12.29.2011

Greetings from Texas

So...happy holidays! How have yours been? Mine have been VERY VERY EVENTFUL! Hey Santa, can you bring me some Xanax? THANKS!

First thing: this girl is without a doubt the strongest person I've ever met. If you could, go give her some love, please?

Second thing: my little sister had her tonsils and her adenoids out! OH, MY LOOPY DRUG-INDUCED GOODNESS, Y'ALL. She doesn't know this yet, but she promised to name her firstborn child after me and had my face tattooed onto her left butt cheek. Sister love!

Third thing: shit went down with my job with Pius. He's almost nine months old, delicious, chubby, still immobile (YES), and growing more fun every day. But last week, his mother treated me completely unprofessionally and inappropriately. She's apologized profusely, but right now I'm trying to decide whether or not to continue with the job. It's not a fun or easy decision.

Whatever happens, I know will be for the best...right now it's just pretty heartbreaking. I'd miss that baby boy something fierce if I were to leave, and I've cried many, many tears thinking about that. But I'm just not sure I should continue working there. :(

Fourth thing: Max the reindeer says hello. Or maybe he's begging for help to get out of the reindeer antlers. I'm not sure. Either way, he's cute.


Really, though, I'm happy and lucky and grateful for everything I have in life. And even though life throws shit our way (or our best friend's way), it can still be damn good. I'm wishing all of you the very best, and happy holidays as well. xo.

12.19.2011

Going home: a post of irrational fears

So! I leave for good ol' conservative Tey-has tomorrow bright and early. I haven't been back to my home state for nearly a year. That's insane to me — how has a year passed so quickly? Slash, how come I keep getting older?

I've been kind of sort of maybe a little bit FUH-REAKING OUT about going back to Dallas lately. Like, imagine me collapsed in bed sobbing dramatically for absolutely no good reason while my best friend sympathetically pats me on the back (all the while justifiably rolling her eyes at me behind my back). That's happened several times in the past week. Or two days.

Here are some of my irrational anxieties:

* I AM FAT OH MY GOODNESS. I've gained weight since I saw my parents and sister in Michigan. The only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that I am a complete failure at life. Plus, you know, I'm still fat.

* My dog Max won't remember me. Seriously. I haven't seen him in a YEAR. I had a dream the other week that he totally didn't know me. Broke. my. heart. to. pieces.

* [food] [food] [food] [food] [food] [foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodFOOD]

* Fat. (See first bullet point.)

But, since I am an eternal optimist, here are some things I am looking forward to about going to Texas:

* Warmer weather (please, jeebus)

* Free laundry (THANK YOU JEEBUS)

* My sister is getting her tonsils removed. I am looking forward to endless hours of making her do ridiculous things while she's all loopy on painkillers. Video and pictures to come, I SWEAR.

Look at me, y'all. I'm a regular Susie Sunshine 'round these here parts. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to panicking about the enormous size of my body BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR THAT FITS SO HOW CAN I PACK GUH.

12.14.2011

Parenting done right

This? Is beyond incredible. This is how I aspire to parent my future children.

Led by the child who simply knew

12.01.2011

Oh hi! Remember me?

You guys, I swear I'm still alive and functioning. And sweet jeebus, I know I haven't written in ten years but 1) work and 2) work and 3) work and 4) I have to keep up blogs for school and when you have to blog as homework it totally makes you not want to blog at all and 5) WORK.

But HI I MISSED YOU ALL CAN I COME BACK TO NANNYBLOGDOM NOW PLEASE?

Seriously. I have amazing happy stories that I got after my last post to put up (I will, I swear, at some point in my lifetime). I have happy news to share with you guys (um hi, my best friend moved to my city and is currently living with me (!!!!) which is. um. just. amazing). In two weeks, I'll have just one semester of college separating me from being a college graduate.

HOLY SHIZZNITS.

I started this blog before I had even convinced myself to go to college. And now, come May, I will be walking across a stage and they will be handing me a diploma WITH MY NAME ON IT and oh, my goodness, I have to become a real live adult then. WHAT.

• I like bullet points, so let's use those for the rest of the post!

• Update on Pius! You guys, I'm pretty sure this baby hung the moon and the stars and then some. He's almost 8 months old (ALSO WHAT), has two adorable teeth poking through on the bottom, sits up like a champ, is (thankgoodness) nowhere near crawling, and is finally warming up to the idea of baby food. I look forward to seeing him each day, even when he's Mr. Crankypants, because he's just so damn cute. My boy.

• Update on best friend: she's here, she keeps me sane, and she's pretty much the bee's knees.

• Update on my (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) love life: I have a date tomorrow night with a funny boy. Details TBD.

• Update on my mental state: thank god for my therapist.

• Update on this blog: I will be back soon. Promise. Swear. It's been weird not being here this past month and a half. So here I am.

10.17.2011

On the importance of being yourself

I've had this here blog for five years now — I started this as a recent high school grad-turned-nanny, and now I'm nearly a college grad and nanny. (Dear lord jesus, I'll be a college graduate in 7 months. WHAT.)

When I started the blog, I wrote because I wanted comments. I wanted validation. I tried so hard to be funny (even though I look back at some of those early entries and cringe now), and to be happy and positive. I wanted people to like me, to really like me, a la Sally Fields.

And I loved my blog and having my blog and having readers and feeling, occasionally, like people liked me! They really liked me!

But.

I hid an enormous part of my life from the blog because I was scared of judgement and losing readers. I kept my entire 2.5-year relationship with an amazing, amazing girl completely secret. I didn't write about it until after it was over, and not going to lie — that was one of the most nerve-wracking posts I put up. But in return, you all supported me, loved me, and validated me.

I think that post marked a turning point for my blog. I'd written some real emotion posts before that, but nothing on that scale. And this part of a comment on that post hit me in particular:

"Thank you for your sharing your experience so eloquently, and for bringing a human "face" to this issue! For the 1st time in my life, I feel like I am no longer along and fighting a losing battle on [human civil rights]."

Here's where I start to sound self-centered.

I realized, after that post, that I had a voice, and I had a platform. I have this blog, and yes I write it for the funny stories and for the memories, but I also write for me. I write to get love and support and encouragement from you guys. And over the past few years, I've gotten so many emails and tweets of love from people. And each time I'm shocked, humbled, and grateful.

I know how isolating and scary it can be to live in the throws of depression and anxiety. I know how monstrously difficult it is to battle eating disorders that try (no pun intended) to eat you up whole. But I'm only sharing my experiences. My eating disorders are radically different than someone else's. How depression and anxiety manifest in me are completely opposite of how they could manifest in someone else.

But I think the resounding message that I want to use my blog, my voice, for, is to say this:

All you out there, all you beautiful, wonderful people, all you happy, sad, scared, lonely, unique people, you are not alone. We all fight our own demons. But as long as I am here in this world, I promise you are not fighting them alone. I'm right here, fighting alongside you. All of you.

I'm fortunate enough to have amassed a good readership on my blog. I have no idea how I did that, I have no idea why I deserve that...but I'm grateful for it. And even though I still want to share the happy and the positive memories, I also want to share when things are really fucking hard. Because at times, it's really fucking hard. But thanks to you guys, I know I'm not alone in this thing called life. And neither are you.

You guys, I'm a 22-year-old student-nanny. I'm nothing special. I have depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. I feel completely crazy most of the time (thanks, eating disorders).

BUT.

I have found such inner peace by being able to be open about these things. It's hard to write posts that make me feel vulnerable and exposed, and I still don't have my real name attached to this blog...but you all have helped create this amazing community of support and I feel so, so lucky.

With that said...I know so many people who are going through such hard times right now. So I'm looking for stories from you guys. Stories of hope, stories of happiness, stories of overcoming demons and being completely honest about ourselves. Kind of an "it gets better" project for every part of life — sickness, mental illness, trying times — for ye olde (Online) Nanny Diaries.

Will you guys write something?

Be long-winded, be brief, be honest, be happy, be sad...but write something true to yourself, something you know. You can write anonymously or use your name/blog/etc. All I want from this project is for those who are struggling not to feel so alone. To feel some hope. Because we have to get through this thing called life together. That's how we get through.

If you want to write (please do!), you can email your stories to theonlinenanny@gmail.com. I'm happy to help you edit if you're unsure of what to say. Thank you.

