nana's world

{June 25, 2011}   babysitting bliss

There is a world of change in a toddler in just a couple of months.  I have been away from Annie Pie and Katy Bug for all of two months, but tonight, I’m back!  I was lucky enough to have a chance to babysit these angels.  When I left, we were all best friends.  Tonight, the girls backed up a little and watched for a bit before jumping in to play.  They seem so much more grown up!  More words, running faster and more confidently, going up the stairs with ease.  We had so much fun taking baths, reading stories, playing with baby dolls.  I got some sweet little hugs at the end of the night to reward me for all my playing :).  As they sleep peacefully I get to catch up on some writing and imagine what my own daughter is doing hundreds of miles away visiting family.  She’s so much more grown up too.  Confident, beautiful, resourceful, and strong.  I’m so proud of all the little girls, and boys, that I am blessed to see grow up.

blueberry picking with my kiddo

{June 22, 2011}   Our First First!

We have had our first FIRST!  Maddie Pie rolled over!  Not with me, but last night with mom and dad.  We are very excited.  Miss Sunshine spend most of her floor time yesterday on her side playing with toys, so I think she will probably follow suit soon.  Today is so nice, it’s raining, finally.  We have been in somewhat of a drought, so it is wonderful to have some rain!  There are tons of dark clouds outside so the house is darker, the girls are napping peacefully, my daughter is with her friends, the dogs are asleep, and I am writing.  All is right with our world.

{June 8, 2011}   Another New Beginning

I’ve spent a month now at my new position, starting all over again.  Another tearful goodbye to an adorable set of twins that I hope to babysit soon.  Transition is always hard, not just for us as nannies but for all parties involved.  The kids, the parents, and we all feel it.  I was thinking about this particular transition, and how many kids were affected.  The nanny that took my place left kids she cared for.  The twins that I cared for, who then became new charges for her.  The new babies I now take care of, who had to transition from being home with their mom.  And my own daughter, who gets a mom around the house more because i cut my hours and found a job closer to home.   Thankfully my sweet little charges were blessed with a great nanny who hung in there and loves and enjoys them as much as i do.  Thanks to modern technology, their new nanny and i stay in touch via text and facebook, sending comments and pictures back and forth.  Nothing short of a lifeline for a nanny that had to walk away from two little girls she spent 50 to 60 hours a week with.  I was so blessed to work for such a wonderful family that they allow me to stay in touch with them and their family.  No matter how much the nanny loves the family she works and cares for, it is ultimately up to the family whether or not they stay in touch after a job ends.  Again, thankfully, I have always been blessed with families that were sad as i was to end the job, and they were generous and caring enough to allow us to all stay in touch.  Some of the kids I’ve had to leave moved across the country, such as the triplet boys I spent 14 months with.  We stay in touch, calling and sending pictures and videos back and forth.  And then there are the ones that live close by and I get to see as often as time and schedules allow, and as often as mom and dad need a weekend getaway.  Soon I will have a sweet brother and sister for a weekend that are now 3 and 5.  I started with them when they were 2 and 4 months old.

My newest charges are a precious set of twin baby girls.  We have just finished our first month together.  At 3 months old, they were sleeping ALL the time.  I had forgotten how much new babies sleep!  The first few weeks were spent getting to know their patterns, the house, the area, and of course, my work dogs.  Now they are a little older and already changing and growing so much!  They still sleep quite a bit, but we are getting more and more awake time to be down on the floor playing.  Miss Sunshine grabs at toys now and Maddie Pie loves to coo at herself in the mirror.  Both are getting better and better and holding their heads up during tummy time and  they love to look at me and “talk”.  They really enjoy being read to and sung to.  Now that we have had some time to get used to each other and establish some good healthy nap patterns, I will make some goals for us and set up our bulletin board.  Although transition is a challenge, I am confident that the strong, caring adults involved will be able to bring the kiddos through smoothly.  And I am very excited about the days ahead 🙂

{November 4, 2010}   ew…

So today was a pretty crazy day.  It was one of those days that make one thankful to start over the next day.  Not terrible necessarily but definately not great.  It started with a drizzly cold rain as the twins and i set out for storytime.  The girls were fussy and we were running late anyway so when we arrived storytime was about halfway over.  No close parking was available, meaning we had to park across the street.  On a typically DRY day this is a rather nice little walk for us.  As it was, I decided a jaunt in the rain was not on the list of things we wanted to do today.  I pulled into a handicapped spot for a SECOND only and dropped my books in the outside drop right there on the curb.  I was less sure about the movies.  Considering that i might get in trouble or worse, be responsible if they were damaged, I asked a lady going into the library to drop them for me.  she smiled, took them ever so nicely, and went in.  I called to verify that they were deposited and guess what.  They were not.  I then proceeded to park across the street, go into the building, and retrieve the movies from the “nice lady” and returned them myself.  Thats what I get for being lazy!  I guess she didnt understand me…. Now the girls did incidently enjoy the brisk little slightly drizzly walk accompanied by every rainy day song i knew, so that part turned out nice. 

