Monday, January 13, 2014

How Has It Been a Year??

I realized this last week that it's been a whole year since my last post! How is that possible? I've probably written out a dozen or more entries in my mind for nannylogs in the meantime, but for one reason or another, haven't made it to the page!

AND THEN I tried to log on to poke around and discovered I changed my password from my tried-and-true one to some mystery what-the-heck-could-it-possibly-be one 8 months ago! (Allegedly.)

I never could remember what I changed it to. So I changed it yet again, and here we go!

"The babies" are now four. FOUR. The same age I think Buddy was when I started this blog! There's talk of part-time preschool this fall for them, like Buddy attended, if only to get them used to a classroom and classmates before kindergarten the following year. I know they're growing up and getting bigger, but I'm not yet to terms with the fact that I'll soon have to share them...

And Buddy--- he's SEVEN. And in first grade where he continually kicks butt and takes names. He's also started basketball in a rec league and just had his first game! I missed it, but his mother noted that he played well, and guarded his guy very well, and the game (being many of the players' first) was "too cute". I hope to catch one soon! He's so excited about playing!

Last year was horrible for me personally, but these crazy kids always have a way of cheering me up! It was a year of All Things Karate for all of them (Ninja Turtles, Kung Fu Panda-- movies and series, Karate Kid, NinjaGo, you name it), Barbie and "all things pink" obsession for Sissy, Brother further developing his "ladies man" skills, and Buddy's mastery of school and social endeavors that has been a blast to witness for me.

I'm excited to get this page going consistently again to continue to document it!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do I Have a Say in This?

Once upon a time, a slightly-frazzled nanny drove the twins home from a disastrous, brief trip to the  neighborhood park. It was disastrous because of its brevity. And its brevity was the result of a certain, unnamed three-year-old boy who, after being told not to slide down a certain slide because of a LAKE at its end, did exactly the opposite. And was soaked. And humbled to his core.

I'm serious. There were approximately 24 seconds between the end of my warning and the sound of the splash.

Anyway. As I drove the humbled boy and his irritated twin sister home, we pointed out all the homes for sale in the neighborhood.

"That one is for you, Miss Devyn! Live there!" They told me.

"That's a nice one." I agreed. "But maybe a little big. I don't need an upstairs and a downstairs for my house."

"Your kids do!" Brother insisted.

"I don't have any kids." I told them. "No husband, no kids. I don't need all those rooms for just me!"

All fell silent for a moment in the backseat.

"Miss Demmyn, you need to get some kids." Sister informed me.

"One day--" I began.

"No," Sister cut me off in a serious tone, "Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will get you some kids. What kind do you want?"


Brother suddenly sat forward, eyes wide, "I KNOW! I will go with Sis and we will get all the old babies people don't need anymore and give them to you to have!"

"Old babies? Like dolls?" I asked.

He gave me a withering look, like poor, slow adults. Don't slow me down on this. "No, Miss Demmyn. Me and Sis will go to the houses, and there are real babies at the houses that you can have. And we will get them and put all of them in a big box for you."

Considering it my duty to steer the children under my care AWAY from criminal activity, I explained that all babies have moms and dads that they need to stay with, and we don't mess with other people's babies.

There was a lengthy pause.

"Well." Sis finally said, "Hurry up then and have some."

 Sorry I'm taking too long for your liking, small fry. ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just a Walk

What's a nanny to do with 3 kids under the age of 6 plus a pup on a BEAUTIFUL day when the backyard just won't do?

Well, take them on a walk, of course!

We've done it a million times. They know the drill. We walk. We pick up interesting bugs and leaves and sticks. We terrorize our siblings while staying close to Devyn. We discuss for the 857 millionth time when it's ok to cross a street and when it's not. They've got it down.

So as I'm commanding bathroom attempts from the little ones, locating shoes, and attaching an overexcited boxer pup to his leash, I'm picturing a (relatively) leisurely late afternoon stroll around the neighborhood...


My hopes were almost immediately dashed, of course, with the freakishly energetic dog pulling with all his might against the small, old school leash, which as luck would have it, was wrapped around my unsuspecting, slightly weaker wrists. This necessitated me walking at a 45 degree angle for the duration of the walk, with the pup's exertion and mighty pull at the other end of the leash keeping me from toppling to the ground in certain humiliation.

The boys, meanwhile, were both in a highly competitive fancy and were walking at greater and greater speeds so as to pass the other and be "first place" until they were all but running down the road. No plea nor threat nor offer of money and candy would get them to abandon their pursuits of victory and stay near me.