9.24.2011

Loneliness

IMG_0344
Michigan, August 2011

at first there was only the lake and the sun, nothing else existed. after about a thousand years, Loneliness came to visit and stayed around for another thousand years. so the lake thought about how she might get rid of this uninvited guest.

after a long time, her thoughts turned to fish—many, many colors and sizes of fish. her fish caught the sun with their scales and flashed their bright colors all through the surface of the lake.

Loneliness hated the fish and their flashing colors. Hate turned Loneliness into a serpent that swam down far below the surface. the lake could not see the serpent, but she could feel it moving around inside her.

the lake was very tired and she fell asleep for another thousand years and dreamed the sky, and the rain, and the mountains to hold the rain. the brightness of the sky made the serpent of Loneliness swim down into the deepest, darkest place it could find. Loneliness never went away. it still comes in the night.

Loneliness made the lake dream the sky and that was the beginning of everything.

—excerpt from "Lake Dreams" by Swain Wolfe

9.18.2011

Things I want to remember:

* How my Pi-boy's face absolutely lights up when I walk into the room. How I can't be in the room with him while he's nursing cause all he wants to do is look at me :)

* How his angsty MEURH! cry is morphing into more big boy cries

* How right now, at 5 months and 12 days old, he is laughing belly laughs when I blow raspberries on his feet, is rolling over (if he wants to), is jumping like crazy in his jumparoo, and is thisclose to being able to sit up on his own

* How he laughed for a good 20 minutes the other day, after he sneezed and I said, "well BLESS YOU SIR!" in a high-pitched voice (I said it, he laughed, and then I said it again approximately 234209384 times until he didn't think it was funny anymore)

* How he leans his whole body forward trying to grab the spoon an bowl when I'm feeding him cereal

* How he still loves nothing more than to be wrapped on my chest in the Moby, sleeping

* How putting Bon Iver on the stereo will always quiet him down

This is why I nanny. I get to form amazing bonds with so many little ones. Pius, I love you with my whole heart and then some. I'm so, so lucky to be your nanny.

9.15.2011

Can pour wine, will travel

So I was in NYC a few weeks ago to visit the fabulous Cait, and while I was there, she cooked us a COMPLETELY #winning dinner. Why was it so #winning?

1) It was vegan food that both of us felt comfortable eating
2) Since I can't be trusted not to burn down the kitchen, Cait did all the cooking!

Well, I mean, I helped. If by "helped" I mean "I chose music to listen to and kept our wine glasses full." I'm especially good at the second part of that. See?



Here's the master chef hard at work:




Note Cait's full wineglass. I do my job well.

The finished product: acorn squash brushed with syrup (I think?) and filled with quinoa made with walnuts and onions and dried cherries and olive oil (right, Cait? Ask her if you want the recipe). REGARDLESS, it was the bomb.com.



Note: I'm available to pour wine at any and all gatherings for the low, low price of airfare and wine. Book me now!

9.13.2011

An ode to the Moby wrap


This is C's new baby brother S all snuggled up in the Moby (the pic is taken from a bad angle -- I promise the shoulder strap is nowhere near blocking his nose).

So remember how excited I got when I mastered the Moby? Now I return to the blog to once again profess my love for that magical bundle of fabric.

Oh Moby wrap, I do love you.
You cuddle my babies, and keep them secure too!
You give me two free hands,
which allows me to complete a lot of plans*,

Oh Moby wrap, you've seen me through
Pius' meltdowns and happy long walks too!
I use you to snuggle my babies to sleep
and when they're in you they don't make a peep!**

So, Moby, I've become your number-one fan,
even though with a spitup-y baby it's difficult to keep you spic'n'span.
I'll wear you throughout all my nanny days
because you can be used in so many ways!

*dude. I'm a nanny, not a poetry major. Go easy on my rhyme scheme. I'm just impressed that I know the term rhyme scheme.

**sometimes.

All right, I'll stop writing poetry now. But I will leave you with an adorable (and unrelated) video of C!

video

9.08.2011

Michigan part trois

Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure this post doesn't make any sense. Yay for emotionally-written dribble!

Another thing I was really worried about going into Michigan was what my relatives might say about the fact that hi, I'm significantly smaller than I was this time last year.

My extended family doesn't know about my eating disorder, and for a myriad of reasons, I prefer to keep it that way (for now, at least). So I was worried about what to say if they commented on my body, given that (seriously) a person saying "Hallie! You look good!" can send me into an anxiety attack. I prefer to live in the magical world of thinking nobody is looking at my body ever!

Anywhoo.

I made it through two sets of aunts and one set of grandparents with several "Oh, you look so good!"s. I handled that okay. (Read: I rolled my eyes inside my head and quickly changed the topic. Denial!)

But then another aunt arrived a few days into the trip. And when she saw me, she said, "You look teeny-tiny! You look great! Now just don't go turn anorexic or something stupid like that!"

Erm.

I'm pretty sure I turned and fled the room. All I could do in the following few minutes was laugh, because seriously, what the fuck? I think what boggled me most was the realization that my aunt (who is a medical doctor) could think anyone could choose to have an eating disorder. And then I read this post from Dooce.com and I realized that this? Is something I need to talk about. (But please keep in mind this is coming from my point of view.)

Here is something of which I am certain: people who have eating disorders do not choose to have them.

Dear aunt: if you can come up to me, look me in the eye and tell me that I'm choosing to destroy my stomach/throat/teeth, endanger my fertility and my heart (and life), hurt my relationships with friends, roommates, and family...that I'm choosing to endure all these awful repercussions of living daily with eating disorder then please, by all means, come stand in my shoes. Bend over the toilet, vomit, and then feel your own vomit come back and splash you in the face. Do that and tell me this is something I'm choosing to do.

Let me just tell you: having your own vomit bounce up and hit you in the face isn't even one of the most demoralizing parts of living with an eating disorder. (And I consider myself "lucky" to have bulimia and not anorexia.)

Here's what I want my aunt to understand. (And one day, I'll have the balls to explain this to her.)

1) Many, many people have disordered eating. Especially in this country. That does NOT mean the same thing as having an eating disorder.

2) People who have eating disorders do not choose to have them. What we struggle with is choosing to try to not have them.

3) Someone who has anorexia has a phobia of food. Of food, of eating, of what eating food can do to their bodies...everything. Someone with anorexia can't just eat, just like someone with an intense phobia of spiders can't just hold a spider. What makes anorexia such a serious phobia is that we require nourishment to stay alive. People with anorexia have to confront their phobia all day, every day. They get no break. It's horrific.

4) Someone who has bulimia or a binge eating disorder suffers from compulsions. It's the same compulsions that are behind OCD. We feel the compulsions to eat. eat. eat. eat. eat. and, if you have bulimia, then purge. We don't eat for fun. When I'm in the middle of compulsively eating (when I literally cannot bring my hand away from my mouth), I cry. It's not fun. But I literally cannot stop. Same with purging — feeling the compulsion to purge is an all-consuming feeling. You can't ignore it the compulsions to eat or purge. They can (and will) take over your mind and make you crazy. People who have bulimia or binge eating disorders can't just not eat.

5) You know how you should never ask a woman if she's pregnant? Well...you should never talk about another person's body. You don't know what they've gone through.

[Here's the awkward part where I realize I have no idea how to wrap this post up but that I'm about near tears.]

I know it's not easy to understand the psychology behind eating disorders. Hell, I hardly claim to understand my own eating disorder. But here's what I know: I didn't choose to have one.

9.06.2011

Michigan part deux, as promised

So I know I left a giant angsty post about my body/my weight/my anxieties about Michigan up as a cliffhanger for way too long, and I'm sorry. But I've been trying to figure out what to write and I thought putting some time in between MI and me would be good for all parties involved.

So! Michigan!

First of all, it was so, so good to see my family. I hadn't seen my parents and sister in entirely too long. I was so glad to see them.

Second of all, I was beyond thrilled to share Michigan with my life twin. It meant so much to me that Cait was able to go.

Third of all, a lot of it was really amazing, relaxing, and fun.

Fourth of all, a lot of it was really freaking hard.

Since January, I've been on an incredibly restrictive diet. I'm hesitant to post amounts/numbers of what I was eating, because I don't think it's good for anyone to compare to. But especially in the early months of this year, I wasn't eating, and what I was eating, I was puking up.

