Thursday, March 31, 2011

Still at it

I had a nanny come today so that I could see how things went. We have another person coming tomorrow.

I was able to wash and twist my hair. I didn't get any (or much) work done because I was trying to check her out. She got along great with the nannies at the park. She was stiff and not very interactive with TR.

TR tried really hard. I heard her talking to the woman and silence from the woman. The woman only speaks Spanish. I thought perhaps she was silent from a language barrier. I told her TR speaks and understands Spanish and still........ silence.

She took TR to the park and did not walk by the fridge. She has a 4 year old so I was surprised snacks weren't mention. When I got to the park her cousin gave me a list so the woman could pack snacks. TR had eaten everyone else food. I had come with snacks but she was full by then.

As I told Mr A., I am fully capable of ignoring my own children. I do not need to pay for them to be observed or just supervised. My office is home, so I can work and ignore them for free.

The last nanny was lazy and unreliable but she kept a game going. Baseball, kickball, putting puzzles together, etc. The nanny before that was Mary Poppins. The nanny who brought Mary Poppins to us brought another woman. That woman will come Friday. The "nanny finder" told me that if I liked Eva, I would like her.

At this point I am inclined to go with the nanny finder. She has not let me down.

Today's woman was recommended by a nanny at the park. I like the way that nanny interacts with her charge. She told me the girl has never had food from a jar because she loves to cook and makes everything. The nanny that came today is her cousin on two sides.

Our Mary Poppins walked in the door and took over. She told me to show her everything once and she would make it happen after that. She played and sang songs, she cooked, did light cleaning and even took TR's stuff home to mend if needed.

She fixed the Velcro on TR's shoe one day. Then she need gallbladder surgery and she was so wonderful I could not think of getting someone else. The next nanny was Mary Poppin's niece and while she was good with the kids, she was a bit lazy and unreliable. If I wasn't trying to work, I could have managed with her.

A few weeks ago, I told TR we were going to the park and she told me something was missing. I needed to figure out how to get her nanny back. Then she went in her imaginary pocket and told me she could help and she threw imaginary something and went poof.

She was very happy today to rejoin the nanny circle. I don't sit on the blankets with the nannies. Today she was able to get back in the clique and lay on the blankets.

The nanny tomorrow does not speak English either.

TR is a high energy, social kid so I need a nanny that will not be driven crazy by her. Today after spending about 30 minutes trying to talk and play with the lady, she came into my room and started playing with me.

I think our challenge is when you start out with Mary Poppins its hard to switch. I need someone who loves kids, not just someone who is just working for money.

I am all into whatever job I do. I had a client once who I called on a Saturday and she asked me what type of lawyer was I. She told me it was not a business day. She was 18/19 so I will give her a bit of leeway.

I typed a letter right then and mailed it certified. I dropped her as a client. Most folks are happy the lawyer (they aren't paying) is working for them on nights and weekends. I don't have a 9 to 5, get the paycheck mentality. I provide a service and if I am not going to do it well, I ain't doing it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

battle of the sexes

There are two sides to every coin.

I did not want a husband that wanted to be involved in home decor decisions. I picked paint colors and Mr. A and his friends painted. If I want a piece of furniture I tell him about it, buy it and he does the lifting.

I purchased a rug, laid it out and asked Mr. A what he thought. He said its fine. I wanted more but got nothing. Today I noticed that the rug is the same colors as our wall paint. I pointed that out to Mr A and he told me he noticed that wheen I laid it down.

I asked if that made him like it more. He said he did not feek strongly either way. He then listed all the things he has to think about and how a rug does not have a place on that list.

I'll leave him alone. I don't want him taking an interest in decor and trying to get involved when I am dressing home.

Football is back. Mr A has passing league on Saturday mornings and I will be taking TR to gymnastics. I think TR prefers her daddy to take her but I will have to do. Or we wiill take the class on a weekday.

My goal was to go to football after class but we ended up at De.bbie All.en Da.nce Academy (dada). We went in and TR did not want to leave. We did not see any dance classes but we saw folks in the Fame outfits. They start ballet at 4 so once again my ballet dream is deferred.

