Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yellow Submarine

Good morning everyone. This week is my first week of being a nanny four days a week. Mondays and Tuesdays I'm with the two-year-old, and Wednesdays and Fridays I'm with the four-year-old. So now I need to brag on my kids a little :-)

L is the two-year-old boy I watch on Monday and Tuesday. Cutest child in life. He has this 60s-esque bowl haircut which is precious. He talks just like a two-year-old talks, so I only understand about half of what he says. The rest I try and figure out. You know what I mean. He can't really say the "th," "ch" or "sh" sounds. In fact, he can't say them at all. Like "sare-ees" is "cherries," things like that. He has the best memory of any child I know also. Like I met him one week before I started as his nanny, and he remembered my name. That never happens. Ever. And especially not with a two-year-old. And he knows all of his letters, numbers and all 50 states. He loves to play with trucks and listen to music. His favorite songs are "ABC" by the Jackson 5 and "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles. So of course over the past two days I've heard them about 20 times, haha. Good thing I love the Beatles. He loves to repeat the song lyrics, and "sea of green" sounds like "see-uh-geen." It is so cute! He doesn't really like to go to the park, which was so sad because Monday was absolutely gorgeous. Plus he's two, so he does get cranky sometimes. Meaning he's a normal child. Love him.

K is the four-year-old girl I watch on Wednesdays and Fridays. Gorgeous blonde who only wears dresses. Loves the story of Hansel & Gretel, so much that I now have it permanently stored in my memory. Loves princesses and dressing up like one. She pretty much has free reign of the house, and her stuff is everywhere. Very creative with an incredible imagination. She loves to make up stories. Plus she is going to be a great artist. Her mom is an art professor, so I guess it runs in the family. Usually, when a four-year-old colors, he scribbles in big circles. That is what coloring is. But she actually draws, and draws so you can recognize what she's drawing. Her parents don't believe in television, so I don't think she's ever watched it before. Watching a movie is a very, very special treat. She loves to eat pears and yogurt, too. So energetic and physical. Playing with her is a full-contact sport. Loves to go to the park, so I find myself praying more and more for the weather to be nice.

Those are my kids. I love being a nanny. It was hard at first, not going to lie. It was just different than I expected. I'm not sure what I expected exactly, but thinking about being a nanny is a lot different from being a nanny. I am getting better at it, that's for sure. No one can tell you how to be a nanny or what to do when you're a nanny. It's totally something you have to just jump into. I'm glad I'm one of those people who is very comfortable doing that, jumping in. I like to "wing it" more than anything. I know preparation is important, but usually I'd rather not. Or only do minimal.

My confidence with kids is much better than it was. I always knew I was good with kids, but now I actually really know I'm very good. It sounds so not humble, but I don't know how to word it the right way. I am very confident when it comes to children because I know my God-given talent is being developed and cultivated by the Lord. It's like I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm learning so much and it all makes sense. Plus having read Boundaries came at the exact right moment. Now I actually understand, like really understand, concepts like "discipline" and "consistency," things that I used to talk about but not realizing how abstract they still were to me. Okay, reading back over this paragraph, my writing is not exactly conveying what I truly want to say. I'm trying here, but I am a much better in person speaker than blogger I guess.

I guess the real thing is I have a deep desire to be a wife and mother, but since I didn't have much experience with kids when that desire became real it seemed so impossible. I thought to myself, "I'm never going to be a good mother. I won't know how to deal with my own children or how to raise them properly." Now I know that while I still won't know what I'm doing (because no parent actually does, really) at least I'm closer than I was. Meaning I know a little bit more than I did. Which is to say I still don't know anything, but at least I know that I don't know anything.

Looking back at all God has done and knowing what He is doing and will do in my life is both very humbling and very uplifting at the same time. It's uplifting because I know He loves me. The God of the universe, the Creator, cares about my heart and my character. He wants me to look like His Son. He actually cares about the decisions I make and about my personal growth. What?! It's humbling for all of the reasons I just mentioned as well. Love is humbling. It really is. Plus, all of this growth is humbling because, at the end of the day, it is not about me. It never was, it never will be. All of this is about something greater than me, something so much more worthy and beautiful. God's glory is so much more worth it.

I feel like I am trying and failing to convey this concept in this blog. I know what I'm trying to say, but there is this disconnect between the actual idea, my brain and it's limited understanding, my heart and it's limited knowing, the struggle to put something so amazing into words and my fingers on the keyboard. I will keep trying, but this is something I can better say face to face.