Upon reaching home I discovered Miss Annie Pie had a complete blowout that covered her from her diaper to her socks, all inside of her pants.  As I hurry to get her cleaned up before any real damage is done i hear little pats of bare hands on a wooden floor.  Its Katy Bug, crawling her way to freedom and new BREAKABLE treasures.  In my hurry to attend to the mess at hand, I forgot to put the gate back up.  I can’t let her go into that room unattended, and i cant leave Annie Pie on the changing table.  Feet still in the air, and still messy, i take annie pie in both of my hands and scoot katy bug with my feet, thankful that babies slide nicely on polished wood floors.  At last we were able to finish up and conclude the chaos with cuddles and hugs.  And thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.  🙂

{November 2, 2010}   WELCOME NOVEMBER!

Finally!  Here in Texas the summers are so long that fall is a welcome arrival.  I’m looking forward to the baking, crafting, and themes we can do with the kids, big and small, this season.  The babies, toddlers, and preschoolers I care for love all of the creative projects and fun that we have just as much as my teenage daughter and her friends!  I didnt check in much for October, but trips to the Halloween events at the zoo were among the most popular things we did.  Also fun was the pumpkin patch, special Halloween themed photographs, and decorating everwhere with pumpkins, real and otherwise.  Our household has also begun Christmas shopping and I would like to begin crafting some ornaments and decorations as time allows.  My plan is to make and craft many if not most of our gifts this year.  Of course my main idea in anything I do is to be thrifty, but more than that i want things to be meaningful.  Another thing i love to do at Christmas is ornament exchange.  This can often be less costly than a gift exchange between friends and starting this early means I can take my time to find or make something that will be special and meaningful to the person I’m giving it to.  I also love being able to unwrap each special ornament the following year and remember the special person that gave it to me.  My tree becomes something like a scrapbook of memories and love, making it something I treasure and truly enjoy putting up each year.  One thing will be a little different this year, however.  Instead of putting up a traditional tree, my daughter and i are going to string garland near the ceiling all around the main room of our home.  Our special and priceless ornaments will hang there, safely tucked away from our rather rambunctious and somewhat destructive male cat, Mick Jaguar.  I will post pictures up when we finish it, hopefully Thanksgiving Weekend.  Happy Fall!

{September 6, 2010}   Happy Fall!!

well, i guess it’s technically not really fall yet…but i can’t wait a minute longer to get the decorations out, start cooking things like chilli and roasts, and start planning halloween projects.  today we pulled out the box of carefully wrapped pieces from the closet.  opening each piece was like getting a present; feeling first through the paper and guessing which item it is.  could  it be the little woodland sprite with the pointy hat holding a hedgehog and some acorns like a great fall treasure just waiting to be placed upon a table for a great feast?   or the gorgeous resin pumpkin with wonderful scenes of fall carved into it, detailed pictures of scarecrows, farmhouses, fall produce, and a beautiful harvest moon.  as i unwrap them im flooded with memories…the sprite was a gift, as was the pumpkin.  another pumpkin piece was also a gift…to myself.  i have always believed that every piece in my home should speak to me, of a friend, family member, special occasion, or special period in my life.  sort of like living in a scrapbook.  in this way my home is always warm and cozy.  and that is a very good thing.

{August 24, 2010}   first day

yesterday was my first day with the twins!  we had a great day as we spent time together and just got to know each other.  they smile, laugh, play and babble.  this week thankfully mom is with us, so i will get all the ins and outs of how they like to do things.  they have been with mom only up until now, so this will make the transition easier.  basically this is just bonding time for us and learning time for me.  at one point i had them both giggling at the same time; it was absolutely precious!  we had a little challange with nap times, but we have plenty of time to work on that.  we pretty much spent the day going from the play room to the sun room, then the other play area….taking a walk when it finally cooled off.  we switched up toys and sang songs.  today we are taking them swimming, and i’m going to introduce some differnt music cds into our routine.  all in all i think this job is going to be a good fit.