After dada we hit Lu.la Washin.gton. Their classes are $150 per month and it was packed. TR got to see the girls do their thing in pink leotards. They accept kids at 3:

I'd rather wait for dada. As i sat outside I heard jazz music playing. I looked to see where the music came from and spotted a man playing a trumpet while sitting in the lot.

Dada is cleary an artist haven, while lu.lu wash.ington seemed more like a place parents brought their kids.

As we drove away from dada I spotted a black actress. I called Mr A and he informed me that its a good thing he was not there because she is the person he has always had a crush on.

Mr A wants TR to do ballet at the gymnastics school. I told him if we did it at Dada we could be friends with that actress and her husband. He said no because he would need a hall pass for her. Haha!

Did I mention that I tool TR to check out a ballet class and saw david allen grier? His daughter was in the class for 2-4 year olds. I had to google that situation because I knew he had to be nearing 60. But yep, he is that old with a tot.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

influence

TR's best friend at the park calls me mommy and I answer. The girl wants to do everything TR does. Yesterday TR moved across the monkey bar ladder and Gracie wanted to do it to. Gracie couldn't so I held her as she did her best to hold on and use her hands to move across.

QT got on and did a pull up. My kids are strong. Parents and instructors at gymnastics always tell us that TR is good/naturally athletic. I sorta thought she was normal and the other kids may not have 1) as much physical play 2) a father that sits a 3 month old in his palm and has the baby balance. I need to find that link.

Anyway she may actually be good. Her gymnastics school teaches ballet, so she watches the girls dance and she loves the gymnasts that do the ribbon dances. I am not trying to raise a gymnast, especially since its a career that typically ends at 20 and requires so much dedication. If she likes it we will continue it but fun is primary.

Gracie (park friend) had not been successful with potty training. Her parents and nanny tried but she did not want to. Her nanny told me yesterday that Gracie is now potty trained. She said Gracie said she wanted to be like TR and use the potty. TR loves Gracie and Gracie loves TR. Her nanny says every day Gracie wants to go see TR. TR asks to play with Gracie whenever we are in town.

Mr A wants to take the kids to practice and if I take them to the park, they will be too tired to go with him. I think it might rain today so its looking like an indoor day or maybe a museum if I get it together early. Its 7:30 and the kids are asleep, yesterday they were up at 5 and we were done with breakfast by 8 am.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

swing

I had a productive day yesterday. It was my first day back as a nannyless mother.

Mr A prepared breakfast before he left. Meal time is always peaceful and easy so the day began calmly.
We played for a bit and then they played together, while I turned the tummy time mat into a tunnel.

I had the kids dressed early and planned to visit a children's museum. TR told me she wanted to stay home and not let the rain get her.

Both kids were napping by 2 and i got lots of work done. Mr A had dinner ready to be put in the oven, so I put it in at 2.
Lunch was the pizza TR and I made on Sunday. The day was smooth. I maintained sanity and got work done.

When Mr A arrived home, he attempted to turn an English word into a Spanish one and TR corrected him and told him the correct word and what it meant in English.

I got over my emotional issues immediately and decided to hire her a new nanny. Thr last nanny told me that TR speaks Spanish to her friend at the park. The little boy's grandmother takes care of him and she used to take care of TR, while the first nanny recovered from gallbladder surgery. The grandmother only speaks Spanish. The boy was our neighbor for over a year.

I used to hear her speaking Spanish to the nanny but she never spoke it to us. Perhaps she is missing her language immersion. So I will get back in the trenches of child care just so she can keep her language skills up.

I was enjoying money in my pocket, but I have actually worked less since the nanny started acting crazy. I did not get anything filed in March which will mean no checks in May. I only have 9 monhts in the year to earn at my peak, so a sorry nanny has a big impact on my bottom line.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bay Area and Back down

Mr A, our kiddies and myself arrived in the bay, Tuesday in the late afternoon. It was raining. We dropped the kids off at my moms and we went downtown to handle a little business, then back up to Lakeshore to Trader Joe's and for cheesesteaks.