But, with the help of the most amazing therapist on the planet and a loooooooooot of therapy, I'm incorporating food back into my life and keeping it in me, too. Not always (lord knows I'm not perfect). Some days/weeks/months are epic fails. Some are better. But I'm committed to working at it.

All that to say...I've had complete control over every thing that's been put in my mouth (compulsive eating aside, but that's a whole 'nother blog post!). I know exactly what I'm going to eat every day, and at what time. It's incredibly rigid, but that's what I need for the time being.

So going from having every morsel of food and every calorie planned out way in advance of the actual eating itself to going to Michigan where I had pretty much no control over food was a bit of a mindfuck. But Cait helped me, and after I broke down and talked to my parents about how I need to know what we're eating, when we're eating it, now, please, for the rest of the trip, it got a bit easier. Still, it was far from easy, and I know it was enormously difficult for Cait too (and I'm still so grateful she stayed).

Um, okay. This is already getting really long and I haven't even gotten to the fun body image stuff yet. Can you say MICHIGAN POST PART TROIS, ladies and gentlemen? (Promise it'll be the next thing I post.) To be continued...

Watch out! A plethora of posts is forthcoming!

So today marks the beginning of my SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE WHAT HOW DID THIS HAPPEN and since I already have homework, I'm already procrastinating! Which means OH HI GUYS I'M WRITING BLOG POSTS!!!

Here's what you've got to look forward to:

1) Michigan part deux

2) How well I help Cait cook (with pictures!)

3) Gushing praise of the Moby wrap, and no I'm not sponsored by them or by anyone except my own two hands. And Pius. And C's new baby brother S.

4) Updated life plans and goals (OMG y'all, I HAVE PLANS)

5) ...I'm out of ideas for the time being. But four posts, that's good, right? Yes? GOOD.

8.23.2011

Beach bumz

Can we go back here now please? OKAY THANKS.

c + h + c + beach
{Cait, me, my sister}

8.22.2011

Pi's new milestones

So I PROMISE a Michigan post (actually, two) will be up soon but first, hi, I'm back in Beantown, and second, PIUS ROLLED OVER!

He's not quite 4.5 months old now, and he's been THISCLOSE for several weeks. So on Friday when I was at his house, I was on the floor with him and trying to get him to roll over and HE DID! HE ROLLED! Back to front, rolling to the left, nanny's little genius boy! He rolled over FIVE TIMES after that. I'm calling Harvard -- this kid needs to apply STAT.

(He also figured out how to start sucking his thumb on Friday, which is entirely the most adorable thing EVER.)

These kind of nanny moments are bittersweet for me. I'm thrilled beyond thrilled that Pi rolled over (except oh shit, now he's mobile, HALP). But I'm also really sad for his mom and dad, who were both working when it happened and didn't get to see.

Likewise, when my nanny girls A. and E. took their first steps, I was there. I've witnessed new words, new milestones, lost teeth...so many things. And I'm so happy to be there for those experiences, but also sad knowing that if I was the mama or the daddy I'd be devastated I wasn't there.

I have no clue if this makes sense at all, cause it's 7:46 a.m. and I'm procrastinating getting ready for work and (HORROR OF HORRORS) there is no coffee in the apartment (I KNOW) but I did want to brag on my little Pi-boy for a bit. He makes me smile every day, and I just. love. him. SO. MUCH.

8.08.2011

Numbers (don't) lie

Sooooooo. I've never been good with numbers. Or at math. Which is one of the main reasons I ended up at DreamSchool — no math! #WINNING!

However, the lovely presence of a certain eating disorder in my life has brought numbers back with a vengeance. I tally calories EVERYWHERE — in the margins of books, on my phone, on random slips of paper, on my fingers. I'm obsessive about knowing exactly what's in my body. Those numbers...I deal with, because if I know numbers-wise what's in my body, I'm less stressed (read: cray-cray).

But there's another area where things just don't (excuse the pun! or don't!) add up.

From my highest weight, during my senior year of high school, until last Thursday (when I last weighed myself), I've lost 49 pounds.

I've lost a good 25 of those since January of this year.

SO. I know, I know, logically I'm smaller than I used to be. I've lost weight. *None* of my clothes fit me anymore (but I'm too terrified and broke to buy more). I've seen my jeans decrease 8 sizes in four years, and I need a size smaller than I currently have, but again, am too scared (and broke) to buy them. I'm smaller. That's inarguable.

BUT.

I don't see it. I look at my body, and I honestly, honestly, honestly cannot see it. I still see my fat inner thighs, my wide hips, and my bulky stomach. I still see my flabby arms and my chipmunk cheeks.

(And I also panic, thinking where the hell I used to store 49 extra pounds. IS FUN.)

Tomorrow I leave for our yearly trip to Michigan to see family. I absolutely can't wait — I haven't seen my parents and sister in entirely too long. But...Michigan also means two things:

1) going to the beach. Which means wearing a swimsuit. HOLY HELL.

2) I'm petrified that my extended family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) will make comments on my body or my weight. I honestly don't think I could handle that. Anytime anyone says ANYTHING about my body (including compliments) I nearly have an anxiety attack. And there's also my new tattoo which, for some reason, I'm perfectly happy to explain to strangers but can't fathom explaining to my aunts and uncles.

One thing I'm beyond grateful for is that I'm going with my best friend. I can't wait for that.

So. It's frustrating, knowing numbers-wise I'm not the same size I was several years ago. But not, for the life of me, being able to see that.

Here's me at my heaviest, hiding behind my cousin:



And here's me a few weeks ago (photo taken by Cait:


I know there's a difference. I know there is. I just can't see it.

On a "how am I doing with my eating disorder" note, I'm doing pretty well. Every day is a struggle, without question — but I've made a huge amount of progress in fighting it (thank you god for my amazing, amazing therapist). I'm fighting. I'm not perfect, but I'm fighting.

8.01.2011

...and it's a...

BOY! C's mommy delivered a healthy TEN POUND baby boy this morning! I'm thrilled to have another little boy to love on :)

charley grins!

7.31.2011

This little girl...

silly charley

...is about to be a big sister!

I've spent the weekend with her, and her mommies are at the hospital RIGHT NOW — we're so excited! ...except maybe not the big-sister-to-be. Here's her reaction to the news that she's getting a baby brother or sister tonight...

imp!

Oof. Now THAT is a stink eye if I've ever seen one.

(Good luck to C's mommies! I think it's a boy, C thinks it's a girl, and her mommies don't have any guesses. We'll see soon!)

7.26.2011

Sometimes I shock EVEN MYSELF

So. Remember this tragic day?

(If you're too lazy to click the link, cause let's be honest, I would be, I'll recap: I'm addicted to coffee. And if by "addicted" I mean "I'm pretty sure there's coffee running through my veins, not blood.")

So I started drinking coffee when I was a junior in high school. I think I was around 16, and I needed something to help keep me awake during chapel every morning (yay, going to a religious high school!). Coffee became my best friend. And oh y'all, it was love at first sip.

Now. Coffee is a religious experience for me. Period. I make sure people know this. I'm pretty sure Pius' first words will be "DON'T TOUCH NANNY'S COFFEE!" or "Pius, spilling coffee is a SIN UNTO THE LORD" (complete with arched nanny eyebrow). Nobody comes between me and my coffee.

And I drink it strong, too. Strong, hot, and black. Adding cream or sugar just takes away from COFFEE! I am OFFENDED BY THE VERY SUGGESTION!

Now. I lasted 19 years of my life living in Texas, and three of those I spent drinking HOT coffee. 104 degree day, hot cup of coffee, no big. MAMA NEEDS HER CAFFEINE. And ice cubes just make it watery! NO!

But.

A week ago, this happened:


Can you see that? Can you tell what that is?

Ice. In. My. Coffee.

I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!

But you guys, I couldn't take it! I now live in New England where it's supposed to be snowing constantly and we had one week of EPIC heat (and I don't have air conditioning in my apartment) AND I BROKE DOWN! I ICED MY COFFEE! I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE I DID THAT!

(This is coming from the girl who decided on a whim, at age 5, never to eat cheese again. And dammit, 17 years later and I still refuse to eat cheese. For no good reason other than PURE STUBBORNNESS.)

(My parents LOVE having me as a child.)

But guys. I couldn't stand it. No A/C + 104 degrees + OH MY GOD, THE PMS = I put ice cubes in my coffee.

And oh my good sweet lord. Do you know what I discovered? DO YOU?

