Phoning it in, bullet point-point style


2) Happy.

3) Lotsa small children (12 in total). While this is sometimes (often?) chaotic, I wouldn't have it any other way. Love.

4) Did you know my name means "thinking of the ocean" in Greek? I'm a true Pisces girl.

5) Great, great adult company. And vodka-laced Koolaid. Which we are being VERY CAREFUL not to mix up with the kids' unspiked Koolaid.

6) It is so, so nice being down in the waves. I love feeling them crash over me. And I love feeling the current pull back on my legs.

6a) As a result of said current (a very strong one), yesterday while in the water with Sam, Gabby and Maggie, I got knocked off my feet. And as I went down, I heard a very loud CRACK followed quickly by another CRACK followed by LOTS OF EXPLETIVES IN MY HEAD.

(Yes, my knee popped in and out of socket. Yes, it hurt like a biiiiiiiitch. Yes, I looked like a fool dragging myself to shore because I couldn't stand up. Yes, I was mortified.)

(Yes, it has happened before.)

It wasn't a "bad" pop-out, per se. It popped right back in. And eventually I was able to stand up and hobble (and look ridiculous) back to the house. I'm still limping today, but it's getting better and better with time. WHEW.

6b) As a result of said pop-out, I have four mother hens named Jenny, Jen, Deanna and Debbie clucking over my every move. My mother just read that last sentence and whispered "THANK GOODNESS" while clutching her heart.

(Dear mumsie, yes, I have elevated my knee. And I have ice, advil and alcohol to make it all better. I am taking care of myself. And if I don't, the aforementioned surrogate mothers are doing it for me. Love, your favorite daughter)

7) Did I mention I'm at the beach? I'm happy.

8) Coco has finally started using my name in association with me. She calls me "Owie." Yes, is the cutest thing EVER. Yes, I give her anything she wants when she says my name.

(Yes, I am kidding about that last part.)


Okay. I'm going to sign off now. Because my thumbs are getting tired because I'm typing this on Sasha the magical iPhone. And, y'know, BEACH.

P.S. No, I didn't proofread this.


A la plage

We are in Florida.

Tonight, my feet were in the ocean.

I am as happy as can be.

And that is all for tonight.



How having an extremely adorable and very sleepy puppy can be a fun pasttime

(Alternately titled: Poor, poor Max)

So last night I was fiddling around on my computer until the wee hours, and pupster Max was snoring in his bed behind my desk. When I finally was ready to sleep, I went to scoop him up to put him into my bed.

When I saw how he was positioned, though, I'm pretty sure I squealed several decibel levels higher than what's appropriate and then took a million pictures because he is SO ADORABLE. At 1 a.m. While he was trying to sleep. OBVIOUSLY I'm his favorite person ever. Allow me to show you:

[Peaceful slumber. Totally clueless that I'm about to take a quadzillion pictures and wake him up. PWECIOUS BAYBEE.]

[Awwww. And did you notice how I'm blatantly copying Dooce by instilling a modesty patch on Max? Except mine is labeled weinerschnitzel because he's a weiner dog and it's a weiner and I crack myself up.]

[HUZ. ZAH. LOVE. Am ever so slightly tempted to lick my computer monitor. Just me? Yes? Frack.]

Max: "Zzzzzxxnnxxxx-huhwha?! OH NO NOT THE CAMERA."

Max: "Maaaaaybe if I roll over, she'll realize I'm trying to sleep since it's ONE A.M. and leave me alone. I don't think I'm being unreasonable."

Max: [Pretends to be asleep.]

Max: "This isn't working. She's just getting closer to me with that camn damera."


Max: "This is effing ridiculous. I mean, I know my widdle nosey-poo is adorable and all, but COME ON."

Max: "I. give. up."

And then I put down the camera and snuggled with him and fed him a carrot. Because he is part reindeer. And it was 1 a.m. And then the end.


Winner winner CSN giveaway, uh, dinner!

DEAR LORD, you all, 635 comments?!

I would like to take this time to hug you all. And say that I now know more about weather all over the country than I ever have before.

(The consensus, based on your comments? IT'S HOT EVERYWHERE.)

