT SEASON IS HERE so I figured I should just buckle down and try some. So every morning after I dutifully shave both my legs, I lotion up. Within three or four days of doing that, I noticed a definite difference in my legs! They were looking more tan! And it looked natural!

So I continued on my merry shave-and-lotioning way until yesterday, when I happened to look down at my feet.

They were as white as white can be.

My ankles, however, were a lovely shade of yellow. My calves were a nice tan color. My knees were yellow. My thighs were a nice tan color. (And that's as far as I'm going because that's as far up as I lotioned. So there.)

So after some fast thinking I realized that while I did apply the tanning lotion daily to my legs, I forgot about my feet.


Not only that, but apparently the stuff coagulates around knees and ankles. I took the liberty of drawing y'all a nice picture so you can see what I'm talking about:

I know, I'm a fabulous artist. I plan on quitting my day job tomorrow and pursuing a career in drawing-on-computers.

So today when I shave and lotion up, I'm avoiding my knees and ankles. And going extra on my feet. And that's what she said.

Edited to add: Monica H. left some great tips in the comments section on how to avoid yellow areas!


This is why I love my job

How Coco wakes up from her nap:

"Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you!'

"Ahhhh, that nap hit the spot! I'm so happy!"

"I'm just the little charmer. Aren't I just so happy? Can we go play now?"

She's seriously the happiest, most adorable kid EVER. Today she's really taken off with her crawling. I was amazed at the difference even from yesterday -- girlfriend can GO! 99% of today consisted of her rolling a little ball-thing forward, crawling to get it, pushing it forward again, crawling some more...all I had to do was sit back and watch and listen to her giggle. And she absolutely wore herself out -- she was so ready for naptime :) LOVE!


A little *sugar* for your day

When you're an active 7-month-old, you deeeeefinitely know how to keep your nanny on her toes. Exhibits A, B, C, D, & E:

Coco on the move--rolling over!

Coco gazing adoringly at one of the dogs--this one's Bolt. He has a sister named Penny (behind Bolt in the pic), and they sit outside and lick the windows all day. No joke. If you walk by the window, they will jump up and lick it frantically. I'm not even going to TALK about how excited they get when you go outside to be with them. Let's just say I got 2 showers today.

Another trick--blowing raspberries!

Caught mid-swing :)

Isn't she just sweetness?!?!? I *so* didn't want to put her down in her crib for her nap today--she fell asleep on my chest, all snuggly and warm. Heaven!



But. I went to Half Price Books the other day and stocked up on some fun summer reading!

These books are on the reading list for DONA International, which is pretty much the premiere doula certification organization. I'm just trying to get the ball rolling, people (no decision yet about school).

Though the entire time I was buying these books, I was sucking in my tummy pooch and fervently praying "PLEASEDON'TLETPEOPLEASKIFI'MPREGNANTPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE" because hi, that'd be AWKWARD.

Though I'm not entirely sure the checkout lady didn't (discretely) ask. As I was paying, she said, "Oh, is there a new little one going to join the family?" And I said "HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHNO. I'm just studying."


Hi, I'm Nanny

So for whatever reason there's been a rather astronomical (and consistent) spike in my Stat Counter lately. And I thought, "Well, maybe more people are reading my blog." Which actually makes me grin rather wickedly, because HI, I love attention.

So I also thought I'd give a bit of introduction to y'all new readers. (If you do, in fact, exist, and aren't random people from Sweden trying to find the movie "The Nanny Diaries" online, which is 97% of the google searches that come to me.)

Hi, I'm Nanny. (Hiiiii, Nanny)

I'm in that awkward not-quite-a-girl, not-quite-a-women phase where you're not a teenager but you're not allowed to rent a car and nobody really takes you all that seriously. I can vote, though. And join the army. And buy cigs and porn. So that's cool.

When I started this blog in September 2007, I was a recent high school graduate and full-time nanny to two little girls, A. and E. (Hence the "nanny diaries.") I'd been their babysitter for 7 years and I loved them deeply, madly, passionately, and as my own. But their parents were manipulative, unhealthy (mentally), and on the whole destructive fucknuts, so right before New Year's day 2008, I gave my two weeks' notice.

What followed was a craptastic few weeks of them sending me hate e-mail after hate e-mail, solidifying my decision to leave as the correct one for my personal sanity, but making me feel like fungus for leaving my sweet girls to their parents' wrath. I feel guilty to this day for leaving those girls.

I got a part-time nanny job and a part-time administrative assistant job to last me through September 2008, at which time I moved 2,000 miles away to go to college (aka DreamSchool). (Hence the "college girl diaries.") Which I love A LOT, but may not be going back to next year because hi, college is expensive. And money, I has not. That decision will be made sometime within the next month.

After college (if I go back), or next year (if I don't), I'll be working toward becoming a certified, licensed doula. I'm ridiculously excited about that because it's something I'm truly passionate about.

In the meantime, I'm working as a nanny again to a (much healthier, happier) family with three young adorable kids. I'll blog about that, and whatever else pops into my head. Because hi. I like attention.

The end.

Updated 6/2009: I'm going back to DreamSchool!