If you put ice in your coffee, it cools quicker, so you can drink it quicker, so you can have even MORE COFFEE! #WINNING!

*Disclaimer: this post was written after I had LOTS OF COFFEE! (in case you couldn't tell)

7.19.2011

The life of Pi

So I haven't talked much about Pi on here lately, but rest assured he is DELICIOUS and PERFECT and I'm pretty sure he is the most brilliant baby in the universe.

Stats on Pius:

* he is 3 months old and roughly half as tall as I am. I am not kidding. He is giant.

* he's just starting to laugh. I will literally do anything to make him laugh. I sincerely hope his parents do not have a nannycam or I will be mortified.

* his gross motor skills are improving like crazy. He's gotten really good in the last few weeks at grasping objects and pulling them to his face/head/mouth. My brilliant boy!

* he seriously makes the. funniest. faces. when he gets upset. His whole face scrunches up, his bottom lip LITERALLY quivers, and then he cries. I know we are terrible people and probably scarring him for life, but his mom and I can't stop laughing when he does that.

* when he's royally pissed at the world, he turns into a VERY angsty baby. And he has this cry that sounds like a mixture between MEEHHH and MUUURRRR and ends up sounding kind of like MEURH and my roommates/life twins and I have taken to saying that whenever we think something is ridiculous. Like, all these arguments about the debt ceiling are so MEURH.

* he makes me smile every damn day and I'm just so lucky to be his nanny and to be able to watch him grow. I love this boy so much. <-- completely sappy nanny alert

OH! And I am cultivating his music tastes carefully. We dance to The Beatles, rock to Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, fall asleep to Bon Iver, and pretend to be cultured to Carla Bruni. Boy's gonna love good music if I have anything to do with it.

7.16.2011

Harry Potter 7.2

This contains NO SPOILERS about the movie but this is a very accurate representation of how I looked watching the final few seconds of Harry Potter 7.2.

video

The end is when my mind exploded. I CANNOT EVEN FORM COHERENT SENTENCES OR THOUGHTS OR OH MY GOD.

7.10.2011

Why I'm the luckiest girl, ever, PART II

I spent the weekend with this girl and it was just lovely. We read, listened to music (this and this song on repeat), went to my favorite little bar in my neighborhood with my roommates, commiserated on life, and had MANY neck hugs.

Last night we revamped her awesome blog and played with her amazing new DSLR (an anniversary present from her fabulous fiancee Alix). There was lots of laughter, a few tears, and just a lot of happy. She wrote this post on her blog about me and I about cried and AH LUFF THIS GIRL.

She writes, I'm calling it now - someday, not long from now, we'll be working together as midwives, catching babies and having our own (I gotta find her a babydaddy) and raising them all in a giant joint-family commune that has a vegetable garden and too many animals and cloth diapers drying on the clothesline outside.

I can't imagine anything more perfect. Now if only I could find that babydaddy...

7.03.2011

Bubbles!

I took a photojournalism class this past semester, and for it I had to practice using strobes (flashes) placed strategically around the room.

I *hated* that assignment more than I can say. It felt so unnatural setting up shots. I don't like to do that. I'm not a photographer.

My professor got exasperated with me, and had me re-doing the assignment again and again so I could get comfortable with the equipment. Finally one week, he told me TO GET DRUNK and then use the strobes. Maybe then I would relax and have fun with them!

Erm. Notsomuch. I still hated the assignment. But this is what came out of drunk roommates + camera + BUBBLES!

ali bubbles for blog

My professor was not amused.

6.24.2011

This is actually my favorite thing ever.

So, um, there's no way to get into this without getting awkward. So I'm just going to type it out REALLY QUICKLY and then we're going to forget about it and move on, okay? Because the awkward bit leads to my FAVORITE THING EVER.

Here goes.

About a month ago, I was informed by one of my, um, partners that I should probably get tested for the human papilloma virus (HPV). So naturally, I told my sister about it, because what little sister doesn't want to know her big sister may have an STD?

AWKWARD PART OVER PHEW.

So while I was waiting to get the results back from the test, my sister very anxiously texted to ask me when I'd hear. And I was like "I dunno, Planned Parenthood said a few days," and she remarked on how incredibly calm I was during all this.

And I was all, "What do you mean?" And she said that if she was me, she would be completely panicking. And I asked why? HPV would be a bummer, but not the end of the world

And then this happened:

silly sissy!

I honestly don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my entire life.

To my darling sister: I love you so, but we are having a sex ed talk the next time I see you.

P.S. I'm clean! FIST PUMP! Practice safe sex, kids!

P.P.S. HI MOM AND DAD! I LOVE YOU!

6.21.2011

All that and a barrel of laughs

So lately I've been feeling this calmness, this peace, this lightness, and oh, y'all, it's been lovely.

Maybe it's that I've hit the right dosage of Prozac, or maybe it's because I've got the world's best therapist (SERIOUSLY, you all should see her), or maybe it's because the stress of the school year is done and I'm relaxing into summer, or maybe it's because I'm getting more than 2 hours of sleep a night, or maybe it's because my astrological symbols are lining up in harmony with the tide, or WHATEVER: I'm just damn grateful for it.

My life has this soothing monotony to it. My alarm goes off at 7:10 a.m. Monday through Friday. I'm at work in the Admission office by 8:45 a.m. I'm there til 1:45, and then I go straight to Pius' house. I'm with my Pi-boy until between 6:30 and 7:30, and I'm almost always home by 8 p.m. And then I collapse and read books (actual books! for pleasure! I have time for that now! IT'S AMAZING!) and then go to sleep.

Ahhhh.

And then, oh y'all, GUESS WHAT: I ACTUALLY HAVE WEEKENDS! I have two separate days that are usually relatively free of stress! I don't have to worry about homework or papers or anything! I get to sleep in! And read! And drink massive amounts of coffee! IT IS LOVELY!

So what I'm saying, I guess, is: Summer 2011? Let's make out.

* * * *

I've been taking tons of pictures of Pius lately, because oh my lord he is just the most precious. I've been sharing them all with his parents, and they actually used all pictures I took on his birth announcement! RAWKIN' EGO BOOST, YO. But his mom mentioned (in passing one day) that she didn't want any pictures of him going on the internet, so I'm beyond devastated that I can't share them with you :(

You'll just have to trust me when I say he is actually a dumpling. He's 11 weeks old tomorrow, smiling up a storm, and weighs about 16 lbs. HOLY CHUB, batman. I'm in love.

So right now, in this moment, life is good. I'm damn grateful, and I'm drinking up every minute of happy that I can.

P.S. I'm even starting to appreciate the damn cuteness of the mouse who lives (illegally) in our apartment. He's got balls, this mouse — and no, I'm not talking about his sex, cause I haven't gotten close enough to look — but rather, he'll scamper right out to the middle of the room and just look at us. He's all, "Dude. I'm a mouse. In your house (apartment). DEAL."

We only put up with him because he has adorably large ears. And he always pays his share of the rent on time.

6.19.2011

I'm a lucky girl.

I have an amazing mother. But also have an amazing father who is always there to comfort, validate, and love me. I'm so damn lucky.

baby hallie and dad
My dad and teeny-tiny me (in his lap). Dad, I can't believe how much hair you had! Too bad you don't have any anymore! LOVE YOU!

Happy father's day.

6.01.2011

After 22 years, I discovered I was a twin

(Erm. Not biologically. You can start breathing again, mom and dad. No worries.)

But yeah: I'm pretty positive I've found my platonic soul mate/equal/twin in life. And her name is Cait. And oh, you guys, I love this girl.

Have you ever met someone who you just instantly feel like you know? And that you've known forever? Who you feel this instant crazy connection to? Who is just as weird/crazy/etc. as you are?

CAUSE I HAVE. AND HER NAME IS CAIT.

Dear lord in heaven, thank you for this girl. She gets me. She's basically me, but taller, and more awesome. She's a nanny in New York City, first of all. That's how she found my blog — a google search on nannies. (THANK YOU GOOGLE!) Second of all, she wants to become a midwife. UM HI. I'M THE NANNY WHO WANTS TO BECOME A MIDWIFE.

Plus she's hilarious, so kind, loving, and sweet. I kind of have an enormous crush on her. But no worries, it's platonic, because I also l-o-v-e LOVE her fiancee, Alix. Who is also awesome, and hilarious, and did I mention awesome?