The vibe in Oakland is soooooo different. This is the first time I actually felt the difference. I love the Bay, I love the rain. I miss the rain. I miss that relaxed feel that exists here.

Mr A was raised in L.A. and I was raised in the Bay. He likes the Bay style that I have and I like his L.A. swagger. Its hard to decide where to raise a family.

I used to be opposed to raising my family in the Bay Area because I thought they'd have more fun in L.A. and I was bored with the Bay. Now I can look at the area through new eyes, eyes that have been away nearly 6 years and I appreciate all that is here.

The weather is a factor. The kids can go to the park most every day in L.A. Here we'd be playing in the cold. Its not Alaska or Chicago cold but its not L.A. warm.

I think life is easier here. Not easier as in less expensive because its still California, but easier as in slower paced.

I have lots to consider.

$20

Mr A and I went to a movie after 10 p.m. last night. We left home about 9. Is starting your date at that time of night a booty call signal? :)

We saw Hall Pass. We laughed and laughed. Its certainly worth seeing again.

Mr A is usually our date coordinator. I was tasked with the responsibility last night and we ended up at the wrong theater. The correct location was at the other end of the shopping center so it wasn't a big deal. As we were walking I told Mr A that, such occurrences were the reason he organizes. He agreed.

When we got to the other theater, he asked for 2 tickets and the clerk told him $10. Mr A said, I want TWO tickets. Turns out we were there on $5 Tuesday. We got to concession stand and learned we could sign up for a rewards card and the snacks were drastically reduced. The total for snacks was under $10.

Of course I then told Mr A that I always save us money.

If we lived in the Bay we'd have to do Tuesday movies on the regular. We usually buy our tickets from Costco and with snacks we still end up paying close to $50 with snacks.

Being a man who wants to date women is pricey. I think that is a good thing. I'll make sure TR doesn't date men who can't or won't spend their money or time taking her out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All In

I prefer to do things I like because I tend go all in on things I volunteer for. If someone volunteers me for something there is a risk that I might do if half-way.

I think, don't know just think, that most people have a passion for something. Perhaps the passion is not acted upon but it exists. I tend to try to turn my passions into business.

Mr A said he saw a license plate that said something like, Remember who you wanted to be.

When I was 7 or 8, I wrote a business plan on note paper. I came across that paper in my twenties. I wanted to have an empire. I still want that. My list had hotels, a bed and breakfast, restaurants, publishing, law firm, and or course my Bel Aire home. The list was longer but that is what I remember.

I am hard wired to own a business. I only had one professional W-4 job and I started there trying to learn what I could to run my own business. I was the 6 year old that set up a store outside my bedroom door and tried to sell stuff to my family. I eventually moved my store to the front yard- hello world.

My mom turned over a book shelf with a pull down door that turned into a table. I ran my businesses out of that. Every toy I bought had a business potential. I bought a sticker shoppe and made and sold the stickers. I bought a gum ball machine and sold the gum balls. My grandfather used to bring me office supplies from work. One year he brought heavy card stock paper. I took the paper, some San.rio bags I had saved and made autograph books which I sold to kids in my 5th grade class.

My businesses continued and thoughts of turning my interests into business continued and continue.

I am the person who on seeing a skill someone has will get excited and encourage them to open a business. I will also support business owners.

I get excited about all the business opportunities motherhood presents. Perhaps that sounds bad but enjoying my children, allowing them to enjoy themselves and earning is #WINNING for me. I am currently all in on Play and how young children develop throug play experiences.

So kind readers, what are ya'll passionate about? Reading some of your blogs I know and have an idea of some of your passions. What gets your adrenaline going and makes you want to sleep fast and wake up early to put thoughts to action?

Monday, March 14, 2011

blast off

Today was day 1 in the trenches. Full time mommy to two young children and without a nanny. Mr A stayed home today. We're heading out of town so this week is my reflect and strategize time.