(I agree. I think I've melted into this couch. Which could be problematic, especially since it's not my couch. Hm.)

But let's get on to the winner of the giveaway!

I visited my good old BFFL the random number generator, and...

Congrats to DEB!

Deb, email me at theonlinenanny(at)gmail(dot)com :)

Now, to completely change directions, I had an amazing day with Sam, Ben and Coco. Here's what made me happy today:

Sam and I singing "break-break your heart" in the car and dancing. I was singing quietly and I looked in my backseat and she was singing too, and I caught her eye and we both busted out dancing and singing loudly. LOVED it.

Ben's love of snuggles — he just comes up to me randomly and leans against me for a hug, or climbs into my lap when I'm on the floor. Sweet, sweet boy.

Coco shouting, "AH-WEE!!!!!" and jumping into my arms in the pool. She's a daredevil, this one :)

Tell me, what made you happy today?


The not-so-itsy bitsy spider

I went outside to water the plants in our backyard the other day and was greeted by THIS:

...at which point I screamed, ran, sold the house, and moved to a bug-free place. Don't tell my parents.

Sorry, plants. You're on your own.


Well, this post started with a point

So I have an addiction to my body pillow. The one I got at Target for $9. The one I bought two of so I could have one for DreamSchool and my house in Texas.


But the body pillow has so many good uses. It's great to be the big spoon with. It can be bunched up and a great prop-up pillow. And if you're sharing a bed with someone, it's great as an extra-long pillow.*


(I'm going to go ahead and warn you that I don't actually have a point to this post. I just really love my body pillow.)


Let's bullet-point the rest of this post, shall we?

• Swimming + 20-month-old Coco - flotation devices = I now have a head full of gray hair. I think it's quite becoming on me.

• I'm watching the old SNL with Betty White. Betty White is a BAMf.

• We are 8 days away from our Florida trip with these really awesome people. This essentially means that oh holy hell I WILL BE IN A BATHING SUIT IN 8 DAYS.

• My sister is spending two weeks in Austria dancing with her dance company. I am a) prouder and b) more jealous than I can say.

• I'm going to go cuddle up to my body pillow now. Mmmmmm. Come to mama, you soft brown bundle o'happiness...


Photobooth Fun

(Ben ducked out of the picture right before it was taken.)

I love these sweet kiddos so much. I really am the luckiest nanny in the world.



A giveaway, a giveaway, a giveaway!


I have for you....(drumroll, please)....a $60 giftcard to the CSN store of your choice! Lemme just show you the types of things you could buy with that moolah. Because OH GIRL (OR BOY): you are in for a treat.

(First of all, obligatory plug: CSN stores also include wall sconces! Check 'em out!)

SO! For $60 or under, you could get...

These. RAWR.

This. LOVE.

This. NEED.

Or even this. Which, dude, I'm 21, and I still want.

There are a million things for you to choose from with your $60 giftcard. Seriously. It might take you days to page through all the choices. Except maybe not days, unless you look very slowly. But there's a lot. TRUST ME.

So, you wanna win???


***please leave the correct number of comments for EACH entry -- for example, if you follow my blog, leave THREE comments, not just one***

1) Tell me that you love me! (Kidding.) Just tell me something! How the weather is where you are! How you're doing today! One comment to get you entered. (MANDATORY. 1 entry)

2) Follow me on Twitter @theonlinenanny (3 entries) (if you already do follow, you count too! leave three comments for that)

3) Follow my blog publicly! (3 entries) (if you already do follow, you count too! leave three comments for that)

4) Blog about this giveaway (and let me know that you do) (3 entries)

By my calculations, that's 16 zillion ways to enter. You guys have until Wednesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. to enter. I'll announce the winner on the blog, and he/she has 48 hours to email me to claim his/her prize -- or a new winner will be chosen. Aaaaaand GO!

P.S. Disclaimer — I wasn't given anything for this giveaway, or compensated in any way, shape, or form. I'm doing this because I love you all more than life itself. And because CSN contacted me to see if I wanted to do a giveaway. Also, I've worked with CSN before. Remember my AWESOME lamp???