{August 22, 2010}   more transition!

things have been extremely busy in my world the last few weeks as i prepare for my new job, and my daughter gets ready for school to start again.  both on the same day of course!  in the mean time i was busy with 4 kiddos during a temporary gig, more on that later.  because this job will be much further from my home, im preparing for a commute of about an hour each way.  maybe less if traffic isnt too terrible, and since i will be leaving pretty early in the mornings, i think it wont be.  i have been working on ways to keep my home running smoothly since i will be spending less time at home.  i need meal plans so we dont fall into the unhealthy trap of eating out most nights.  calendars to keep up with appointments, football games, meetings, and field trip due dates.  dry erase boards to note when we are running out of things so i dont realize we are out of toilet paper as i reach for some and there isnt any.  specific times to do chores and laundry so things dont stack up and we dont have to get dressed off of the couch that becomes a closet (now what working mom hasnt been there at least once, right!  admittedly, this working mom has been there more than once…)  i also thought ahead to some creature comforts that will help ease the stress of a full schedule.  i want something to look forward to.  sometimes when i get home, rather than relaxing as i imagine most people do, i end up stressing over things that arent done, even if i dont have the energy to do them right at that moment.  i want things to be different this time.  i want to create a system for our family of two that will roll smoothly so that when i get home, its not only down time for me, but quality time for my daughter and me.  one of the things we love to do on our down time together is watch movies and chit chat about all sorts of things.  we also love to chill and watch the youtube and music videos she comes across.  so im thinking that if i have less time to be home, i want to spend it doing things we enjoy.  which in the end might mean that though i will have less time at home, we will actually have more quality time at home than before, simply because of good organization of the “have-to’s” of the household.  now good smooth rolling organization is new to us, so you readers will be with us on our journey as we learn.  i would love to hear any comments and suggestions anyone has on this subject!

{July 22, 2010}   Transitions

Well, as all things do, our situations have changed.  I am no longer nannying for the triplets, as they have relocated across the country.  i would have written sooner, but it was a little more of an emotional good-bye than i expected.  in every good nanny/family relationship, there is a certain amount of bonding, usually between the nanny and her charges, and often between the nanny and the entire family.  this was true in our case!  i will very much miss coming to work every day to be greeted with little people that smile from ear to ear and come running, or in my case crawling, to greet me at the gate of the playroom.  i seriously doubt any office job can make you feel as needed and loved as 3 little one year old boys!  as much as i will miss them, i am very excited about the new charges i will be working with in the future.  I cant wait to see the boys grow up, even if it will be in pictures, emails, and hopefully a few visits.  so on to temporary jobs until the next permanent position begins.  thus is the life of the transitioning nanny.  🙂

{June 19, 2010}   A Different Perspective

have you ever wondered how your young child sees something?  or any aged child for that matter, but i had this thought recently, concerning the one yr olds i work with.  about two weeks ago i had the babies in their bedroom while i was changing sheets, stocking diaper stations, etc.  one wandered into the closet to explore a new space.  its pretty much childproofed and i was in there putting away clothes, so i let them have at it.  one of the remarkable things about the boys that i have not noticed in other babies is the marked expressiveness of their hands and feet.  whenever they are stimulated (and this has been going on since they were just months old) they twist and wrench their hands and feet as if their lives depended on this motion!  the more excited they become, the more the hands and feet are twisting and turning, reaching and toes clenching.  so anyway, as i was putting away jammies and organizing hanging clothes in sets of 3, i noticed the smallest of the three boys laying flat on his back in the closet, looking straight up, and working his hands and feet in a symphony of excitement.  all i could see him looking at was the clothes.  so i decided to see it from his perspective.  i laid down on the floor beside him and looked up to see what he was seeing.  he turned to me and the sheer delight in his eyes made me know that he appreciated a grown up coming down to his level.  so i look up and see not what i saw before: the predictable parade of shirts and rompers, overalls and outfits organized in sets and types.  rather i saw dangling bits of color and textures, moving and swaying as i had been hanging things up and moving them back and forth.  and how high it seemed, so out of reach and yet so inviting as i imagine he would have liked to touch them and pull them and toss them.   never underestimate what you can see from your child’s perspective.  the closet has never been the same since!

et cetera