I feel like snacks are of the highest importance. Routine is next on my priority list.

I stayed up until 3 finishing some work. I didn't start until 9 so the work wasn't too hefty. I waited until the kiddies were. Nestled snug in their beds. I think this is doable. As long as I remain on top of my work, I won't have to be up in the wee hours every night.

The day was fun but its always easy when Mr A is home. My test will come when he is gone.

I am excited about my new adventure. My head is swirling with ideas and activities. I need to write the stuff down. I want to make homemade pizzas again. I want to hit up a craft store and do fun crafts at least once a week. We can do museums/children's activites one day a week, hit a mall, and play at the park everyday but museum day and our day of rest day. Maybe we can do a ballet class. I will still spend less than the nanny cost.

This may make it hard to live in L.A. If I had folks to visit during the day it would offer adult interaction.

I emailed the admissions director of our dream school. She responded wih exclamation points. If we get in now, we'll let her go a few days a week.

We're on the road again.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

starting over

Good thing I am flexible yet sturdy enough not to collapse.

I am mentally prepping to function without a nanny, I think I will have the housekeeper come weekly and a babysitter once a week. I will make sure all my appearances occur on the day the babysitter comes. I will go from there.

This will require more focus. With the nanny, I tend to work at a more leisurely pace. Now I will have to manage my time better.

Being a sahm, is a total mental shift. I think its less stressful when I mentally let go of all the stuff I have to get done and just enjoy the freedom childhood offers. Again to do this I will have to be efficient with my work. Saving XXXX each month is making it easier to face the challenge.

Mr A took TR to gymnastics yesterday. QT had a sneeze so I thought it best he rest at home.

Mr A said one of the instructors told him parents of under 3 year olds try to get their kid in the 3-5 year old class. The under 3's have to do the parent-tot class. When the school tells them their kid can't be in the class, the parents point out TR and ask what about her. They tell them she was an exception and they very rarely make an exception. The other exception is the Russian 2 year old. The school tests the kids prior to placing them.

I thought that was hillarious. The parents always remark, to each other and sometimes to us, how good TR is. She is good. She can follow multi step verbal directions and visual directions, she is a natural and Mr A has been doing all sorts of physical play with her since she was months old.

My parenting style is different. I barely notice what other children are doing. I certainly don't notice with an intent to get my own kid doing the same thing. I personally hope I would understand that some kids develop differently. I want my kids in the place they will have fun, not the place that will stroke my ego. I think my kiddies are fabulous as is. I don't need them to be better at something than another kid.

I'm the do your best parent.

I took a trip to an Anna's Linen. The store was called something else though. I bought a pretty pale blue coverlet. I debated between goldenrod, green and blue and went with blue in honor of Mr A. He likes blue.

I put it on the bed and it did what I have been trying to do in our bedroom. It cooled it and gave it an ahhhhhhh feel.
That was a good purchase. Now the challenge is to protect if from the children.

Friday, March 11, 2011

northwest

Mr A and I have expanded our housing search. After visiting a few open houses in our expanded area, I realized that there is a ~300k drop in price for homes south of certain major streets. Its amazing that similar homes on one side of are 1million plus and 700k on the other side.

I will state that on the 700k side there were apartments and my people standing outside with house slippers and head scarves in the late afternoon. It appears not having to see that from your window is worth 300k and up.

The kids and I spent a couple of days in central ca. My mom's aunt is in the hospital and my mother came because we thought she'd be having surgery. TR was looking for her aunt Grace. When we walked into my aunt's home TR went to her photo and asked where she was.

I let her peek in the hospital door and chat. She asked my aunt what had happened and if she wanted to come home.

We interviewed a nanny. I don't feel emotionally ready to take on a new nanny. We liked the candidate and QT liked her. TR was asleep. Maybe I will be able to move forward in the fall. I think we should utilize a babysitter and go out more often in the evenings.

I don't want my kiddies to have revolving folks in their lives.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bye Bye Nanny

I'm letting the nanny go.