Guys, I thank the universe every gosh darn day for putting these two girls in my life. And their two fur babies — my surrogate nephews, Rupert (black lab & daschund mix — SERIOUSLY cannot handle the cuteness) and Tucker (cat who enjoys licking my ears and biting me. See also: the only feline I'd ever consider for bestiality. (KIDDING MOM AND DAD!))

Sometimes, the universe gives us a lot of shit. And sometimes, it sends friends like Cait (and Alix) along to redeem itself. TRUTH.

Y'all, I'm calling it now. One day in the near future, you'll see Cait and me in business together. We'll have our own midwifery practice, and we'll catch babies and raise our own babies (Alix has promised to find me a babydaddy) together on a commune out in the boondocks. Y'all, I cannot wait. I smile so big every time I think of what's to come in life.

All right, universe. Well done. And also...can you work it out so that everyone has friends like this?


I wanted a picture with both Rupert and Tucker. Which proved to be impossible, because apparently trying to hold both a dog and a cat at the same time can lead to mild chaos. Alix (on the left) tried to help me corral the beasts, but...we were unsuccessful. Sigh.

5.27.2011

I'M ALIVE, I'M ALIVE

I swear! I am! I'm here! And I have no good excuse for why I haven't blogged in like 14 years except for the fact that I'm lazy!

BUT.

Right now I'm sitting on Cait and Alix's couch in NYC listening to this song while Cait is being all productive and folding laundry and I'm wasting time on Teh Intranets.

Life is good.

Two things have happened since I updated last:

1) I decided on a blog name for my baby! I, like, legitimately have been thinking about this for three weeks. Trying to figure out what fits him and his calm personality and gigantic blue eyes and sweet sweet cuddly self. And today, no joke, a name popped into my head, and I was simultaneously like "really?!" and also like "THAT'S IT" so I'm going with it once and for all. My boy's blog name will be Pius. Pi for short. I think it fits him, even though I have NO clue where that name came from.

He's six weeks old now, and starting to smile. And he's also really starting to look at us, and focus on our faces, and ohmygoodness I MELT when he just stares into my eyes. I could just eat him with a spoon.

2) I got another tattoo! I'd been wanting one for over a year (since I got my first one), I just hadn't know what I wanted. I really wanted to incorporate something with recovering from my eating disorder, and about a month ago, I started sketching out the design until I was happy with it.

Then, when I was in NYC a few weeks ago visiting Cait and Alix, we decided to go get our tattoos one night. So we went to this tattoo parlor where this guy named Ozzi was the artist available (and um, hey, awesome name dude) and I showed him my sketches and where I wanted it and he was like "aight, homedog" except he didn't really say that but I imagine that's what he was thinking.

And y'all. Let me just tell you. I wanted the tattoo on my hip bone, and when I lay down for Ozzi to start working he was like, "Okay. So. Because of the placement of this tattoo, you can't talk or laugh while I'm inking you. And you need to breathe in slow, deep breaths." And I was like "GREAT." But Cait and Alix channeled their inner doula selves and talked me through the pain and I focused on my breathing and y'all, I am going to RAWK at natural childbirth. Cause I'm SURE the pain is comparable. Right? RIGHT?

Anyway, here's what I ended up with:


(Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic!)

The outside lines of the design itself is the eating disorder recovery symbol, and I drew in the quasi yin yang to symbolize the balance of recovery and of life — the light and dark of each. Because that's what recovery is — it's an up-and-down battle. But I'm committed to it, and that's why I wanted this permanently on my body. I absolutely love it.

SO. Apologies for the novel-length blog post, but that's what's up in my life. Right now, I'm going to watch Friends on the couch while Cait continues to fold laundry. I'm such a good guest.

5.12.2011

Nanny nerd: RIGHT HERE.

So YES, I still have to blog about this past weekend, INCLUDING my new tattoo (!!!) and two truly amazing girls. And I will, I promise, but it's 1:46 a.m. and I need to get to sleep so I'm just throwing this picture up cause y'all. GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TODAY.

I was with the baby (who still doesn't have a blog nickname), and I wanted to wear him to put him to sleep. On Monday when I was there, I wore him in a Moby wrap, but his mom helped me put it on (cause hi, they're kinda intimidating). And I have my own Moby wrap that they gave me.

So today I decided I was going to try to get the little guy in there myself. AND I DID IT. ON THE FIRST TRY. LOOK WHO'S MASTERED THE MOBY WRAP. And guess whose baby slept for 2.5 hours in it! SCORE.

5.09.2011

My new boy

I have another post about my amazing weekend to put up and I SWEAR I WILL but first, I just had to introduce you to someone — my new little baby boy. He's one month and 3 days old. FREAKING AWW.

P.S. Any ideas for a blog nickname?

5.08.2011

Love her so.

Happy mother's day to my amazing mom. I love you so much.

mom + me

Happy mother's day to all who are celebrating today with their own mothers or babies. And happy mother's day to all who are celebrating without their mothers or babies on this earth — know that I'm thinking of you and sending you love.

5.05.2011

Dear time: slowdown. KTHXBAI.

So I'm sitting here and it's 2:00 a.m. on the night before (or, rather, morning of) my last day of my junior year of college.

'Scuse me while I start crying, ok? Ok.

Cause y'all. I just decided I was going to go, like, YESTERDAY. How has it been three years already?!

A few weeks ago, I registered for classes for my senior year. My senior year. I can't even wrap my brain around that. I love this school so much, and I've loved the last three years SO. MUCH. and Idon'twannagrowupandleave!

I'm going to get all sentimental and sappy here for a second. But this school, from the second my high school guidance counselor told me about it, has been my dream school. It was the only place I applied (thank GOD I got in), and even though it's been challenging, I don't regret one second of my time here. This school is the first place where I've felt I could thrive academically, and fit in completely — socially, politically, and otherwise.

This school has made this city my home. It's given me some of the best friends in the world. It's given me an amazing job and an incredible education.

So even now, when I'm sitting here facing an all-nighter (why am I blogging?!?!?!) to get ready for tomorrow's final exam, final paper, and final portfolio that are due, I still feel happy and at peace. Because this place, this school...this is me.

I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

P.S. Check out this video — at 0:42 in, that's my school (and me) chanting that it gets better!!!

5.01.2011

An open letter to myself:

Dear self,

First of all, why are you blogging? You have a final paper to write, a final presentation to put together, a final exam to study for, a final portfolio to finish and put together, and a massive final project that's somehow on the epic scale of insanity.

Second of all, here's a pro tip: never shotgun-style down two VERY STRONG cups of coffee and then decide to blog. Aha. Ahahaha. (Sorry guys.)

But.

I would like to congratulate you on making it through this year thus far. Cause you've had a fair bit of shit dealt your way, and have given in to more than your fair share of pity parties, but you know what? You got through. And you're getting through. And you know what? You're pretty damn lucky.

You have amazing friends. You have an amazing family. You have an incredible support system. You go to a school you love, have a job you love, and will soon be starting a new nanny job with a tiny baby (LOVE). You have (most of) your sanity. You have a body that continues to let you get out of bed and celebrate each day despite what you've done/do to it.

You have a great apartment in an awesome neighborhood. You have every season of Gilmore Girls at your fingertips. You have the world's most bad-ass betta fish named Severus. And you have coffee. Sweet, sweet coffee.

So yeah. There have been some downs. But there have been so many ups. Remember that. Hold on to that. Because that's what gets you through.

So. Chin up, self. Plug through these last few days of final everythings, and remember to enjoy all the happy things in life. Because they're always there.

And...work on loving yourself just the way you are now.

xoxo,
yourself

P.S. I swear I'm not begging for comments, but I do want to know what some of the happy things (big or small) in your life are. Please share?

P.P.S. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was affected by the storms in the south. My family in Alabama is okay, but so many people's aren't. I'm sending you all love.

4.20.2011

Why I'm the luckiest girl, ever.

So. Remember this?

(Please click on it. You'll need to to understand the rest of this post.)

Well.

Today while I was at work, I got a call to come to the front desk. And...this happened. (P.S. I KNOW it's sideways, and I have no clue how to fix it. So, um, just turn your heads? Or your monitors?)

surprise, hallie! from hallie on Vimeo.


:)

4.17.2011

Student --> nanny

So.

Guess who was offered a nanny job?

This girl.

Guess who was offered a nanny job for a 10-DAY-OLD baby boy?

