Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Nanny Diaries

Right after I was hired in early June, I quickly secured daycare for my children. It wasn't an easy task, especially since Big Sister goes to kindergarten half days and needs both before and after-school care. She was going to early morning care at her school, and then would have taken a bus to a local Montessori in the afternoon. Little Sister was going to come with me everyday to our on-site daycare facility. At the end of July, early August, only a few weeks before school started, I called the daycare facility where I work just to confirm things, and was told that they lost my paperwork, and didn't have a spot left. You have no idea what an upheaval that created. I had to quickly check out other facilities, but could not find a situation that would allow me to be at my job on time every day, 7:30 a.m. I wound up spending one entire weekend interviewing nannies, and hired one. She lasted one day. Mabel (not her real name), an older woman, who knew it all and was the "BEST" arrived and immediately started giving me her two cents on everything. The worst part was when she didn't think Big Sister (age 5 1/2) needed any supervision at the park, and could go to a separate park away from her little sister on her own. After that, she was gone.

Next came a Romanian woman, referred by a friend of a friend whom I was told would care for the children "like her own and work hard." Both turned out to be untrue. Mona (not her real name) has ZERO personality. She interviewed well and seemed happy and sweet, but within a few days, showed her true colors. First of all, she refuses to follow my simple directions like feeding my kids healthy meals. I spent 30 minutes one day creating a meal chart of what foods to prepare for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. She followed it for two days and then stopped,and has been continually feeding them M&M's all day. She even put M&M's in their Jello one day. When she empties my dishwasher, she shoves clean stuff wherever, including silverware How hard is it to put the spoons with the spoons, and the forks with the forks. Rather, she just throws everything in there. The worst part about Mona is her lack of empathy for my kids. When they cry over Mommy leaving in the morning, she stands back and laughs at them. I have also heard that she spends her days laying on my couch. I am really upset over this and want her gone NOW. Of course, life isn't that easy. I have to find someone else first. I am going to interview four more potential nannies this weekend. Wish me luck and send those much needed prayers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Little Hams

Here are my two little hams playing it up for the camera. Unfortunately, my photos aren't coming out crystal clear. I have a Cannon Powershot G5, if anyone wants to give me some advice. I do have the user guide around here somewhere... Anyway, as you can see, Little Sister is quite the comedian. She has many facial expressions that she can pull out of a hat at any time. I love her sense of humor. Big Sister and I are always laughing!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

She Who Laughs

It's so important to have a sense of humor, and not take life too seriously. That's what I am trying to do. In our school district, 30 new teachers were hired, all of them female, except for one. Early in the week, we had new teacher training. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was great. On Thursday, the rest of the staff returned, and suddenly the climate began to change. Now, we have a mixture of energetic, motivated newcomers (including myself), and some of the typical, "I hate my job, and life sucks" veteran teachers. I'm not saying that all veteran teachers are like this. Some are phenomenal, but there are those who suck the energy out of the room with their pessimism. One of my goals is to not take anything they say too personally, and to go with the flow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Week 1 of my new job

I went back to work this week full-time after taking a three-year break to stay at home with my children. Aside from missing my girls, I am enjoying the job so far. My position is a Literacy Intervention Specialist for grades six through eight in a very diverse school district. We have over 54 spoken languages here. I love the diversity! It is so nice to see beautiful, colorful faces in the hallway. More later...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Three Word Sunday

Chocolate Covered Almonds

Dove makes the best! They are rich and delicious, and melt in your mouth.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Butterfly Princess and Little Miss Ladybug

Once upon a time, there lived two beautiful little princesses. The eldest had silky black hair and almond eyes with perfect shaped eyebrows, and a smile that could light up an entire room. Her enthusiasm and zest for life were her greatest gifts. Other children were naturally drawn to her vivacious personality. The youngest princess was a bit more shy, taking a little longer to warm-up to new situations. She needs to feel secure in her environment and with new people, but once you climb into her inner circle, you will find that one of her greatest gifts is her sense of humor. Her hair is thick and beautiful. She has inquisitive eyes and pouty,full lips. Little sister will definitely grow to become one of the great pranksters of our time, yet, her highest quality is laughter. For a child who was once deeply saddened, her laughter is like a symphony of mellifluous tunes, playing sweetly on a summer night. Deep and hearty, her laughter comes, filling the room with a most beautiful sound. Her happiness, finally found.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Girls on a train

My sister and I took our girls on a train ride to Chicago a few weeks ago. As you can see, they truly enjoyed it. Maybe, it was the good company!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Work countdown

I officially return to work full-time in less than two weeks. I can't believe that it's August already. Where did the summer go? It seems like just yesterday we went to the pool for the first time this year, and now, the summer is winding down. It's been a busy one, filled with preparing for my new job as a reading specialist. This will be my first year working in this capacity. Prior to this, I taught middle school language arts. I feel good though. I am very prepared, organized, and ready to go. My main stress this summer has been developing a good childcare plan for my daughters. Since I begin my job so early in the morning (7:30 a.m.), I need someone to care for my big girl before and after kindergarten. I thought everything was set weeks ago. I had her scheduled for before care at her elementary school, and she was going to do an enrichment program in a local Montessori after-school. My little one was going to come with me to our on-site daycare facility within my school district. It was all arranged, or at least, that's what I thought until I called the on site facility to confirm everything, and was told that they lost my paperwork causing us to lose Little Sister's (LS) spot. With these change of events, my stress level went way up. My next plan was to put LS in another daycare. I visited a few, but found dirty facilities, outrageous prices, and inadequate start-times. I finally decided to look for a full-time nanny to come early in the morning, get my big girl off to kindergarten, and spend time with LS. Last weekend, I interviewed ten candidates, and wasn't too impressed with the majority of them. Finally, I met someone that I feel very comfortable with. She was the first candidate who immediately wanted to meet my children. She greeted them, hugged them, and talked with them. Rachel starts next week so that I can observe her with my kids, and help us all adjust. I'm praying that she works out because I really need someone to help me out with the kids, especially since their dad lives several states away.

Friday, August 1, 2008

More party photos

Here are more pictures from my niece's first birthday party last week.