The first person who can tell me what this reflection of me (with my camera) is in, you win 5,000 brownie points*.

*my family is excluded from this because they know what it is.
*brownie points are redeemable in the form of I LOVE YOU vibes. And I give good vibes. So you're going to want to win.

Edited to add: YAY Debbie wins! It is a faucet handle :) Debbie, I'm sending you 5,000 GOOD VIBES, and even a few extra because you and your family fed me that one time that was awesome and also you've made me rineyritas so that qualifies you for an extra, oh, zillion good vibes.


I am old. Don't try to talk me out of thinking that.

So I was recently friended on Facebook by a girl I used to babysit.

Let me say that again: I was recently friended on Facebook by a girl I used to babysit.

I cannot tell you how much this has disturbed me. Because it's not that she's too young to have a Facebook that disturbed me. Because she's not! She's a freshman! In high school! She is a freshman in high school!



I started babysitting for her ohmydearjesus NINE YEARS AGO.

What? What's that? Is that a midlife crisis calling? Excuse me while I go answer the phone.


I'm back. I have 47 new grey hairs and I just bought a red convertible.

(KIDDING, mom. I only have 3 new grey hairs. Thank you, good genes!)

No, really. When I got that friend request, I accepted (of course) and then thought Huh. I should prooobably check to make sure my Facebook is clean and appropriate. Which it was, of course, because I party like an 8-year-old on Friday nights and there's nothing about boytoy Sean on there at all.

But still. Then I realized I really didn't have to even check if my page was clean because SHE IS A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL AND SHE IS OLD ENOUGH THAT I DON'T HAVE TO CENSOR MYSELF AROUND HER.


I'm slowly becoming okay with this situation. I mean, she's growing up, I'm growing up, it's all good.

Just send me a stiff drink the day her baby sister friend requests me. Which could, conceivably, be in just a few years. Changed my mind. Send me a stiff drink now. Thanks.


Missing him!

Love that little black nose. WISH I COULD KISS IT. Or just pet it lovingly. Cause lord knows what that nose has been smelling lately.


Well hello, new semester.

So this semester is well under its merry way, leaving me very busy playing Beatles Rockband with friends and eating Fritos and reading blogs and gossiping with my roommates and etc., etc., etc. And WOW looking at that list of things I'm really thinking I need another 3.5-week vacation.

Man. I'm tired just typing that.

Don't get me wrong: I *am* working. I just spent 4 hours straight reading first about argumentation! and advocacy! and how to give good speeches! and second about ethics. Time kind of got away from me because when I sat down to read it was like 2 in the afternoon and when I got up it was 6 at night and dark outside and I was like HOLY NIGHTTIME, BATMAN, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?

I'm also happily working away in Admissions (seriously: I love that job. SO MUCH.) and going to class and spending time with boytoy Sean and zomg how is college over halfway done?!??!?

I fully recognize that I will never again in life have it this good. So, um, time: slow down a bit? Plz? KTHXBAI.

(Mom: I'm partially kidding about the first paragraph. I only spend about 17 hours a day doing those things. I do homework for at least 4-5 hours a day. And sleep for 2-3. And go to class. When I remember to. Swear.)

In actuality, I have a massive, teenager-pimple-sized deadline for my journalism class on February 3. So I'm only slightly freaking out about that. And I have a gigantic pile of reading to sift through for my other 3 classes. And extra hours in admissions (which I'm grateful for!). And GAH LAUNDRY to do. I should probably wash my sheets. They haven't been washed in a few weeks. Or months.

But all the work that I am doing/have to do is okay because I'm sitting here and listening to a live Coldplay album mixed in with some Alison Krauss and I can hear my roommates giggling in our living room and my tummy is full and I'm warm and healthy and happy and so, so lucky.


Baking cookies!

...or just taking pictures in the cookie sheet's reflection, WHICH IS EQUALLY AS FUN, and with fewer calories.


