1.25.2012

I now can say "ball" in German!

(For the record, it's pronounced "ball," with a little "eh" at the end. I have no idea how to spell it in German, but I can say it!)

So: I am 1.5 weeks into nannying for Clara, and I've got to say, it's been a really cool experience. She babbles mostly in German, but she's picking up words in English here and there, and it's so amazing to me that she's learning them FROM me! We still communicate a lot via sign language, and I'm using that as much as I can while speaking to her solely in English. (Though yes, I have picked up a few basic German words as well!)

She's a really sweet girl. She has trouble when I first get there in the mornings, because she knows her mom is going to leave. But after initial tears, she LOVES to snuggle up and read books, go for walks, play with her puppies (two white curly dogs that I honestly can't tell apart even after 1.5 weeks), and color.

She seems to understand about 1/4 of what I'm saying when I direct her to do something. I gotta say, though, girlfriend knows how to clean up, and she does it well! After we're done playing, I'll sign and say, "time to clean up, Clara!" and then I'll sing the Barney clean up song (I apologize if that song is now in your head. It's been in mine for the past week in a half.) And she helps pick up -- it's great.

In addition to nannying for Clara, I have a new standing babysitting job on Saturday nights. It's one little girl who just turned two, and who is trilingual. TRILINGUAL. As in, she speaks damn fluently in THREE LANGUAGES.

I'll pause for a minute while all the rest of us non-trilingual people feel bad about ourselves.

But yeah. This little girl speaks German with her dad, Swedish with her mom, and English with her daycare and me. She's able to switch back and forth completely easily depending on who she's talking to. It's incredible, and I'm picking up words from her too...the only problem is I don't know whether they're in German or in Swedish!

I have to say, this is an entirely new experience for me -- working with foreign-born families. It means different cultures, different interpretations, different routines. But I'm really enjoying it so far :)

[EXHALE.]

One question I have for any of you in the greater Boston area -- do any of you attend classes at Isis? Clara does once a week, and I wanted to hear what others thought of it.

1.14.2012

My hormone levels are back to normal!

That sigh of relief you hear? That's me. I NO LONGER FEEL LIKE I HAVE BUBBLES OF ESTROGEN PING-PONGING AROUND INSIDE MY BRAIN! THANK YOU JEEBUS (AND MY THERAPIST!).

So.

Last Tuesday was...rough. Really rough. But as you guys said, the next day would be better. And it was — a lot. And Friday's therapy session kicked ass and took names and reminded me why I need to name my firstborn daughter after my psychologist. People like the name Nicole, right?

(Just kidding. You guys know I've had my baby names picked out for, like, a trillion years. And I'm not budging on them. Baby daddy ain't got no say, y'all.)

So since I left this completely unresolved, I thought I'd update on my job situation! Yahoo! JOBS! Or lack thereof! Please don't remind my roommate I owe her a large rent check in a week that I will be unable to pay!

AKA...yeah, I left my sweet Pius :( You guys, I'm so sad. His mom has texted me a few pictures of him since then and each one makes me about cry. I miss my little guy. I miss his chubby cheeks, his loooong legs (when I wore him in the Moby his feet came down to my knees), and his big smile. I miss how he fell asleep heavy in my arms and just completely sunk into me. I know it was no longer a good work environment...but I'm having a hard time moving on from this one.

I've been looking for jobs for a few weeks now, but haven't really been able to find anything that feels "right" and fits with my class hours/pays enough. I've taken a job for a 17-month-old girl named Clara, who is German and doesn't speak a word of English, but who is really sweet. I start with them on Monday, and I really don't know how I feel about it. I just know I need to be able to pay rent this month.

This whole being an adult thing is hard sometimes, yeah?

(Please know I use the term "adult" very, VERY loosely.)

But, because my Prozac seems to be helping tonight, here are good things in my life:
1) I have a job.
2) I have my best friend living upstairs. She's my sanity. I should name my daughter after HER. (Oh wait! I kind of am!)
3) There's a sweet funny boy named Andy who's been hanging around my life lately.
4) I have a great therapist.
5) I'm warm, safe, dry, full, and so loved and supported.

See? There are good things. And those good things help balance out the crazy hormone-driven breakdowns and the anxiety resulting from having to take a really low-paying job out of desperation. Because despite those breakdowns and that anxiety, I still have each of those five things listed above. And that's more than enough.

(I don't want to give the impression that I'm dreading this job I've taken. Clara is lovely, and I adore her parents. It's just the pay is low and the language barriers between all of us can be tricky. Anybody want to teach me German?)

1.10.2012

My hormones are bouncing out my eardrums.

(I apologize in advance for the vagueness of this post...I just kind of need to write.)

You know when you're thisclose to bursting into tears, have a huge lump in your throat, are so anxious you feel nauseated and can't eat, and are just about so depressed you can't function? Hi, you guys, c'est moi right now.