THIS GIRL.

Guess whose ovaries are glowing with OMG BABY CUTENESS?

THIS.

GIRL.

First of all, can we just fist bump and blow it up, y'all? Cause RAWK. They're paying me *amazingly* (oh heyyy, going nanny rate in New England!), they're about 25 minutes from my apartment, and the parents are so sweet. (The dad works for NPR. I'm in love.)

The one not-so-great bit: they want me long-term. Which is awesome, and I'm thrilled to do it...but this means I'm going to have to do some serious thinking about my job in Admission. Which seriously makes me want to cry. I don't want to leave my job in Admission BUT I really don't know how I can make nanny job + full-time student + supervisor in the office work. OOF.

But! Focusing on the good things! Like snuggly 10-day-old babies who make little baby grunting noises when you hold them! (Though lord help me, I rely on nannying as my best form of birth control. This baby better be a hellion or else my mom and dad are going to be grandparents wayyyy sooner than expected. JUST KIDDING, MOM AND DAD!)

Also good thing — another amazing weekend with the incredible Cait. Seriously, this girl just gets me. And she's a nanny. I'm pretty sure we're twins. AND she has an awesome fiancee, and an adorable cat, and an adorable dog, and can I just have her life, please? Kthx.

Okay. I've procrastinated writing my paper long enough. I have to get to that. But! I HAVE A JOB!

4.14.2011

Quote du jour

(for a dear friend, and any of you who are struggling right now. xoxo.)

flickering in the hallwaycandles in my hallway

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

4.12.2011

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

For the past four months, I've been avoiding scales. Scales are triggers for me. Numbers are scary. (It's why I go to DreamSchool. We don't have to deal with math here. PHEW.)

From January until a few weeks ago, I didn't know what I weighed. My nutritionist weighed me backwards so I couldn't see the number. I don't keep a scale, so I couldn't be tempted to check. I had a general idea of what I thought I was...and that number was enormous to me, so I kept up the purging cycle in a desperate (and misguided) attempt to get smaller.

Then, a few weeks ago I was at a friend's apartment. We'd been drinking wine, and I was WELL on my way to tipsy-town. I knew my friend had a scale in her bathroom, and before I could stop, I weighed myself.

To say I was shocked at the number would be an understatement. I hadn't seen a number that low since I was a sophomore in high school. That number meant that I was no longer classified as medically overweight — it meant that I was, for the first time in years, normal.

I panicked.

Ever since then I've been terrified. What happens if I don't purge after I eat something I'm not comfortable with and I go above that weight? What happens if I gain? What happens if I become overweight again?

I'm scared of what purging is doing to my body — I know the medical side effects. I know each time I purge I'm hurting my esophagus, damaging my digestive track, wreaking havoc on my teeth and gums and doing scary things to my heart. But now I'm so, so scared to stop, because right now I'm normal, and what happens if I eat and then don't throw up and I gain? What if I get fatter? I tell myself that it's unhealthier to be medically overweight than to purge, though the rational side of me knows that's not true.

This morning I weighed myself again.

The number was even lower than it was a few weeks ago. Not much, but it was lower. In my head, all I can think is I'm doing something right and also I've never felt more fat and disgusting in my life.

Getting dressed is an exhausting, stressful ordeal each morning. I can't find clothes that fit, that look okay, that don't make me look like a whale. I avoid mirrors, because I want to throw up when I look at myself. All I see is fat, and ugly.

The rational side of me knows that I'm the smallest I've been in a long, long time. But the eating disorder side of me keeps up a constant barrage of insults. I'm fat. I'm ugly. My body is disgusting. Nobody will ever, ever want to be with me.

I'm scared of the number on the scale going up. I'm scared of how big I feel right now, when the number is (for me), low. I'm not underweight by ANY means, but right now I'm normal. And that's petrifying. What happens if I'm not normal anymore? What happens if I just get fatter?

The way my body image is right now...I can't even think about letting go of the purging behaviors. I can't imagine my body being any more fat and disgusting than it is right now. Fighting this monster is a bitch, you guys, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

I'm trying to love myself. I'm trying to love my body. But goddamn, I just feel so gross.

4.11.2011

Pro tip from the nanny job hunt:

Please don't refer to your team of nannies as "your girls." As in, "The weather was nice, so I had my girl take the kids to the park."

That's all.

4.07.2011

The biggest waste of three minutes of your life...

...all because I don't want to do my homework. I'm sorry, guys.

Untitled from hallie on Vimeo.

4.02.2011

If only I could work for free...

I finally heard back from the nanny family. They said I was their top pick and they LOVED me (woo!), but that a family friend volunteered to watch the baby for free.

Oof. I have rent to pay. I can't compete with that.

Ah well. Onwards and upwards to the next nanny interview! (tomorrow morning for a 4.5 month old)

4.01.2011

I woke up, looked out the window, and cried

First of all, I still haven't heard about the nanny job. GUH. Though I did have an interview with another family last night — they have an adorable 6-week-old baby boy, but they can't give me as many hours as I'd like. Boo.

Second of all: I have to be honest with you. DreamSchool City's been going crazy the past week talking about the SNOW we were going to get today. Like, SNOW snow. Like, sticks-on-the-ground snow. Like, it's spring, and it's STILL going to snow snow.

Like move me back to Texas NOW PLZ KTHXBAI snow.

And I have to be honest. I (and everyone else here, let's just be serious) was wishing that weather.com, CNN, and the weather app on my iPhone all got together to create an elaborate April Fool's day joke. Cause seriously. Weatherpeople predicting a "nor'easter" on April Fool's day?

PUH.

LEASE.

But I woke up this morning, looked outside, and there it was: snow. Not tons of it, but the kind of slushy wet snow that's entirely discouraging. And it continued to rain/slush all morning.

*sigh*

Can it be spring yet?!

3.27.2011

Fingers (and all other appendages) crossed

So I wasn't sure if I was going to blog about this or not, because I don't want to jinx it, buuuuut I need you guys's good mojo vibes.

Here's the deal.

This summer, I'm staying up in the northeast, and I'm trying to find a summer job. [SIDE NOTE: I was talking to my roommates about how I was so excited to have a "nice, cool" summer outside of Texas, because I figured it'd be like 70 degrees and gorgeous all summer long, cause hello, it's almost April and 20-something degrees outside now, but then my roommates all looked at each other and started laughing and wouldn't stop. So then I was like "WHAT?!" and they were like "You realize it's 180% humidity EVERY. DAY. HERE., right? You will essentially be a sopping wet puddle of goo." And then I cried and debated moving to Canada because sometimes I think that Canada will solve all my life problems.]

[That was a rather large, caffeine-fueled digression. Pardon me.]

ANYWAY.

I'm looking around for nanny jobs, and I had an interview for one today, and oh, you guys, it is PERFECT for me. Seriously. This job was handpicked for me by the nanny jobs.

The good:
* 3-week-old baby girl (CANNOT. HANDLE. THE BABY CUTENESS.)
* 10-minute walk from my apartment
* Great pay
* Really sweet, hands-on parents

The bad:
* The whole "3-week-old baby girl" bit. Because you guys. I've relied on nannying for the past several years as the best form of birth control ever. But I'm not even kidding. They put that baby in my arms today and my ovaries about started glowing. This could be a problem. iwantababy.

They're interviewing several other candidates, but they said I'd hear by the end of the week. Please send all good vibes and extra condoms (KIDDING, MOM AND DAD!) my way!

3.22.2011

Angst! Angst! Angst!

So I was in a *terrible* mood tonight. But then I watched this and suddenly, life was better again. God bless you, Ron Weasley.

3.20.2011

Back to the salt mines!

I had a whirlwind of a weekend — 24 hours in Manhattan/Queens to see my sister, and meet Jamie and Cait and Alix! It was crazy, spontaneous, and awesome.

I didn't get a picture with the other girls, but here's my sis and me in Times Square. Love her so much.


Essentially, the weekend consisted of 9 hours on a bus, one new brown belt from a vintage store, a copy of the Kama Sutra discounted 60% off (rawk!), new friends, FAO Schwartz's Harry Potter land, and coffee!coffee!coffee!

All in all...yes please. Can we do that again?

3.12.2011

Life with a cat


Oh no, Oscar, it's fine — you go ahead and drink that. It's not like I poured it for myself or anything. It's fine. Really.

(Note the tongue. Action shot!)