Ma soeur

My little sister (well, okay, she's technically not "little," she's taller than I am) (but that's not hard to do, as I barely reach 5 feet on tiptoe) (so maybe she is kind of little and I'm just REALLY little) (but she's still younger than I am so I WIN) (wait what?) (let's start again)

I got a call reeeeeally early this morning from my sister. She (with my parents) had been in the hospital all night, and she had just been diagnosed with appendicitis. She's to have surgery this afternoon.

While I know appendicitis is no big deal, really, and the recovery is quick, I don't like the idea of anybody going under anesthesia, especially not my little sis. So, you know, if you could pray for her, write a haiku about her, make a shrine to her, gather sticks for a bonfire over which we can chant to the gods about her, or just generally send positive thoughts in her general direction (Texas), I'd, you know, appreciate it.

Also, because of this, she's missing two college auditions so if everybody could send BE LENIENT AND LET HER RESCHEDULE vibes toward those two colleges (also, thankfully, in Texas -- she's not missing an out-of-town audition), THAT'D BE GREAT.

As Lady Gaga would say, thank you, little monsters.

Update: She's out of surgery and groggy. I also have some GOLDEN pictures of her from this morning when she was very drugged up. I plan to save those. Forever.


Back with the owls

So I'm back up at DreamSchool and I've had my first class of this semester (about environmental ethics -- LOVED it, the prof is a genius. He just got his Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown) and I'm back with my friends. Happy, happy Nanny.

Also, sleepy, sleepy Nanny.

Two nights ago, my last night in Texas, I brought pupster Max into bed with me to snuggle/sleep (as I do most nights when I'm home, let's just be honest here). Max weighs about 13 pounds, so he's tiny enough to snuggle right into my stomach and AH LUFF IT.

Except two nights ago, Maximilian was NOT in a snuggly mood. It was 2:30 a.m. and my alarm was going off at 6:30 (what? I procrastinate packing. WHO DOESN'T) and I just wanted to sleep but *someone* (ahem, MAX) had a burst of energy and would. not. lie. still.

So after about 15 minutes of him wandering around in my covers (sounds so dirty. ISN'T), he finally let me pull him up next to me to snuggle. AHHHH. HAPPY. SLEEPY. BEDTIME.



I had accidentally spilled some of my contact solution on my pillow when I was taking out my contacts. And Max LOVES contact solution. L-o-v-e LOVES it. (I know. He's weird. But I love it too. But to use with my contacts. Not to drink.)

So Max found the contact solution on my pillow and then all he wanted to do was lick. lick. lick. lick.




This is the dog who, while he is mid-pee, will sniff something else and wander off with his leg in the air. ADD dog of the century. But two nights ago, when I needed SLEEP, when it was nearly 3 a.m., he was able to focus all of his little doggy energy into LICK. LICK. LICK.


Oh, that dog. I was ready to make him sleep on the floor (GASP I KNOW I'M SO MEAN) except that it was my last night in Teyhas for 4 months and I'd miss him cause he's cute and cuddly and did I mention cute?

HOW CAN YOU STAY MAD AT THAT FACE. Answer: YOU CANNOT. So I put up with the LICK LICK LICKing. Because he's just too adorable to resist. And because I may or may not want to lick him myself.

(Oh, and I'm still sleepy. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of all the city noise. Sirens, cars going by and honking, etc. I should take a nap. OH WAIT, it's not Christmas break anymore! I have class! Back to reality!) (Oh, there goes gravity!) (Sorry. Couldn't resist the last part. Whoever can identify that song wins 10 brownie points.)


The last supper

(...in Texas, until May)

(If you look closely in this picture, you can see my camera taking the picture. And in the right side of the picture is my dad. With a distorted face. Cause I took the picture through a wine glass.)

(Mmmmmm. Dessert.)



First of all, if you haven't seen the a.ma.zing. pictures of my sister that Sam, Ben & Coco's mom took, go look. NOW. (I'll wait.)


Sam, Ben and Coco are getting too big (and smart) for their own darn good. I just love these kids SO MUCH. They are so sweet and so much fun!

A few nights ago, I hung out with them again. We played (as we usually do) hide-and-seek. Coco and I always hide together, and this time, it was Ben's turn to find us. He looked and looked and looked, but we were hidden very well (in the shower).