Yesterday afternoon she informed me she had an appointment. She usually works 3 days a week so why she would schedule the appointment on a day she works is beyond me. She does not want this job.

TR is speaking Spanish so I hate to take that away.

My plan is to go to the park in the morning, then home for a nap, back to the park, then home for a nap. I'll see how that works for a month or two. I'll work during their naps. I can direct my funds to savings. Maybe I'll hire a new person in the fall.

When she told me that madness about her appointment, my mind went to all the work I had and the deadlines.

I asked her to come after her appointment. At 12:30 she sent a text telling me her son had an appointment too, so she would not come.

Its worse having an unreliable nanny than no nanny at all. I'm paying her and I can't make money because I can't work on a schedule. I don't know why she didn't quit.

The nannies are going to the zoo tomorrow so I will probably join.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Milk

After I had TR a nurse pulled me aside and told me that she could tell that I cared about my weight. She said the doctors advise moms of preemies to supplement breast milk with formula so the babies have more calories.

She told me preemies had higher rates of obesity as children and adults because moms followed this advice and it feels good to see your preemie packing on the weight. She said those fat calories stay in the cells and its hard for the kids to trim down. She told me she could tell by my size that I would probably attempt to have a fit child.

I was not offended. I would not want to predispose my kid to obesity and give her a lifetime weight struggle.

My mother told me the same thing years ago. She said she noticed formula fed babies got fat and she blamed the fat in the formula. She used formula for me and said she took me off of it because of too much weight gain. I know fat babies are in but I don't know if they were in, in the mid 70's.........

So I mixed breast milk with the formula as recommended for a week or so and then I got tired of pumping, storing, mixing and reheating. The milk in my breasts was fresh and instant, the strategy of the doctors was adding multiple steps to a one step process.

So I stopped supplementing my milk and breast fed.

While she was in NICU, they were not letting me feed her. One day while holding her she immediately put her head to my breast and tried to get milk. She smelled the milk and knew right where to get it. She was at the preemie age where she wasn't supposed to know how to latch or suck. Being a nervous new mom, I didn't give her milk. A nurse later helped me position her so she could drink. The other nurses wanted the milk measured so they could chart it.

I know some folks think the formula companies are feeding doctors and that is why they push formula. I don't know. I think the formula added about 2 calories per ounce and maybe they could have advised me to feed her more often.

There was one mom and the nurses tested her cold milk and told her that she needed to supplment or eat more because her milk had less than XX calories.

Turns out the fat content in cold breast milk sinks to the bottom and stays there even when you shake it. I heard the head nurse fussing at the other nurse for using cold milk to sample.

Even after the nurses and doctor explained the mistake to the mom and told her, her milk had sufficient calories, she lost confidence in her own breast milk. It was awful to see.

Did I mention Mr A had to turn into the angry black man to get TR released? She was scheduled for release and a nurse told us, they didn't think I knew how to feed the baby a full bottle.

I was sitting there near tears. In TR's unit, all (the 4) the babies were set to go home that week. All but one of the babies had moms/dads who were there all day every day. I watched as the nurses said there was something wrong with all but the baby whose mom never came. I watched as they ordered antibiotics because they suspected something was wrong.

The baby whose mother never came, didn't eat and barely woke up but he was sent home to a mother who never came while they said they didn't think I could feed the baby a full bottle.

Mr A went and had a private conference with the doctor. He expressed his frustration with the nurses because when TR was awake and crying they would not feed her. They would wake her from sleep and try to feed her. They wanted to keep her on a schedule despite her never adopting that schedule.

TR started out as a grazer and still is.

We started out at a learning curve but we learned fast. Its good to listen to parental instincts. I liked that hospital, my doctors and most of the nurses. I liked it so much I had QT there too. But I knew that my philosphies might differ from the control medicine likes to maintain. Therefore I stayed in the hospital only 1 day with QT.

That one day felt like 1 week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

swamp land

I want to post. I'd love to publish the post i have been trying to post since Thursday but the today's keep turning into yesterday and editing is growing.