3.10.2011

Confession time: Year IV

So! It's my birthday, AND THERE IS NO COFFEE IN THE APARTMENT. I'm pretty sure I fail at being a grown up.

(I should probably put "grown up" in quotation marks, since...well...let's be honest. I still giggled at the last name Weiner at work today.)

But since it's my birthday, it's time for Year Four (HOLY CRAP) of Birthday Confessions! Here's the deal:

1. Post an anonymous comment--of a secret, confession, like, dislike...anything you want. It can be happy and light, it can be deep and depressing. WHATEVER you want.
2. There will be NO judging or cruel comments about anybody else's secrets.

That's it. And I'll be sprinkling some of my own secrets in there, too. It's weirdly cathartic. Thanks, anonymity!

Have a great day, y'all :)

(Year I)
(Year II)
(Year III)

3.07.2011

3 days until my birthday. WHAT.

So. An update.

(I've been meaning to get on here and write for days. Really. But...it's hard thinking about everything, much less writing it out. So here's a brief snippet.)

• I managed to avoid IOP (outpatient) and inpatient. I'm exhausted, I feel enormous and disgusting, but I managed to eat a bit more and not purge quite so much so I could stay out.

• I have a new eating disorder therapist. I swear to god, this woman was handpicked for me. She's incredible. I'm seeing her 3x/week (and the nutritionist once), so I'm getting some sort of therapy Mon/Tues/Wed/Fri.

• Insurance. I hate you. My new therapist is out of network, and on my plan I have to meet a $2500 deductible before my insurance provider will start to help cover costs. I honestly can't even think about that or I'll panic. Health + mental sanity > staying out of debt, right?

• I did this weird thing called "A Week with Ed." And it was pictures/audio of bits of a week of what it's like to live with an eating disorder. I don't know how I feel about that. I made it mostly for myself, trying to make myself feel better about my body...but now it's just hard to watch. I thought about posting it here...but I'm on the fence. (Plus there's a picture where you can see my booty.)

• My birthday is in three days (Thursday). Wait. What? Really? I don't think I'm okay with this.

• I'm cat-sitting for a friend this week while she's gone on spring break. This is Oscar:


He is actually playing with my ball of red yarn. It is LITERALLY the cutest cat cliche ever.

Okay. The end. Bedtime.

xoxo.

2.27.2011

I love a good breakthrough

So today I was lying horizontal on the couch (my norm these days), feeling rather sorry for myself and very much in a funk. And I was procrastinating homework and wasting time on the internet and looking through a friend's Tumblr.

And one of the things she had posted was this question: "Do you like who you've become?"

And at first I kind of rolled my eyes and went to the next post, but then some little thing in my brain was like WAIT, LET'S THINK ABOUT THIS.

So I did. I sat and thought. And I realized that right now, I'm happy(ish). For the most part I am. I just don't like who/what I've become right now. But that's okay, because that's fixable.

So I decided to make a list of what I disliked most about myself — what I needed to change to like myself better. Here is the list:

1) get the eating disorders under control.

And boom. A weight literally felt like it was lifted off my shoulders. I've been walking around for the past month freaking out because while I feel happy (thanks, Prozac!), I'm not happy. But the truth is, I am happy. Just not really with myself.

(Does that make sense? In my head it does, but lord knows that my head isn't the most stable place in the world...)

But I can become happier with myself. And right now, that means getting the fucking eating disorders under control.

There's the motivation I needed. Living with eating disorders is a second-by-second battle. But I'm tired of living this way.

Fuck this, I'm ready to fight.

(Thank you all so much for the love.)

2.25.2011

Skip this post if you don't want Debbie Downer

So it's pretty safe to assume that when I'm not blogging, things are rough.

Which they are right now.

And to be completely honest, I haven't posted because I don't want to be that whiny bitch who complains about her life when so many more people go through so much worse. (If my therapist is reading this, she is shaking her head slowly and saying, "WOMAN. YOU DO NOT GET IT.")

But it's a Friday night, and I'm feeling pretty damn crappy, and I want to talk. So...yeah.

Here's the deal. For almost two months now, I've been bingeing and purging. I'd never felt the compulsion to purge before, so when it started at the beginning of January, it completely blindsided me.

But since then it's been getting increasingly out of control. Couple that with the fact that I'm only eating one meal a day (at night), because I'm just so scared of starting to eat during the day and not being able to stop, and...yeah. My nutritionist isn't happy with me right now, to say the least.

Up until the beginning of February, I existed each day on hunger and caffeine highs. I'd perpetuate them by restricting food and chugging more coffee. Not going to lie, it was awesome. I felt great.

But all good things come to an end. Slash, all things destructive you do to your body catch up to you. The past several weeks I've had no energy, even when I drink multiple cups of coffee. I've lost my concentration, my motivation to fight the eating disorder, and the real will to do much of anything but lie around.

[I'm supremely good at throwing myself pity parties, especially when I myself am the cause of the problem.]

Last Wednesday, Feb. 16, my nutritionist sat me down and told me in no uncertain terms that I was really, really harming myself. She told me that I had two weeks to a) stop purging and b) start eating during the day, or she wanted me to go to an inpatient eating disorders facility over spring break in early March.

Well.

I left that appointment and cried. And cried. And cried. I felt (and still do feel) that I am powerless against these eating disorders. I'm so fucking sick and tired of fighting them. But I dried my tears, Skyped my parents, and filled them in on everything.

Let me just tell you: telling my parents about the purging, and seeing the worry on their faces, was awful. I'm so sorry, mom and dad.

Last Thursday, Feb. 17, I couldn't function. I was late to work, I was unfocused in class...it just wasn't good. And I realized that I couldn't do this all on my own. So I broke down and called my mom and begged her to come up and help me. That wasn't an easy call to make either. I've been on my own for three years now. But there are times in life when you just need your mommy, and I'm so grateful that my mom was wonderful enough to drop everything and come up (and so unbelievably grateful for a friend who donated the air miles for her to do so).

My mom stayed with me until this past Wednesday. I know it wasn't easy for her to be here with me, because I'm pretty much a hungry, exhausted, grumpy pill of a daughter right about now. But her presence was so calming. I needed her with me.

This past Wednesday, after my mom left, I had another appointment with my nutritionist. She weighed me (backward, so I couldn't see the number), took my blood pressure, listened to my heart, and took a urine sample. Since I was still purging and not eating during the day, she gave me the name of two eating disorder facilities that I needed to call. She said I needed IOP (intensive outpatient) at the very minimum, and she strongly encouraged me to go inpatient for 10 days over spring break.

And at that point, I lost it. I cried. And cried. And cried. I sat in her office and blubbered about being so tired of fighting, not wanting to deal with this shit anymore, not wanting to eat, not wanting to binge, not wanting to purge, just wanting all of this to GO. AWAY.

And my nutritionist looked at me, and she said, "I can't force you to get this help. But for your own sake, you need to." And then she told me to come back on Friday for another check-up.

I know this post is ridiculously long and rambling, but...forgive me. I just need to write a bit more.

I left the appointment and cried some more. (Take note: you guys should buy stock in Kleenex.) And I talked to several friends and cried and bitched and moaned and whined and finally decided to grow some balls and contact the treatment facilities. Since it was after hours, I left messages.

Yesterday (Thursday), I got a call back from one of the facilities. I did an intake screening over the phone (answering a bunch of questions about what I was doing/how I was doing it/how long I had been doing it, etc.) and the facilitator said that it sounded like I really did need IOP. She wanted me to come in today (Friday) for an appointment, but I had class.

So next Tuesday I'm going to a treatment facility to start IOP. It'll be five nights a week, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. I'm hoping like hell this will keep me from having to go inpatient over spring break.

You guys...I have to be honest. I really, with every bone in my body, do not. want. to. do. this. I don't want to have to take my dinner to a group session every night, and have to go through body imaging and therapy sessions and everything else I'm going to have to do. I don't want to be watched every time I go to the bathroom and I DON'T want anyone inspecting the contents of the toilet before I'm allowed to flush.

I'm terrified of them forcing me to start eating during the day again.

Have I mentioned that I fucking. hate. this?

Hell, please give me some perspective. I need it. One of my sister's friends was killed in a motorcycle accident two nights ago. I can't even imagine the level of pain his family is feeling. What right do I have to complain?!