So finally, Ben, smart, brilliant Ben (age 5), yells out, "COCO! SAY MAMA!"

And Coco, smart, brilliant Coco (age 15 months), responds and yells out, "MAMA!"

And Ben found us.

Cheeky kiddos ;)


Coco and I went to a local mall the other day for a few hours. We made one veeeeeery slow loop around the whole place. And that took about a 1.5 hours (moving at the pace of a 15-month-old). Can you believe how big she's gotten???

I love this next one. She was trying not to smile for me because she wanted to get down and play and I wanted her to eat a bit of lunch first :) (Note: *trying* not to smile. Look at the corners of her mouth)

And look how curly her hair is getting in the back! LOVE it.

And here's one of Sam, Ben and me (they l-o-v-e LOVE using Photobooth on my Mac). Using Photobooth is the only time I can get pictures of them because otherwise they are ON THE MOVE and want me playing with them :)

These kids are just so wonderful. Seriously: I hit the nanny jackpot :)


Hall of history

In our house, we have a hall of history. Basically, it's a little hallway that leads to my parents' closet. But it's lined with old family photographs, and it is so cool.

It starts in the center with old pictures of my sister and me.

That's my great aunt and uncle when they were still in high school -- I love that dress!!!

My mom's parents on their honeymoon.

My dad's parents on their wedding day.

These are people on my dad's side of the family. I think it's either my great or great-great grandparents on their wedding day?

My dad :)

This is on my mom's side of the family. This may be my great grandmother (the baby)? Mom, is that right?

The wall!


Thank you, Stephany!

Stephany at Stephany Writes gave me this sweet award! I'm supposed to name 5 things I like to do, and then pass it along to 5 bloggers I now consider friends (and, as Stephany said, "and I hope you feel the same way. Otherwise, this is really awkward." :)

1) I love to read! Right now I'm reading "The Midwife" by Jennifer Worth. It's an incredible read so far.

2) I love dressing up pupster Max. He looks adorable in pink baby clothes, if I do say so myself. (And luckily, pupster Max likes being dressed up as well. He knows he'll get a treat afterward.)

3) I love working in DreamSchool's admissions office. Sure, it's hard to handle crazy parent phone calls. And it's sad working with applicants who didn't get in. But other than that? I love it. Giving tours is my favorite part, because I get to make a bunch of awful jokes and all the prospective students will laugh because they think I have some influence over whether or not they'll get in :)

4) I love holding sweet, sleeping babies in my arms.

5) I love playing Beatles Rockband up at school and listening to all the boys try to hit the notes while singing. It is quite comical. Also, I'm beastly on drums. (Um. On the easy setting, that is.)

Now I'm handing this back to Stephany, because I most certainly consider her my friend. And I'm giving it to Kaitlyn, my sister, Monica, and Lex (because I'm hoping it'll make her UPDATE, for pete's sake).



My mom started a tradition of giving my sister and me special ornaments every Christmas. This is a tradition I love so much that I'm going to do it with my own (FUTURE -- MOM CALM DOWN) babies.

I love birds. I think they are beautiful and peaceful. Except for our own real-life parakeet, who is almost crazier than I am. I am not kidding. My bird is in love with a rubber duck. And she thinks that little black and white dice are her eggs. And she frequently asks us, in Spanish, where her pants are.


I can't make this stuff up, people.


This summer, I came across a little dove ornament in a little shop in Michigan. I loved it, but didn't want to spend the money on it.

Guess what I opened up on Christmas morning?

My mom's mom, Mary Dove, died before I was born. I love that I can look at this little dove ornament and think of the grandmother I never knew.


The strangest thing

There is one thing that I am still trying to get used to about being home.

It's so very different than what's up at DreamSchool, and every time I, uh, use it, it's weird.

The toilet paper.

I didn't realize how thin the TP at DreamSchool was until I came home a few weeks ago! When I got home and used the restroom for the first time here (sorry for TMI!), I was IN. SHOCK. at how thick and soft the TP was!

(I also distinctly remember sending my sister the following text message post-restroom break: "This is random but has our toilet paper always been that thick?" ... to which she replied, "Yes i think so...")