Updated 1/2014: Armed with a diploma from DreamSchool, I moved to Connecticut to pursue nursing school and eventual midwifery. Currently wrangling eight toddlers in a wonderful little nursery school :)


A kneed for change

Warning: this is the post in which you learn more about my body than you ever wanted to. So if you're squeamish or sensitive to this kind of stuff, STOP READING NOW.



I warned you. OKAY.

So I was born with this little thing called patellofemoral tracking syndrome. If you don't want to click on the link and read all the medical mumbo-jumbo, essentially it means my knees are screwed up.

(That's a very technical term, by the way: "screwed up.")

What I understand to be the case is my patellas (kneecaps) are out of whack. Or they're out of place. Or they do weird movements. Or something. But this leads to significant knee pain when they're overworked.

We discovered the problem when I was a little kid in gym class, having to run laps and play sports, which caused a lot of knee pain. I was incorrectly diagnosed with tendonitis in both knees for a long time, but in 5th grade I got the proper diagnosis. My paternal aunt and grandmother also have it, so I suppose it's genetic.

Basically, it boils down to this: I can't do much running at all, have to be careful not to overuse my knees while swimming, avoid extensive bicycling, etc. As long as I don't do anything that causes repetitive stress on my knee joints, I have very little knee pain anymore.

Except for once a month.

When the bitch Aunt Flo decides to come.

(Oh, and occasionally I get a dull knee ache when it's going to rain. No, really.)

I always know when I'm about to start my period because I get excruciating knee pain. I'm talking crying on the floor in the fetal position knee pain. As I've aged the pain is less during most months, but for whatever reason (it befuddles doctors), without fail, I do get knee pain every month on the day I start my period.

I've gotten smart about it, over the years. If I think I'll be starting soon, I'll pop some preliminary advil, since the knee pain/period usually wakes me up early in the morning. Other times I'll get no notice until the knee pain kicks in, and then I just hope to god I'm close enough to advil to take some before things get bad. (Note to self: start carrying advil around with you. Srsly.)

But last night...oh, last night was a bitch.

I started a new nanny job! I don't think I've told y'all that! I really like the kids a *lot* (OH AND MY EMPLOYERS ARE THE BEST EVARRRRRR COUGHandtheyreadmyblogCOUGH). So in order to guarantee I would be at my HIGHEST LEVEL OF ENERGY for kid-wrangling, I went to bed early last night.

I know.

I was asleep by midnight. I was so proud of myself! But oh wait. Auntie Flo hates me.

At 1:08, I woke up because my left knee was hurting so badly I thought my leg was going to fall off. I whimpered, crawled out of bed, and limped to bathroom to get a tampon. But OH guess what. There was a cockroach in the cabinet with the tampons.

And I *seriously* have a mortal fear of cockroaches.

Especially at 1:08 a.m., under full hormonal influences, and with knee pain that makes me want to give up on life.

So I ran screaming from the bathroom. Well, not ran, since I'm not supposed to do that. The left knee pain was so bad that I could feel it spreading and radiating in my left hip. My parents heard me screaming (or limping, or whining, not sure which) and came to my rescue. My dad got me advil, my mom braved the cockroach to get me a tampon, and I strapped BOTH of my knee braces around ONE knee to try to relieve the swelling and pressure.

(Usually both knees hurt badly. This time, it was just the left one, hurting quadruple-badly. I have no idea why.)

After all was inserted and taken and strapped on, I began to pace the living room, trying to help alleviate the knee pain.

Oh, jeebus, it hurt. Luckily, the double dosage of knee braces helped significantly, and after the advil kicked in, I was able to get back to sleep.

But so much for getting a good night's sleep. Luckily, the baby is super-duper-SO sweet, so today went well anyway :)



(Note: I'm rather huffy about the one A-. That was the *one* class I thought for sure I'd get an A in. I'm actually surprised I managed to pull As in the rest!)



I'm home, all in one piece. The last few days were stressful, nerve-wracking, anxiety-stricken, and devastatingly sad, but I'm home. And happy.

I have no decision yet about DreamSchool. I'm being pulled in two opposite directions...and I haven't figured out yet which is the stronger pull. So we're still in wait-and-see mode.

It was very, very sad pulling away from DreamSchool in my cab this morning.

It was very, very happy seeing my sweet pupster Max, my parents, D, and my sister this evening.

Tomorrow I get to babysit for some way, way, way cool people. I'm simultaneously nervous and so freaking excited! (And, of course, my face breaks out like no tomorrow just beforehand. LOVELY. Pardon the seventy-two pimples, please.)

Can you tell my thoughts are a bit discombobulated? It's very surreal, in the here and now. (Mad bonus points to whomever can identify what that's from.) I'm here, I'm home, back in Texas, for four months. And then...?

After we landed in Texas, I overheard the people a few rows in front of me talking.
Him: "So what do you think of Obama?"
Her: "Eh, he's smart, but smart isn't everything."

I'm home, y'all.


I couldn't ask for a better, more supportive, family. If you have any doubts about that, read the comments on my last two posts.

Love you, mom, dad, and sis.


