February 27, 2012

Scatterbrained

So,  I had a longer absence than formerly planned, but I had good reasons, I promise!

And with that long absence, I've had quite a few inspirations as to what to write about. Now, the trick is getting them on paper, er, blog-er.

The primary cause for the lack in writing is our first big DIY project not only as a married couple (heck, as a couple in any capacity really, other than the dog house that we don't speak of...), but the first one that is for our home. Thanks to various points of inspiration, we finally took on the one room of our apartment that didn't get much attention in the design and decor department and gave it a little face-lift. It's oh-so-close to done and as soon as it is, that will have a (lengthy) post dedicated to it, pictures and all. I'm just so happy we did it finally and it's actually a room that I enjoy spending time in versus just having to use because it happens to be the home of the computer and my beloved purple couch.

Other factors that caused the elongated absence were
*work
*jury duty
*work
*helping with other people's work
*trying very hard to not get sick
*work
and procrastination, let's not leave out the obvious.

Gotta love that this post is literally about nothing... well, at least it's something :)

And if it weren't past my bedtime, I'd happy jump right into one of the more interesting subjects listed, but mostly due to #5 on the list, I'm headed to sleepy town and will re-visit blogville in the morrow.

Yeah, definitely should be sleeping. G'night!

February 17, 2012

The Nanny Files: The Computer Crazies

Besides actor, singer, performer, dancer, wife, DIYer, one of the many hats I wear in life is nanny.

No, not that kind of nanny. More of the jeans and t-shirt wearing-homework helping-housework doing-laundry collecting-dinner cooking-rule enforcing-football playing-Barbie dressing-Lego building-grounding if needing-parental stand in kind. I don't know about you, but I don't remember any pigskin being tossed around by the stiletto teetering Ms. Fine (then again, I don't recall any of those kids exactly being the physical type...).

The long and the short of it is I love it. Although not a parent yet myself, I love kids. It's kind of amazing what they are capable of, whether it be academically or just things that come out of an afternoon of playing house. In the past few years I've been fortunate enough to work closely with kids and just can't get enough. There's nothing quite like the laughs and smiles being around kids can cause.

However, as the parents out there do know, all too well, sometimes the lows in a day can outnumber the highs and there are more sneers and screams than smiles. As a nanny, those lows can be pretty tricky waters to navigate through.

The hardest part about being in my position is I'm not the parent, and although sometimes I wish I could convince the kids otherwise, I can't. Yes, they've had nannies in the past, so I'm nothing new, but sometimes it seems like the concept is. Their parents (who, btw, are awesome), have reiterated many times that when I'm there I am acting for them, and therefore, should be treated as if I'm one of them. My goodness I hope they don't treat them the way they have me at times. One of the trickier things is when you have the parent and me involved in the same situation and one of the kids, well, let's just say, isn't necessarily putting their best foot forward.

Today is actually a great example of such a time. I like to call what happened today the Computer Crazies. Now, this strange phenomenon is not strictly limited to computers, but is easily applied to any device with a screen. Computers, televisions, iPods/Pads, Gameboys (which apparently are old school... who knew?), etc., can cause a bad case of the crazies.

To protect the innocent (and at times, not so innocent) I'll just refer to them as G(girl), B(boy), Mom and Dad. Now that we have that all cleared up, on with the story.

G and I were playing on a website her teacher had told the kids about and were having a great time. As someone who is a huge advocate for edu-tainment, I couldn't get over how great it was that the site perfectly integrated the curriculum into the games. While we were playing, Mom came into the room to see what we were up to and to ask G if she wanted to order anything for dinner (it was a night off for cooking for me, yay!). Instead of responding with even something as simple as yes or no, G continued with the game. Mom repeated the question, but still received no response. After the second request I chimed in with "G, your mom just asked you a question," to which the response was something along the lines of a whiny "yeah yeah."

That was when the crazies began to creep out. I said again, more firmly that her mom asked her a question and she should answer her. Once again (not surprisingly) I was ignored as G kept her eyes glued to the screen and her hand firmly on the mouse. Seriously?!?! I thought. What kid does that? My mom certainly wouldn't have allowed that to happen, let alone TWICE.

