Tag Archives: nanny

I’m baaaaaaaack

Standard

Great news! My brother was discharged from Johns Hopkins on Thursday and we were given the go ahead to move back to Dallas!

After the transplant, my brother was going to the hospital everyday to have his levels checked, get transfusions, make sure there was no infection, etc. After about a month, he only had to go 4-5x a week, now, once a week! He’s also transfusion independent, so he’s making his own healthy blood cells and platelets!

The transformation has been incredible. To see my brother back to his energetic, playful self has been a blessing. Thank you for all the positive energy you have sent our way. I think it truly made a difference in his recovery.

He still has a long road ahead, he still has to avoid sick people, or anyone that’s been exposed to someone who is sick (he lost all of his vaccines since he has a new immune system). He has to stay out of the sunlight because sunburns can be especially damaging. Even so, it’ll be nice to have him in Dallas for a while longer and also to be home myself.

I’m very happy to be home. The city life just isn’t for me. Not in Baltimore, anyway. Three years ago, maybe. But today I’m in the mindset that if one more person throws their dog’s poop in my trashcan, or waits for the bus in the middle of the street (why??!), or walks into traffic blindly, failing to use even the most common of sense, I’m going to freaking lose it!

That being said, it was still awesome to spend so much time with my big brother in Baltimore. My brother is the best guy I know, he’s always there for me and present when I need him to be. He offers me priceless advice and wisdom and I love spending time with him and talking to him. I definitely won the sibling lottery, he’s my hero and I know he would do anything for me. Including going through painful, debilitating treatments and the fight of his life so I don’t have to live without him.

yep, this was pretty much our entertainment.

So what now? Well, I was offered a live-in nanny position for my little chickpea’s family and I accepted. I love her and her brother so much, I am very excited to be a part of their daily lives and be a positive influence on them as they grow. So this will really be the start of something new!

my little chickpea turned one this week, so I made her a scrapbook of her first year

my little chickpea turned one this week, so I made her a scrapbook of her first year

I also got a great part time morning job with another family with a little girl and a newbie set to arrive at the end of next month. I’m really excited about both opportunities, I still feel very much like this is what I am supposed to be doing right now. It makes me happy and I love my work. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

I really wanted to travel after I was done in Baltimore, but I think it will have to wait. Luckily, with my new job I can accrue vacation time. Also, since they pay for rent and food I can save up for a great vacation and other things. It just takes patience, which I’m used to.

So. I’m home for good! I start my new job in July, June is going to be a time to regroup, I’ll be working a little but also taking it easy and trying to get into the right mindset for what’s ahead. I’m still doing heavy personal growth work, even more so than before. It’s already helping me achieve more clarity about who I am, what I want out of life and who I want to eventually become.

That’s about it! Thanks so much for reading, I’ll write again soon.

Advertisements

The Thing That Leads to the Thing II

Standard

Hello! It’s been a long time since I have written. Part of it has been because it was a fun, eventful summer and part of it was lack of motivation, I won’t lie. I’m trying to work through it and today has been the first day I have even felt like I could sit down and focus long enough to get anything out that made any sense. So, here we go!

This summer has been great. I hope I can write about everything that took place one of these days, but today, I just want to write about my job.

I mentioned back in March that I was a nanny for a family who asked me to be their night nanny for their new baby. I was hesitant to do this because of my commitment to my other families, Trader Joe’s and of course the fact that I had never taken care of a new baby before. Well, I threw all of that caution to the wind and decided that I was going to do it anyway. My job was to train the baby and her older brother to sleep through the night.

Princess Buttercup was born on May 28, 2013 and I have been her night nanny ever since her first night home. I believe she was three days old and barely weighed six pounds. The trainer was there with me for our first two nights together, then Ms. Kasey was on her own. Taking care of someone so tiny and so helpless is absolutely terrifying and absolutely exhausting. The first three weeks, I never knew what I was going to get! The next three weeks were probably the hardest, most exhausting I’ve ever experienced. I seriously doubted if I was cut out for taking care of newborns. They’re adorable, but, obviously, very needy.

Watching older babies and toddlers, while it can sometimes be thankless, can pay off in other ways that are encouraging. The reason I enjoy being around kids so much is because they make me laugh to no end with their endearing words and behavior. Kids also just tend to have a “thing” for me, so they’re constantly climbing all over me, touching me, hugging me, holding my hand, using me as a human chair, etc. Older toddlers can also be reasoned with, and we can both see a clear line between behavior and consequence, positive or otherwise.