Darn kids are smarter than I think

So I play hide-and-seek with Sam, Ben, and Coco a lot. And it ALWAYS is divided so that Sam and Ben are on a team, and Coco and I are on a team. Always.

And Sam and Ben always use this to their advantage. They're smart little buggers.

Just last week, we were playing hide-and-seek again. And I, brilliant I, had figured out that if (once hidden) I told Coco "shhhh" and put my finger up to my lips, she'd copy me — she'd put her finger to her lips and say "shhhh." So it worked! We were quiet! We were hidden!


Sam and Ben outsmarted me. They started singing Coco's Night-Night song.

The Night-Night song is what they/I sing to Coco before bedtime and naps. We sing night-night to every member of her family. And lately she's started singing along, which is ZOMG the most adorable thing EVER.

And since Coco now knows how to sing along, Sam and Ben *knew* they could get her to sing if they did. So once Coco and I were well-hidden, Sam and Ben started running through the house singing the Night-Night song.

And I looked at Coco in the dark of the closet where we were hiding and I whispered, "Coco! SHHHHH!" and put my finger to my lips.

And Coco looked at me, grinned, and loudly sang, "NIGHT-NIGHT, BEN!"

And 2.5 seconds later, Sam and Ben busted into the closet where Coco and I were hiding.

And then I put Coco in a permanent time-out. Because that was a GOOD hiding space she gave away. 20-month-olds, I tell you. AND 5- AND 7-YEAR-OLDS.

Next time we play hide-and-seek? I'm hiding BY MYSELF.

*Note: I'M KIDDING. I didn't put the 20-month-old in timeout. I just refused to feed her for the rest of the day.



...in a communion cup. Because I am a BAMf*.

*badass mother, uh, effer.


My poor [future] kids

So do you remember this post? The one in which some of my naming dreams were squished (sob) mercilessly?

Well...it's kind of sort of happened again. HERE'S THE STORY:

My mom and I were driving along, talking about baby names*.

*Note: I do not currently have a need for baby names. I will not until after I finish college at the earliest. Really. Calm down, mother. I AM NOT PREGNANT NOR DO I PLAN TO BE FOR SEVERAL YEARS AT LEAST.


Anyway, we were talking about baby names, and I was gushing about how much I love the name Pearl. Like seriously. It's one of my favorites for a little girl. And we were also talking about family names. Harper is a family name, and while I'm not a huge fan of the name, I like the idea of a family homage.

So I was throwing it around with Pearl, and I thought, "Harper. Pearl. Harper Pearl. Nah, doesn't sound good. How about Pearl Harper?"



Because I knew he'd appreciate the cruelty of Pearl Harper, I texted it to former-boytoy Sean. And he responded with three more cruel baby names that he'd thought of while at work. He was ridiculously proud of himself and demanded credit should I put them on my blog.

So, without further ado, here are three more Cruel Baby Names brought to you by former-boytoy Sean:

Ninah Levin
Roe Wade
Roe Wanda

I don't know whether to applaud him or laugh or cry. Or all three. *sigh*

In the meantime, Eliza Pearl has grown on me. Or Ada Pearl, but I can't use that, because we don't want anyone eating pearls. Or Isla Pearl. Or Eva Pearl. Or Ella Pearl. Or somethingsomething.

Now I've typed Pearl so many times it looks weird.

So that means it's time for me to sign off this post.

And brainstorm names that go with Clay. And that are not Henry Clay. Because while I love the name, every time I've told people about it they say, "Oh, the nineteenth-century American statesman and orator?" except not. They usually say, "Oh, that historical guy?" And I go HEADDESK and bemoan the fact that I can't like normal names.



Headed home

And just like that, the trip is over. Granddad's doing better (thank you, thank you, thank you), and I've got to get back to work. Tonight my mom and I are in a motel in Ruston, Louisiana...in a 5-minute span, I saw a cricket, a cockroach, and a spider as big as my head. HOW FAR TO DALLAS, PLEASE?

The past week and a half has been a total blur — I honestly couldn't tell you what I did on Monday, other than spend time with Granddad. My mom and I are exhausted, mentally and physically, but the silver lining of this trip was the amount of time I got to spend with Granddad. I don't think I've ever spent that long with him before (the curse of living far away from extended family).