I do not have time to post and I do not have additional time to edit.

I am digging my way from under a pile of work that kept piling up during the week. I see light!

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby on the way

The nanny finally told me she was preggers.

I understand why employers discriminate against fertile women. Now she can't pick up TR, she has taken days off because she is sick and I expect more off days in the future. Then there is delivery and the time she is gone.

I personally don't want to be the reason someone leaves their infant in the care of others, so for me its a hard position to be in. Of course I don't want to be the reason a person's infant has a mother without income either. I need an elderly woman or a manny.

Mr A asked me if I was psychic because I've been saying she is pregnant. I'm not psychic, but I have been pregnant and I know I was not the best employee. In fact if I had not been my own employer I might have fired myself.

There is a little boy at the park that she used to take care of, prior to having her first child. These nanny's get recycled. I actually appreciate that because the all the nanny's watch all the kids and if we need to change, it will probably be a nanny they know.

Our last nanny is the aunt of the current nanny. The last nanny had been unemployed a day when we got her. Her charge started school so she was free. So she was back at the park one day after she had left.

TR's first "nanny" was a childhood friend of Mr A. She took TR to the park and the nanny's nearly interrogated her. They asked her where she got TR from because they knew both Mr A and me and had never seen her. That is when I knew I was going to go with the park nannies.

I appreciated their interest and observation. I like nosey people when they use their nosey to maintain safety.

Its hard to get back into the swing of work. Its Thursday and I have not done focused work since last week.

I'm going to get QT dressed and walk him to the park.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lashes

Sometimes people need to lash out. It probably has little to do with the target of the lashes and more to do with their own frustrations. Sometimes people want and try to be insulting. A grown person who needs to be insulting is worthy of pity not anger. It must be hard to be
in certain situations. People do what they can to ease their pain.

/////

I went to pediatrician today and discovered the kids appointment was yesterday.
On the way to the appointment I swerved to avoid a hard brake that was required not to hit a car. I overcorrected
and the car sorta rocked. TR asked me what happened. I told her and she said, "you have to watch out mommy". I said what and she repeated her statement. Then I repeated what she said to her. I have no idea where
she picked that up.

///

Prior to the doctor we went to Zimmer Museum. It was fun! I am getting my money from our Museum Membership. They seemed to like the library best.

///

I had been trying to figure out the address of the home we checked out. Today the realtor called and gave me the addy.

///

Now it's raining. I wonder if the nanny will call in.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

park day

The nanny called in last night and I told her not to come until Friday. I really could do without a nanny but Mr A thinks the kids 1) benefit from non-parental supervision. I do notice that when I am at the park she plays differently than when I just observe. 2) That when the nanny doesn't come I am stressed and I then stress him.

One of the nanny's gave me her number on the low when she found our nanny was gone AGAiN. Mr A called another nanny last night to set up an interview. I would prefer a nanny who the kids already know. I hope our nanny quits so I don't have to let her go.

We stayed at the park until all the little kids had gone. There was a girl about 8 that TRr seemed to know. They were playing together. When it was time to leave TR did not want to stop playing with the girl. She went to tinkle and when we returned her friend was gone. I had no idea who the little girl had come with. TR was whining that her friend was gone.
I was looking all around because the girl was gone so fast.

I asked her who the girl came with and she pointed toward a silver benz truck that was moving and said, "that's her daddy:" I looked and saw the Asian man who had been sitting nearby. I saw the little girl in the front seat.

I know she is very observant but I don't know the cars people drive, why does she? I am going to ask her nanny why TR knows that car. I saw one of the other nanny's and her 2.5 year old charge talking to the girl so I figured they knew her too. Her name was sorta hard but TR said it easily so I am sure they play often.

I like it when older kids play with little kids. I think both younger and older kids benefit.

I had to fight to get QT away from the park. He had a shovel and a bucket and was having fun putting sand inthe bucket.

I bugs me that so many parks are getting rid of sand and placing mats down? Sand helps develop a lot of skills.
Why is sand the enemy?