Sis, on the other hand, had chosen fashion over utility and insisted on wearing her plastic Disney princess dress-up heels as her footwear of choice on our trek. After a lengthy debate, I had insisted she bring "back up shoes" of a more sturdy variety on the walk as well, as I was certain the heels would be short-lived. So, outfitted in her own choosings, she clop-clop-clopped behind 45 degree me and the pup, clutching her sneakers and refusing on principle to admit that Miss Devyn was right and heels are from Satan.

We got nearly to the neighborhood pool (slightly less than half a mile, maybe) before Sis could bear the heels no further and wanted to switch out for her sneakers, the boys had fallen victim to the "I WILL CALL YOUR FATHER IF YOU DON'T STOP NOW!" threat I resorted to and stopped half-heartedly at a corner, and my hand was nothing more than a purple and white striped bloodless appendage with a leash wrapped tightly around it.

The pup was still having a large time though.

After Sis's shoes were changed, I announced we were going to walk back in the direction of the house. Since, ya know, pediatric listening ears and adult sanity were running low.

So... Sis marched obediently toward the homestead, clutching her heels and on a mission. Brother took off giggling mischievously around the corner and into oblivion, intent on keeping "first place" and my nerves frazzled. And Buddy, well Buddy inexplicably wrapped himself around the stop sign and began licking it, a la A Christmas Story, for absolutely no logical reason in the world. And the pup, energized anew with All The Agendas, put me instantaneously and painfully back in my 45 degree stance, somehow slicing my hand with the leash in the world's most epic leash-burn. Blood included.

Moral of the story: your mom was right when you were little... If you leave the backyard, it's ridiculously dangerous.

For the nanny too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Where Do You Live?"

There is a little BYOB (bring your own bottle) water store just over the lake bridge from my boss's house where we fill our giant water bottles for the water dispenser in the kitchen.

I know what you're going to say "So picky... WE just drink OUR water from the TAP..." And to you I say, well done, you win, here's your cookie, but I bet if you tasted the unsettling water that comes to the house from the bowels of the murky, smelly lake nearby you would join me at the water store.

The older man who runs the water store with his daughter is adorable, and sweet, and comes to get the bottles straight from your car when you pull up and then bring them back to you, full. Which is a great service when you're talking about three giant, full bottles, one opinionated 6 year old, two "let's see who can make Devyn's heart stop first" 2 1/2 year olds, and a nanny who unfortunately only possesses two hands and dwindling sanity.

Today, we had our water store errand and, since Mr Water Guy was not as busy as usual, we stood chatting by my car after he brought back our full bottles. We formally introduced ourselves to each other (where I was slightly thrown off by his name NOT actually being Mr Water Guy) and exchanged a few pleasantries while the twins watched the exchange out the open window from their carseats. (Buddy was at school).

"Where 'bouts are y'all from?" He asked kindly.

I gave him the name of our town.

"Oh! Just over the bridge," He remarked conversationally.

"HEY! Hey GUY!!" we heard from inside my car, and we both stooped over to peer through the open, backseat window. We were met by Brother's scowling face. (And when I say "scowling", I mean I'm surprised the flesh didn't melt off Mr Water Guy's unsuspecting face.)

"Yes?" He asked Brother grandfatherly.

Still scowling angrily, Brother answered loudly and defiantly, "Where do I live? I come from AMERICA!!"

The South: producing staunch patriots for... a helluva long time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last-Minute School Supplies

August 23, 2012

Buddy's Kindergarten Meet the Teacher Night is tonight, and his school has requested that all school supplies be dropped off tonight as well. School starts Monday.

It's not as if these dates were sprung suddenly on us... But for one reason or another, this morning dawned and Buddy was still missing his required 2 regular-sized containers of Wet Ones hand wipes, and 3 folders, which were to be plastic, pocketed, bradded, and one each of yellow, red, and green.

Picky punks.

Mom-of-the-Kids, having already scoured Walmart with Buddy in tow looking for the required folders, asked me to check out Staples to gather the last few items today. So off we went.

Upon entering the store, I was approached by a male employee who asked if he could help us find our items.

"Sure dude." I said without hesitation, handing over the list.

It was all downhill from there.

Wet Ones? Male employee: "Oh! Here they are! Perfect size too!" (author's note: they were Lysol bathroom/kitchen wipes. 15 count. In a miniature travel bag.)