Tomorrow is my last full day, here, in the city that has become my all-of-a-sudden home.

I like it here, very much, and I'm sad to leave. I'll miss the people, I'll miss the park right across the street. I'll miss having everything within walking distance, and what I don't have within walking distance I can just hope on the subway and ride to, one, three, five, 10 stops away.

I'll miss the weather up here. Oh yes, I will. I like the snow, now. I like the distinct seasons in the northeast, whereas in Texas we get a mismatch of hot, hotter, hottest, and only slightly cooler.

I still don't know about next year. My friends at school tell me that if I don't come back, I should move back up here permanently, and I could, but I could never afford a place here, in the heart of the city. I'd have to move to the suburbs, a lengthy commute away, and I'd be alone out there, so why would I?

I've been visited multiple times in the past few days by the anxiety monster. I'd forgotten that bastard. I'd forgotten how he can just jump out from behind a corner, grab me, envelope me completely, in mere seconds. I'd forgotten the sickening nausea that accompanies him. And the panic attacks. More than once the past few days I've huddled in the corner of the laundry room, the only place I can be alone, and cried.

Even now my stomach is tightening as I write this. After I press post I'll try to distract myself with The Time Traveler's Wife or an episode of Scrubs. I want to be home, to get this leaving part over with, but I also want just a bit more time here. Am I saying goodbye, goodbye? Or just a temporary, see you next fall? I wish I solidly knew.

All my wall hangings have been taken down. It's so white behind my bed and desk that it creeps me out. All my beloved books are packed away, and a giant brown box sits where they used to. Half my clothes are packed. Tomorrow I'll pack the rest, and my bedding, and all my little knick-knacks. But it's stark and different in here already. My roommates both leave tomorrow, so I'll be alone for my last night here.

See y'all on the other side.


A (tentative) decision (?)

I think my mind made my decision about leaving DreamSchool for me. Without me knowing.

Tonight, I told my friends that I might not be coming back next year. Five of my closest friends here, the girls I'm supposed to be living with next year. Four days before I leave, we finally found a Mexican food restaurant. I told them over dinner, and they cried. Really. Just thinking about me being gone, they cried.

I'm not going to lie, I kind of felt like this, at that moment (fast forward to :23 in):

But it was also sad, cause, well, I really like these sweet girls too. Though the entire time I did have a pervading sense of calm just flooding my body. And we talked about where I'd move, what I'd be doing...and it felt really right, you know? For the first time I felt more excitement about leaving DreamSchool than sadness.

So. Leaving DreamSchool? Nothing's certain, yet. But when my friends asked tonight if I could give them a percent chance that I'd come back, I said 20% -- the first thing that popped into my head. They also asked what it would take for me to stay, and I said that if DreamSchool wanted to wave a big fat scholarship in front of my face I didn't think I could turn it down. But the chances of that are miniscule.

Leaving DreamSchool. I know it's ridiculous and irrational, but I feel like a failure for cutting out after my freshman year. For not graduating. I'd become a negative statistic. A dropout. Even though I would be leaving for bigger and better (and less expensive) things, I'd still be a college dropout. At least for now.

For the past week, thoughts keep popping up in my head about this being my last tour, my last class here, my last few nights to be here at DreamSchool. I don't feel like my time here is over. And yet...it just might be.

I feel like I'm saying goodbye, now. Almost subconsciously. Which is why I think my mind has made up my decision for me.



The color/quality is REALLY off, so I apologize about that, but you can get an idea of the general GORGEOUSNESS that surrounds me right now :)


T-minus 6 days

D. made her decision! She chose school A, which is an AWESOME school and I couldn't be more proud of her! We'll be approximately 9-10 hours away by bus, so hopefully we can meet in the middle on long weekends.

In other news, SIX DAYS TIL TEXAS, Y'ALL. Though I'm wondering if by then Texas will have closed its borders cause of the whole swine flu debacle and I won't be able to get in. I already have several couches I can sleep on if that happens, so that's good :)

A wonderful amazing blog friend is SO NICELY letting me use her basement for storage over the summer!!! This is literally saving me hundreds of dollars -- I am so, so, so grateful. I just have to remember to bring her something back next September. Can anyone say "obnoxiously large and unhealthy Texas-shaped food items"? BECAUSE I CERTAINLY CAN.

Next week's schedule is kinda busy. Exhibit:

Sunday - homework & exam prep
Tuesday - 2 exams, back to back, and then a huge presentation that evening
Thursday - bright and early flight to TEXAS!

Once I hit Thursday I'm in the clear! Four months of WARM WEATHER!!! I absolutely positively can't wait. And I'm in the process of figuring out the job situation, and I'll be hanging with D., and I'll be *gasp* reading for PLEASURE, and oh, y'all: believe me when I say I am taking full advantage of this time in my life. Cause I know too soon I'll be married to George Clooney with 18 children.

(Did I say that out loud?)

So yes. Things are crazy, but I'm so psyched for the summer.

Unless I get the swine flu, of course.

Oh, P.S. Swine flu means good blogging material, though. So it's a toss-up?

P.P.S. Any book recommendations?