I bring this up because between weeks three and seven, I really thought this baby didn’t like me and there was nothing I could do to convince her otherwise! Finding that delicate balance between my love and doing what’s best for her was not easy. Sure, I could pick her up every time she cries, rock her to sleep, not stretch out the feedings, etc. But ultimately, that’s not my job. I’m getting paid to teach her how to soothe herself so she can sleep through the night.

And realizing that was tough, because even though I think most of the time I find a great balance between firm and loving with the toddlers I watch, the lines are much more blurred with a tiny baby because she can’t talk to me. Then when you add in the fact that it’s not my baby, I’m just entrusted to judge the line correctly, it was a lot for me. Kind of like a weight on my shoulders, or a voice in my ear that was like “don’t screw this up.”

I take great personal responsibility when I am watching kids. Probably too much, if there is such a thing…We all know I can be a bit of a perfectionist. I just try to put myself in the parent’s position. Like if this were MY kid, what decisions would I want my nanny to make, and I mostly go off of that. Having the feeling that the baby didn’t like me was making me feel guilty. Then I remembered my old friend, neurotic fear. My bully that likes to make claims that aren’t rooted in reality to block out my healthy conscience.

As soon as I recognized it, I was able to change the way I felt at my job. From that night on, I went into work assuming this baby LOVED when Ms. Kasey took care of her and put her to sleep at night. And it worked! Within a day, she was smiling at me…and not just a small, gassy smile. She does these HUGE, toothless grins that make my heart smile. By week nine, the Princess was sleeping through the night. And she has been ever since.

It’s been great, now that she and I both know what to do at night. She makes me laugh to no end, with her dozing off in the middle of eating, waking herself up with her loud burping, and her adorable cooing. Even when she’s fussy, she doesn’t really cry, she just complains. I have a great time putting words into her mouth, trying to imagine what she’s trying to tell me. I’ll definitely miss putting her to sleep at night and getting to see her smiley face in the mornings.

Tonight is my last night as a night nanny with Princess, or, as I prefer to call her, my little chickpea. The three months of newborn experience have been invaluable not only to my job as a nanny, but to my capacity for love, patience and compassion. I can be having a bad day and all I need do is think of that first huge, toothless grin from my little chickpea and I feel better.

What’s next? I’m not sure. I’ll still keep the Princess and her brother on most weekends, so I’m glad that I still get to be in their lives. I still feel like I’m on the right path, because it’s no sooner than the words “I’m finished night nannying” come out of my mouth that I’m inundated with babysitting offers. I really love what I’m doing and for right now, that’s enough. Til next time!!

the thing that leads to THE thing

Standard

In my last post, I mentioned that I think I am finally on the right path. Things have really been falling into place with work and I am so happy that I make enough money that I can save almost half of my income doing something that I really like. I am saving to do something that I love, but being a nanny is a great job in the interim. I am not confident or sure about many aspects of my life, but one area that I am confident in and know with absolute certainty it’s what I am supposed to be doing, is working with small children. This has been constantly reinforced throughout my life, but especially this year.

Last month I started working with a new family through the agency and I instantly clicked with the little boy and his family. I sit for them about 35 hours of my weekend. The sacrifice of giving up my weekends for a while is worth it to me because I love the little boy and they compensate me so well that I am able to actually save what I need to get to where I want to go almost 5x faster than I did before I started with them.

My dilemma started yesterday when they asked me if I would night nanny for their little girl on the way. Now, if you know me you know that I am absolutely CRAZY about very tiny babies. I nearly burst into tears at the sight of them. If you know me even better, you know that while I love newborns, I have very little experience taking care of them. And better still, that I have a rough time functioning on no sleep.

I will be trained of course, by the agency and the family and I feel like it’s an honor that they trust me so much even without that experience to take care of their little newbie for six months. In that six months, I already know I would be able to save probably more than what I need to get my business started. The prospect of that is super exciting to me and makes me want to do it. However, will I be able to hold down two jobs if I am a night nanny 3+ times a week? What about Trader Joe’s? What about my other families that have grown to depend on me? What about sleep?!

My instinct is to go ahead and do it and just play the other stuff by ear. I have way more to gain than lose from the situation. I already lost my insurance at Trader Joe’s because I got scheduled for too few hours, so what’s another six months without it, really? I mean, with the exception of these three months, it’s been six years anyway. I’ve adapted, barring any life threatening illnesses or injuries which, let’s face it, are far more likely to happen at TJ’s than babysitting.