It ain't pretty.

My best friend and my therapist (two different people, btw) have both made the very valid observation that I shy away from my feelings. I'm scared of them. I don't like facing them. (Who does?) And, instead, I resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms (shoutout to the eating disorder!) and/or complete and total freak-outs.

Today the latter happened. I found myself in tears in a coffee shop frantically trying to un-say all the awful things I had just said to my best friend. I got panicked and paranoid and she, who has done absolutely nothing wrong, got the brunt of it. I think it's a combination of anxiety (hi, I'm unemployed), nervousness (I start school next week, my last semester), anxiety and nervousness (I had a job interview tonight), etc. But instead I hurt my sweet friend and for that I just feel awful.

I feel like there's a time about every month where I just lose my shit. Maybe it's my period, yeah, but I'm most inclined to think I'm just damn good at cooping feelings up inside me til I explode. And that's not fair to me or my best friend.

I've got faults. Big ones. I'm an insanely jealous person. I don't deal with my feelings well (another shoutout to the eating disorder). I know I should talk through and write through and process everything but to be completely honest, all I really want to do is puke my brains out so that I can become a bit more numb.

But I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to open up a microsoft word document on my computer, and just write until I (hopefully) feel better.

To Cait: Instead of vomiting, I'm going to word vomit. #wegottalaugh.

P.S. I may or may not be counting down the hours til I see my therapist on Friday.

1.01.2012

New Years 2012

Is this really the fifth time I've done this? Seriously? Is my blog THAT old? (Am I that old?!!)

2011
2010
2009
2008

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Honestly, this one stumped me. I have no idea. YES I AM BORING. Next!

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

This is the same answer every year — I don't do new year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I don't think so. Thank you, universe.

5. What countries did you visit?

None! (Seriously, can you stand the excitement here?)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

I typically say more time to read. But I've been doing really well guarding my reading time lately, so for 2012, I'll say...more time volunteering and giving back.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I'm a bad friend and can't remember the exact date, but meeting Cait is just about the best thing ever. I also loved going to MIchigan with my family.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Honestly, all the love I poured into caring for Pius. He's my sweet angel boy.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not putting myself first when I needed to.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I'm certainly not as healthy as I'd like to be. But I'm working on that! See, people, just call me Pollyanna on Prozac. (Same answer from last year!)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I bought a few Shel Silverstein books really cheap. I'm pretty psyched about that, not going to lie. (Runny Babbit, anyone?)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Yours did. Let's party!!!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

[insert name of person HERE]

14. Where did most of your money go?

1) rent in New England (OOF)
2) DreamSchool!
3) laundry (DOUBLE OOF)

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

CAIT MOVED TO BOSTON!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Florence + The Machine's Dog Days Are Over. Cause y'all, I SURVIVED. (I put that answer last year, and it's still applicable. That, and Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes' Home.)

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

Happier. Without question.

b) thinner or fatter?

Thinner. But...not for good reasons.

c) richer or poorer?

POORER OH HI BANK ACCOUNT WITH A BALANCE IN THE DOUBLE DIGITS!

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

More adventuring!

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

Wasted time doing nothing on the computer.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

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

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Yup. With my therapist and my best friend in the entire world.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

My parents will be SO PROUD — Downton Abbey. Has anyone else seen it???

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

I don't think so.

24. What was the best book you read?

Oh, my god, I couldn't even pick. Seriously. It would be painful for me to even try.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I just listen to what Cait and my roommates tell me to listen to. I like their stuff.

26. What did you want and get?

Lots of laughter.

27. What did you want and not get?

Man, the College Tuition Fairy didn't show up to stuff thousands of dollars beneath my pillow. Sigh.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Uh. Harry Potter 7.2. Did you even have to ask.

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

I turned 22, and is it completely lame that I can't remember? OH WAIT — I was at work in the admission office. I'm pretty sure that was the day we had to pull and refile 7,000 files. WAS FUN.

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

Hmmm. Less homework! :)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

One word, and y'all, you are absolutely allowed to judge me: JEGGINGS.

32. What kept you sane?

Cait, my therapist, my family, and Prozac.

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

Uh. You. Obvs.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Here's my biggest wish for 2012: making gay marriage legal EVERYWHERE. Can you say rainbow parties everyone?!?!

35. Who did you miss?

It was really hard being away from my family so much.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Cait. Without question. Followed by my therapist.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Sometimes I have to say NO. And that I'm worth prioritizing myself.

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

The dog days are over!

THE END. Oof. Every year I forget how long this darn thing is. If you made it all the way through, allow me to give you a big kiss. Except not my parents. Because, uh, ew.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2012 for us all!

(AHEM Cait/others. Do this survey too. Please.)