Yellow plastic, pocketed, bradded folder: "We don't have plastic, pocketed folders, unfortunately. But here's one with Batman!" (author's note: ?????)

Red plastic, pocketed, bradded folder: "Here's a purple project folder! I bet that'll work!" (author's note: no, it won't. And I'm feeling concerned for your reading and comprehension ability, sir.)

Green plastic, pocketed, bradded folder: "well, you can look, but I haven't seen any..." (author's note: good call. I believe I SHALL walk away now, if you'll kindly return my list and leave me alone.)

After a few minutes of leading the three kids around in circles, a female employee approached us and asked if she could assist. Not wanting to surrender my list again should this employee prove as "helpful" as the last, I read off our missing items to her, doubtfully.

Within minutes, our travel-size baggie of Lysol bathroom/kitchen wipes were replaced by the correct 2 containers of Wet Ones for hands, and she had directed us to the folder Mecca, an aisle which the previous employee hadn't thought of at all, where she helped us in quickly acquiring our red and green folders (plastic, pocketed, with brads). Our yellow version, it turns out, is a hot commodity this year, and is sold out almost everywhere in this area. So I learned from the harried, twitching mothers who walked by muttering to themselves as they searched desperately, "brads... Yellow... Pockets... Has to be plastic... Brads... dammit... Yellow..."

So. We bought the yellow one in paper and left.

And I double-dog dare the teacher to say its unacceptable.

Morals of the story:
1) The Woman will be of help. The Man is wondering when his next break is.
2) Teachers are picky. And last minute shopping sucks.
3) Yellow, plastic, pocketed folders with brads are brought to you direct from Satan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

It was a cool summer day here in north Texas. And by cool, I mean the TEXAN definition of cool for summer: which falls in the unheard-of low-80's.

That being said, I declared it a "park day", packed the kids and the pup in the car, and hit the road. We located a cool little dog/people park less than 10 miles away, parked, and made our way to the enclosed area for dogs so I could tire the energetic pup out first.

 Ranger-the-pup was a big talker the whole way to the enclosed dog park: barking in his lowest, toughest register and straining against the leash as if to say to the other dogs watching our approach "if only this girl weren't holding me back...! You'd be TOAST...!"

I undid his leash and set him free once inside as the kids and I made our way to a shaded picnic table to set up camp. Ranger relished the unleashed freedom and immediately took a few joyous victory laps at full-speed around the perimeter, ears flapping and tongue dangling out of his open mouth.

And then THEY came.

His excitement-filled laps around the dog park turned to petrified, run-for-your-life terror as he suddenly realized he was being pursued by the dogs he had, only moments before, been intent on dominating. And, being a dog park novice, how was he to know that they only wanted to play? Perhaps do some no-strings-attached sniffing? In his puppy eyes, certain death by ALL THE DOGS BEHIND HIM was nigh. The time to have his barking bluff called, to (as they say) "nut up or shut up" was at hand, and Ranger--- well, I have never seen that dog reach those speeds before.

It was in that moment that he almost completely took out me and the kids in utter terror.

So although he was never in danger, and the herd of dogs (who DID eventually catch up) only wanted to say hi and play with the new guy, from that moment on he did not trust the situation OR the group of stalker-dogs, and stayed within a 30 foot radius of our group for the rest of our time there. And he spent most of it under the table, eyeing the other dogs warily.

It was an auspicious introduction to the world of dog parks for him, definitely.

Afterward, we traipsed across a grassy area to a playground to let the human children frolic. It amazed me to see how much BETTER they all are at playground-ish things than last time I took them. Given, last time was last spring, when the twins were around 18 months old and needed constant individual adult monitoring as they navigated the play equipment.

So they wouldn't, you know, step off a 2-story ledge.

This time, all three kids let it be known to me that THIS TOWER and it's slide were Buddy's, this OTHER TOWER and slide were Brother and Sister's, and Devyn.... well Devyn, she can just sit at the bench with Ranger if she wants... And they'd tell me if they needed me.

Just as I was thinking how sad it was not to be necessary to their playground adventures anymore, all three kids called down to me to come up to the towers with them, see the view, try the slides, and play "explorers on a pirate ship" with them.

So although I may not be necessary for their playground safety purposes as much as before, I'm still wanted for the games and fun part.

I can live with that.

And the icing on the cake after the fun, park day? All three kids AND the pup napped without a fight when they got home. Amen to THAT.