I want the six months after the baby gets here to be the thing that leads to THE THING. I want THE THING enough that I want to make sure I don’t get trapped being a night nanny for longer than that. I feel like I should put a limit on it until the end of this year and then continue to move forward with everything else.

I think that I may have actually solved my dilemma while writing this, so thanks for being my sounding board! If you have any thoughts on the situation feel free to comment. Til next time!

Year in Review 2012 pt. 1

Standard

Hello All! Hope all is well during this holiday season. I can’t believe it’s already Christmas, the years really fly by as I get older. That being said it’s time again for my year in review! I know Facebook does a cute little year in review but I think it’s more fun to write about it!  This year was not nearly as exiting as last year, but I’m very thankful for that.   I’ll try and keep it as interesting as possible though because I learned a lot and made some marked lifestyle changes and it all started last January.

I didn’t necessarily have a new year’s resolution to get more fit and active this year, but starting Danceaton kind of set off the whole thing! I actually started having a great time working out and, maybe more importantly, it gave me a reason to get up in the morning.  Dance was something I always looked forward to, even if there were only 12 hours between the class I just finished and the next one starting.

My confidence grew, and eventually I danced in the front of the class. It probably would’ve taken me a lot longer to do that had I not met my amazing friends in that class.  They were so encouraging and supportive and accepting, not only of me, but of each other!

brunch with the fun bunch!

before we danced on a morning show and became wildly famous…or was it infamous?

image

after my first 5k the rave run!

image

t-shirt cutting partaaay! it’s exactly what it sounds like.

They were the ones who encouraged me to get on the stage at dance, invited me to coffee after, shared their fitness goals with me and let me into their lives. Life has been a lot less lonely ever since! I can’t say for sure what my year would’ve been like without them but I know for certain it was better with my new friends in it!

Overall my lifestyle has gotten more active, healthier and I have actually grown to love a hard workout.  I never, ever thought I’d hear myself say that and  I don’t think I ever would have said that even a year ago.  I think I’m growing.

strong arms! and, is that a dog barking in the background?

image

by the end of the year I took on boxing, of all things. and love it!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll recall that I made a decision at the beginning of this year to find a new job.  I decided that I wanted to nanny, because I really am happiest when I’m around kids.  By March, I was hired on at Mom’s Best Friend and I’ve been happily employed by them ever since. It accounts for half of my income, I choose my own jobs/hours for the most part, and I have had the fortune of being requested time and time again watching some great kids! I’m lucky because when I need extra money I can pick up extra jobs and when I need time off I can take it. What I really love about my job though, are, of course, the kids.

It’s so funny, the consistencies between children. I take jobs with toddlers, mostly. I feel like we understand each other. And even more so than I previously thought just because of what I’ve learned about myself this year. I’ve learned and accepted that I like to know what to expect and I need consistency in my schedule to stay sane and mentally prepared. I have a hard time with change and it takes me a while to adjust.

Now, I’ve pretty much just described every 2-4 year old I’ve ever met. Every time I go over to watch a kid that I’ve watched before, they want me to do EXACTLY the same thing with them as the first time I went over there. I find it hilarious. Every Monday at lunch, the three year old wants me to arrange his lunch in a smiley face.  He always reminds me.

image

“Ms. Kasey, I want a smile with my lunch because I love smiles.”

Every time I watch the two year old little girl she wants me to find her hiding in the exact same spot she hid in all the previous times, over and over. Even a six year old wanted to play the exact same, weird, cat figurine game. I had no idea she had so much fun until her mom and dad told me that’s all she talked about for days. While I have to admit, sometimes I get bored with doing the same things over and over and over with these kids, I always do it because I can understand why they like it. That’s what they associate with Ms. Kasey. I like to make associations too, it makes the world much less scary when you have a reference point to base a new experience on.

It’s little realizations like those that make me feel just a little more connected to the kids I take care of.   I spent so much of this year getting to know myself, trying to find out who I really am and why I feel the way I feel and make the decisions that I do.  I can’t imagine putting together the unconscious  similarities between myself and the kids I watch if I didn’t know myself so well.  It’s been really eye-opening.  Moving forward has been a big theme of my year and will continue to be a big theme in my life.