(No, I did not text in the restroom. Ever since my phone (2 phones ago) dived into the toilet, my phones are going NOWHERE NEAR BATHROOMS AT ALL EVER SRSLY.)

(And yes, my sister and I do text each other most of the time instead of talking. Even if we're in the same house. Even if we're in the same room. That's what $10/month unlimited texting will do for you.)


Yeah: we use the cheapo kind of TP here Chez Nanny, so I suppose the DreamSchool TP must be ULTRA-CHEAP. But you know what? I kind of prefer DreamSchool's. I mean, with this TP at home I feel like it's too thick. And wasteful.

And lord knows I hate to waste things like toilet paper.

So, as bizarre as this sounds, I'm actually looking forward to going back to DreamSchool.

For the scratchy, 1/116th-ply toilet paper.

I need a life.


For the sake of tradition

HeatherSmith was my 50,000th visitor! Heather, email me at theonlinenanny[AT]gmail[DOT]com and I'll get you your prize :)


Since I did this survey last year and the year before, I suppose I should do it again!

Honestly, if you get to the bottom of this, you DESERVE a prize.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Mmmmm. Had my heart broken into a zillion tiny pieces.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Nope. I don't do new year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

(knockonwood) Not that I can think of.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

More book-reading time!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

It's funny...on last year's survey, I put Feb. 17, 2008. I can't even remember why that would be important now. This year? May 3, when D. and I broke up. And Sept. 12, when I moved back up to DreamSchool and became so much happier.

Edited to add: I do remember about Feb. 17 now. Had to do some serious thinking & remembering. And I realized it wasn't a good day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Keeping up my grades -- I'm RAWKIN' a 3.95 GPA, baby!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not giving back as much as I could.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

(moreknockingonwood) No!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

GAH, call me materialistic, but two pairs of BOOTS!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Everyone's? But especially my 5 suitemates and boytoy Sean for making me so happy.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I'd rather not go into that here!

14. Where did most of your money go?


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going back to school! (No, really. No, REALLY.)

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

Well, since I finally got an iPod and built up my iTunes library, there are a lot. I'm particularly grooving on the band The xx right now.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder?


b) thinner or fatter?

Probably a bit fatter. This will probably be confirmed tomorrow when I go get a physical. And will probably make me sad. So I will probably go eat ice cream.

c) richer or poorer?

Wayyyyyyyyy poorer. (Oh hey DreamSchool!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More reading!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasted time doing nothing on the computer or watching mindless TV.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my parents' house with them & my little sis.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?

With so many people and things!

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men. Big Love. Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The Office. House. Can't pick.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't think so.

24. What was the best book you read?

I really loved "The Help." And Silas House's "A Parchment of Leaves."

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

It's a tie between Ryan Adams and The xx.

26. What did you want and get?

Another year of happiness and health.

27. What did you want and not get?

An unlimited budget.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Where the Wild Things Are! But that's pretty much because it was one of the only movies I watched this year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

On my birthday, I had a biopsy on my left breast. What a way to celebrate, I KNOW.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More money in my college fund would take a big weight off my shoulders.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

It was the year of the SKIRT! I wear skirts almost every day, with flats or boots. And I wear tights up north where it's cold.

32. What kept you sane?

The INTRANETS!!! (Or wait...is that insane...?)

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

No idea.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Making gay marriage illegal in several states.

35. Who did you miss?


36. Who was the best new person you met?

My friend Kelly. Who I'm going to New York with during spring break. Which ZOMG CANNOT WAIT FOR.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I'm a beast at doing laundry now.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Uh. This is the part I suck at. I can hum tunes, but not quote lyrics.

If you do this, comment and let me know! I'd love to see yours!



We're leaving our Christmas tree up extra late this year, just because we can.

And that little flower is my new favorite ring, from my mom :)



If you look down my left-hand column, you'll notice that my 50,000th visitor is coming up VERY quickly. If that's you, leave a comment and you'll win a PRIZE!!!*

What a way to start 2010!

*the picture above has nothing to do with the prize. I just like the picture.