We'll be back in Dallas by tomorrow afternoon. Ahhhhh.

P.S. I reread this post and caught four grammatical and/or spelling errors. I AM PUTTING MYSELF TO BED NOW.

Another pic from the Twisted Root. That's my mom in the pic, though you really can't tell :)


The roller coaster continues

This whole saga has been so up and down — I can hardly put it into words. Good days, bad days, good hours, bad hours, good minutes, bad minutes.

Two days ago was really hard. Yesterday was a bit better. Today, this morning specifically, was really hard. But tonight ended on a good note: I had some time with just Granddad and me, watching the Braves game while I knit. It was nice.

Granddad's been moved to a subacute rehab facility. We don't know how long he'll be there. As for us, my mom and me, the plan as of now is to leave Tuesday afternoon, spend the night in Mississippi, and get home on Wednesday.

(Though we're remaining fluid, as my mom says, because based upon how things have happened thus far, we don't know what we'll walk in and see tomorrow.)

I've got a zillion things swirling through my head, and I'm sorry that both my blog and Twitter have been infused with Granddad! Granddad! Granddad! I'll be back (hopefully) to my regular nonsensical postings soon.

In the meantime, thank you so much for your good thoughts. They are so appreciated, and most certainly felt.

XOXO. (I really, really want to add "Gossip Girl" under the XOXO and this proves two things: 1) I read too many junky books (i.e., Gossip Girl) and 2) I AM EXHAUSTED.)


Rough day

And I really don't have many words. Instead, a picture:

This is a communion cup. I like this because you can see my face (in the center) as well as the church's amazing ceiling — and on the front part of the cup, you can see my dress (and elbows and camera cord) reflected.


A smattering of incoherent thoughts

All day yesterday and today I struggled with what I'd write on my blog about Granddad.

On the one hand, this is my blog, my outlet, a place to vent and get out emotions (and believe me — there have been plenty of those in the past 48 hours).

But on the other hand, this is a public website, and as weak and sometimes confused as my Granddad is, he is still a human being, a minister and counselor, husband, father, grandfather...and he deserves privacy, respect, and dignity. Even though it's my blog, he is my grandfather and I want to allow him that semblance of privacy.

So here I'll censor the specifics...except to say that yesterday and today have been a roller coaster. I can't speak for my mother, who is alongside me and has constantly amazed me with her strength and grace all the while watching her own father struggle, but I can speak for myself.

When we got into the hospital yesterday, went up to Granddad's room, saw him, saw his situation...I wanted nothing more than to turn around and run away. I didn't want to be faced with that sight of my Granddad, hear about his bodily fluids and watch the revolving door of nurses and physical therapists and breathing treatment technicians bustling in and out.

All in a day, I wanted to cry, to run, to scream, to vomit, to laugh, to hide. But I didn't; I couldn't. (Though I did, in the afternoon, escape to the grocery store. I'd never been so grateful to run an errand in my life.)

I don't want you to get the sense that it was all bad — during a few minutes of brilliant clarity, Granddad and I had an amazing conversation about DreamSchool city, churches there, and the Tea Party Rally I 'covered' in April. That was good. Very, very good.

And today has been better. Granddad had a procedure this morning, early, and while it was so difficult to watch him in recovery, coming out of sedation (I cowered in the corner while my mother gently stroked his arm and head and encouraged him to breathe), he was able to sleep most all of today and that was very, very good as well.

Overall, he seems better today than yesterday, and for that I am encouraged. Tomorrow will be a new day with a new set of roller coasters, but as of now I feel at peace. I've become more confident in what I need to do when I'm alone with him (things I never thought I'd be doing for my own grandfather), and more comfortable in the hospital itself.

The blessing of this trip has been the time spent with my mother. Watching her with Granddad, and interacting with hospital staff, doctors, nurses, and our extended family, has simply left me in awe. My respect for her, her strength and her character continues to grow. This cannot be easy for her, watching her father struggle...but she is handling it with such grace.

Thank you for your thoughts — I love each and every one of you. I'll update more soon.