In the next installment, I’ll write about my second quarter of 2012.  I’ll discuss how I dealt with the first anniversary of my mom’s death, celebrating her birthday for the first time without her, graduating from therapy, welcoming new life, and more!  Until then, Merry Christmas!

life, death, love, hate, pleasure, pain

Standard

Hi readers and friends,  hope everything is going great for you so far in 2012.  My life has been moving right along this year.  Ever since making the decision not to wait tables or bartend anymore, I’ve been happier than I have been in at least two years.  I don’t dread going to work and I don’t have to stand up for upwards of ten hours anymore.  My quality of life has improved dramatically.

So what am I doing?  Well, last time I mentioned that I wanted to work with kids while I look for a job within my field of study.    I am doing precisely that.  I am a nanny for two boys, they are 7 and 11 years old.  They’re well behaved and entertaining, I enjoy them.  Additionally, I work at a nanny agency that will place me at jobs on days I don’t watch the other two kids.  Wait a minute, am I thrice employed?  You betcha!  I also just got hired as a substitute teacher in elementary schools within the district I attended during my formative years.

The best part about the nanny agency and substitute teaching is that I get to choose when and where I work.  That way, I can schedule around other job interviews, internships, or whatever else I may have to do.  I really enjoy working with kids again.  We have a great time and at the end of the day I can just give them right back to their parents!  All the fun, with only a fraction of the responsibility!

I’m about to start working on a big project that will probably take me at least a year to complete.  I am going to make a scrapbook of my mom’s life.  There are hundreds of pictures to go through, print out, and categorize.  I also found some cards my dad gave her when they were in college, I have notes she wrote me, stuff I wrote about her when I was a kid…it’s going to be a big, big project.

I think making a scrapbook  will be therapeutic for me not only because I enjoy scrapbooking, but also because I tend to run away from my grief.  At least if I am looking at pictures of her and recalling memories I will be forced to face my sorrow.  But hopefully the act of scrapbooking itself will keep me busy enough where I don’t lose myself completely in sadness, which is why I run away from it in the first place.

Also, I really want to change my outlook on my future.  I don’t know how many other relatively young women who have lost their mom will read this, but I would definitely like to know if they have had the same feelings I do about living life’s big events without her.

I looked to my mom for so much advice and she knew everything in my eyes.  The thought of getting married without her is so sad that I can’t even imagine doing it.  Who will zip up my dress?  Who will help me plan?  How could I ever imagine marrying someone without her meeting them so I can capitalize on her uncanny ability to sense people’s character?

And kids?  Child, please.  Pregnancy?  Delivery?  Raising them with no help from my mom?  It seems insulting to even consider it.  But wouldn’t it be even more insulting to deny my dad the honor of walking me down the aisle or holding a grandchild just because I’m too scared to handle it without my mom?

I don’t know the answers to these questions.  But maybe, just maybe if I can keep her memory alive not only in my heart, but also create a tangible account of her life and how much I loved her, my outlook will change.

Resolves

Standard

All right, I guess this is my first official post of 2012, that’s exciting! Yes, I may be playing it fast and loose with the word exciting, but, here we are regardless.  Today I’m going to write about some of my resolves so far this year, specifically having to do with my career.

For the last two years my career has been bringing people food and/or drinks in exchange for whatever amount of money people decided to give me.  Glamorous as that is, 2012 showed me pretty early on that I should probably start pursuing career goals that are a little more…lofty.  Which is easier said than done, but the important thing is that I have made the decision not to ever, ever, ever wait another table or tend another bar.  Ever.  With my luck, I’m never going to succeed in an industry that is based on taking so many gambles.  Additionally, I hate it.

Although I’m still not sure what exactly I want to do,  I can tell you what I don’t want to do!  And I”m willing to put in the time and effort to find a career path that I mostly love (yes, love) instead of one that I mostly hate, because I have a support system that allows me to do so.  For a long time I felt like a failure because I live at home and my dad helps me out with my expenses.  Even now I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me.  However, I  have a dad who will never turn his back on me and is always willing to help.  So instead of dwelling on the fact that I need help (ouch, my pride), I try to focus on how blessed I am to have it, not everyone does.

I am going to do some nanny and babysitting gigs in the meantime (do you have kids? need a trusting nanny or babysitter in the Dallas area? I’m great with kids).  Additionally, I love them.

I don’t know if not settling for a mediocre career path will lead me to success or ultimately be a disaster.  I do know that a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders at the prospect! Wish me luck.  In the meantime, I have a lot of spare time so I’ll  be getting back into couponing and cooking soon.  Til’ next time…