And now for something completely different...

I cannot believe Gran Torino was not nominated for a single Oscar. Zilch. Zip. Nil. What? Really? People, what were you thinking? Did any of you actually watch the movie? Did you not sob at the end, did you not realize how Clint played the Christ-figure to near perfection? Also, I still don't understand how The Dark Knight was not nominated for Best Picture. Again: What? Really? Definitely one of the best movies of all time, one of the best movies ever made, and no nomination. I just don't get it. I really don't. Every year I say I'm never going to watch the Oscars again because I just can't get my head around how they choose the same four movies to give all the nominations to. Every time a Holocaust movie is made, instant nomination. Can we please have a little movie diversity? This tirade could go on for pages, but I just don't think the Academy is worth that much.

I am so feeling the love from people based on my Skype status on Facebook. I really do love my friends. Like really love.

Alright, I have more to say but I've got to leave for work. I'm not sure the exact form of this quote, but you get the idea. Quote of the day is:

"The more you learn, the less you know."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

25 Things

I just posed this note on Facebook, but I also wanted to post it here. I think it's cute.

25 Things About Me:

1. I usually eat the same foods every day. This does not mean I do not enjoy new and interesting things, it just means once I know what I like, I stick with it. Which means a lot of tomato soup and peanut butter.

2. I save all of the birthday cards and thank-you notes I've received over the years. Yes, there are a lot of them and yes, they take up space. But I don't want to throw them away.

3. I look back on things I used to believe in so strongly and laugh. A lot of it is political, some of it has to do with spirituality and more of it has to do with myself and how I viewed life/love/ideas/truth.

4. I have saved every single movie ticket stub from every movie I've seen in theatres since 1999. My very first one is "Never Been Kissed." It is quite a collection.

5. I do not like tea infused with any kind of red fruit. I will eat a raspberry, but I will not drink raspberry tea.

6. Some brand names I am intensely loyal to. Things like Tide laundry detergent, CVS pharmacy, Secret deodorant, etc.

7. I do three crossword puzzles a day - the Metro paper, the New York Times and the USA Today.

8. I started a community kayak club in my hometown in high school. I am proud to know it is still going on.

9. I read multiple books at one time. I can pick up a book I haven't touched in weeks, open it up where I left off and still know what's going on.

10. I am becoming more and more impulsive as I grow in Christ. I used to be a hardcore planner, but now I'm not. It is so wonderful.

11. My dream house would have a huge wraparound front porch, a wood shop and a darkroom.

12. I think yoga is incredibly spiritual. I know the Lord is with me in my downward dog.

13. I prefer talking on a phone with a cord on it to a cordless phone. I'm not sure why, I just like being attached to something. Plus I pace when I'm on the phone, and a cord keeps me more in one spot.

14. I've been to Provence, to the Scottish highlands, but some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen was in my backyard in Navarre, FL. During the summer, every afternoon black thunderclouds would roll in from the north. I love the color of those clouds contrasted with the green trees.

15. For all of the reasons I am going to be a teacher, for everything God has called me to do in education, one of the coolest things is a summer vacation for life.

16. I could spend hours looking at the stars.

17. I never take medicine. Not for colds, not for headaches, not for anything. If I have one foot in the grave, I might take one Advil.

18. I very much enjoy doing laundry. It makes me feel so domestic.

19. When I was a kid, I used to drink about 3-4 Cokes a day. When I was in 4th or 5th grade, my dad told me I could only have one Coke a week and that was it. He totally followed through, and now I don't drink Coke at all. I can't even remember the last one I had.

20. It annoys the heck out of me when people say "pop." It's Coke. Soda is also acceptable.

21. My Southern accent comes out strong when I'm nervous. I can't even turn it off during those times. When I'm in the South it's always on, and people ask me if New Yorkers like it or not.

22. When I was a kid, I had the hardest time saying "drawer." It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 I could say that word without thinking about it. I had to consider the word carefully and set my mouth just right.

23. I know I could work at any place, do any job in the world, as long as I like the people I worked with. I'm always reminded of Roseanne season one when she works at the plastic factory. If I worked with my friends, I could do that as well.

24. When it comes time to name my own children, my favorite names all come from characters in books or movies.

25. I am absolutely addicted to Carmex. I have about eight little containers of it so that one is always within reach wherever I go.