Still, I'm lying horizontal on my couch, I have absolutely NO energy, I just want to go throw up my dinner (but I'm not. going. to.) and I have a splitting headache. My dear friend is inpatient in New Jersey for her own eating disorder, and I miss her like hell. I had to leave three classes yesterday and today because I literally could not sit there and concentrate.

I'm struggling right now.

I'm so tired of fighting. This has been eight years of disordered eating, and I know so many people have gone through so much worse, but I'm just about at the end of my rope here.

Pity party of one: check, please.

2.13.2011

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

You guys.

Today something awful happened.

It was scary and stressful like nothing I've ever experienced before.

I don't even know how to talk about it. But I'm going to try.

*deep breath*

This morning, my alarm went off bright and early (erm, 10 o'clock). I cursed the world, groped around for my contacts, and staggered into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

But then...this happened:


No coffee.

I started shaking. I freaked out. I looked all through our cabinets, all through the fridge, all through the shelves, and NOTHING. Then I got angry. WHO COULD HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN WHAT WHY DO YOU HATE ME?!

I *may* have overreacted a tad.



But you guys. It's coffee. COFFEE. MY LIFEBLOOD. I NEED IT.

All I could do was to try to find the most highly caffeinated substitute in our apartment — green tea. Which I made, and drank, but oh, you guys...it was not even close to the same.

So now I'm sitting here, partially in shock, partially asleep. No coffee in the apartment. No coffee in the apartment.

I cannot even articulate the horrors.

2.11.2011

An open letter

...to the people on the floor directly above me:

Hi! I'm your downstairs neighbor. It's nice to meet you.

Now, I know it's a Friday night and all, and I've had my fair share of nights spent drunkenly singing Michelle Branch with my roommates, but...

...you have been singing this song, on repeat, for the PAST. FOUR. HOURS. I am SO NOT EVEN KIDDING.

Don't get me wrong, I like that song. Or at least I liked it the first 3,420 times I heard it. But if I have to hear how you're falling to pieeeeeceeesssss one more time, I won't be happy, and I will show up on your doorstep and give you this look:


That's right, you'll get the one eyebrow-raised Nanny Glare. And I'm not afraid to use it.

Cordially,
Nans

Edited to add: After I posted this, things got quiet upstairs. I can only assume my upstairs neighbors somehow saw my picture of The Nanny Glare. Which: RAWK. I've still got it.

2.05.2011

I may have spit up on me but I DON'T CARE

So last semester, I took a photojournalism course. And for our final project, we had to follow something/somebody over a period of time and produce a photoessay. Now, I had just gotten a DLSR and I had no idea what the HECK I was doing with it, but I was like, "OKAY SURE! TAKING PICTURES IS EASY!"

Aha.

Ahaha.

Ahahahahahahahahaha.

My poor, poor naive self. Taking pictures? Notsoeasy. For serious. But I did have fun, and that's all that matters, right? Especially when you're spending $40,000+ a year on tuition? Fun? Right?

(My dad is reading this, grimacing, and muttering, "She better have learned A WHOLE LOT in that class besides fun for $40,000+ a year. [EXPLETIVE.]")

(Hi dad! I love you!)

Anyway. For my final project, I followed a local family for the last six weeks of their pregnancy, and up to (and after) the birth of their second child. I wanted to focus on the homebirth movement in my state, and they wanted a homebirth! Bingo.

So I essentially tagged along at each of their midwife appointments, went over to see them on weekends, and generally stalked them. They have a 2.5 year old daughter who is just. too. cute. to. move, so I also got some kiddo-lovin' in. It was awesome.

When it came time for Birth Day, I got a call at 7:20 in the morning from the mom, and I hightailed it out to their house. Long story short, she labored at home (and did beautifully, seriously, she's a rockstar) for 11 hours and then had to transfer to the hospital. She had spiked a fever, and it just rose too high for the midwives to feel comfortable for to deliver at home.

But, beautiful baby boy arrived safely (though he caught his mom's infection and had to stay in the hospital for a few days), and I went out a week later to photograph him again. That wrapped up my final project, and I sadly said goodbye to such a sweet family.

Well, last week I got an email from the mom, asking if I wanted to meet at the science museum today to see the kids. Um, YES PLZ SEE YOU THERE KTHXBAI. Also, BABY-LOVIN' TIME YAYYYYY.

And y'all. It was. I just spent the morning at the science museum running around with a 3-year-old and holding a 3-month-old. Y'ALL.

See that smile on my face? 100% genuine. Happiest. Nanny. EVER.

bella, hallie & jackson

2.02.2011

Snow day!

This was taken outside my kitchen window this morning. I'm pretty sure there's a car under there...but I'm betting we won't be able to see it until spring.

1.31.2011

Some things to remember

birds of a feather

Lines for Winter

by Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

(from here.)

A friend sent this to me last night, and as I read it, I felt so at peace. I needed it. Hopefully it brings you peace too.

1.25.2011

My demons

The fabulous blogger The Bloggess' post yesterday has been haunting me for the better part of 24 hours. I read it, and my first thought:

Thank you, Jenny.

She writes about "coming out" with mental illness, and how dangerous it is to keep quiet about. And it's true — it can be hell, battling mental illness(es). But it's so much worse when you're battling alone.

I've been going to group therapy for eating disorders for over nine months, and I can't tell you the relief I feel when I sit there surrounded by other girls who know what it's like. To know they understand every little bit of what I'm feeling. It takes a bit of weight off me just knowing I'm not alone.

Likewise, I have a friend who also battles depression and anxiety. When either of us is going through a particularly hard spell, the other steps up. There are no words needed: just knowing the other is there, and that the other knows, is such a comfort.

I'm not going to lie...it's still hard for me to talk about my eating disorders, depression, and anxiety publicly. There is a very real part of me who is ashamed of them, and embarrassed by them. And the fact that I have to take medication to help me cope? My god, I'm embarrassed by that too.

I tell you, I'm embarrassed to have mental illnesses. I honestly do feel like a freak sometimes when I talk about them.

But then I have to remind myself that though the eating disorders, depression, and anxiety are a part of my life, they are not my WHOLE life. And I will fight constantly to keep them from taking over. The real me is here, and the real me is a funny, kind, fiercely loyal girl.

Having mental illnesses is nothing to be ashamed about. It's no more my fault than if I were to have a physical disease. And, like a physical disease, mental illnesses need treatment. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So hi. I'm Nanny, and I have:

my demons

And that's okay.

1.24.2011

It's even too cold to stay in bed!

It's 7:31 a.m., and I just took this screenshot of weather.com for my city:


And now what I'm wondering is, when I started talking about going to school in the northeast, WHY DID YOU ALL NOT STOP ME?

(See also: I'm typing this while wearing gloves. Because BRRR.)

1.16.2011

Second semester: ready. set. GO.

So tonight is my last night down here in good ol' Teyhas. I leave tomorrow morning for DreamSchool, and while I'm so happy to be going back to my friends, having to go to class and work is going to seeeriously put a cramp in my winter break style. Because y'all. It has been a BREAK.

I came home from the insanity of last semester and I honestly think I slept for a solid week. I'm so not even kidding. I'd stagger from my bed to the coffee pot to the big chair in the living room and back to the coffee pot and then to bed and rinse, repeat. For a week.

Then I began my manic book-reading cycle. I think I've read 8 or 10 books this break? And I'm discovering I'm in l-o-v-e LOVE with Kaye Gibbons. Have you read her stuff? If you haven't, do so. Now, please. Then we can discuss. Zomgsies BOOK CLUB!

Then I began my traveling cycle...aka, I went to Austin and back twice. Which makes for approximately 14 hours of me alone in my car listening to repeats of "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" and "Car Talk" via my NPR app on Sasha the iPhone.

(Which, in case you couldn't tell, makes me a happy little journalism dork.)

And now? Now, it's time to head back. I land late tomorrow evening, and I'll have to trudge back to my apartment in the foot-and-a-half-or-so of snow that blanketed the northeast since I was last there, and then I'll collapse, and then I have work at 9 a.m. the next day! Woot.

Do you ever start talking and then you talk forever and then you realize what you were saying had absolutely no point whatsoever? ...yeah, cause that's about where I am for this post. But I wanted to check in, and say how deliciously lazy my break was.

And also...Dear College Gods: Please make this semester a bit less crazy than last semester. I can't afford Botox and these stress wrinkles are REALLY getting out of control. Hugs! Nanny.