After the final request I said "you're done with the computer," took the mouse out of her hand, not without difficulty (little girls are freakishly strong when they are angry) and sent her to her room. There was at least one or two "you're mean" and "I hate yous" tossed in there as well from her end, but when something like this happens, I just ignore such outbursts. I honestly still can't believe how she treated her mom and me. She spent the next 15 minutes alone in her room.

Now, as I'm sure we are all terribly aware, being sent to a room now a days just isn't a threat. That's where the toys and games are, so it's not really a punishment being forced to stay in there. However, it seems to be somewhat effective, so I'm sticking with it.

After the 15 minutes went by, I went to G's room and asked if she knew why she had been sent to her room. She had calmed down and actually responded pleasantly, much to my surprise (this kid can hold a grudge with the best of them, so I was actually quite shocked by the quick turn around). I asked how she should behave if her mom or I or anyone approaches her while on the computer or watching a show or playing a game and asks a question. Again, correct answer in a non-snappy or attitude filled tone. Score one for Team Nanny.

So, the rest of the evening continued uneventfully on. Then, came time for me to leave. Ok, well there was a little snafu right before, which probably just added fuel to the smoldering fire, but it definitely doesn't give an excuse. As always, I make a point to say goodbye to the kiddoes before leaving for the weekend. I was downstairs with G after cleaning up the kitchen area and she was just watching tv. I put on my jacket, grabbed my purse and said "all righty ok?"

Nothing.

"G, did you hear me?"

Again, nothing.

At this point I felt as if we had rewound ourselves back a couple of hours. I stood directly in front of her, between her and the tv, and got a response. Of course it wasn't any sort of civil response, more of the whiny, screamy one I expected and prepared myself for. I reminded her of the situation earlier that evening, to which she seemed to have completely forgotten. After a few more whines and me telling her repeatedly to go to her room she got up and ran towards the stairs saying "you're mean, I'm telling mommy you're being mean."

Oh boy. Did I mention G is eight years old? More like eight going on 18 at times, and others it feels like I'm back with a group of toddlers. This situation brought out the latter. Yeah... definitely not the sort of behavior I was expecting in the slightest.

Of course, I followed her up stairs where I heard her crying to her mom about how mean I was. And Moms response? Surprise G, Mom and I are in agreement and batting for the same team. Score (again) for Team Nanny and parenting.

The three of us had a brief conversation, decided G didn't need any more tv, or computer or games for the rest of the night and left it at that. And in the back of my mind decided tonight would be a great pizza and beer  sort of evening. And to be thankful my only children are four legged and furry.

I know these are just bad habits (similar to not cleaning up after themselves and in general being personally responsible), but my goodness they are hard to break. Maybe the next one to be conquered is getting her to close the cabinets or flushing the toilet. Yeah... we're working on that one, too.

February 13, 2012

It's the Simple Things

I don't know about all of you out there in blogland, but I had a splendiforous weekend (and hope you did, too!). Why was it so amazing you may ask? Did we fly to the far reaches of the world, dine on exotic cuisine and rub elbows with celebrities? No. Did we do something far better? Yes, ladies and gents, we certainly did.

We saw a movie, then went to Starbucks and played Scrabble.


Ok, so maybe not necessarily the most exciting weekend events of all possible events, but I've come to simply love our nights like we had this weekend. Part of me feels like I'm disappointing my inner twenty-something party girl with how satisfied I am to sit in a cozy coffee house with my husband, sipping on my favorite drink, people watching, and trying (for once) to beat his ridiculously high scores, but she'll get over it. Or I'll just make it up to her at a later time where there won't be any photographic evidence of the night's escapades.

I just find it fascinating that there was a time (and not terribly long ago) where I had it firmly planted in my mind that we wouldn't become "that couple." We wouldn't be those people who stay in Friday nights or consider getting in at 10pm on a Saturday night late. That's right, you know the one I'm talking about. The one we all secretly dread becoming. The *gasp* boring couple.

Boring might as well be a four letter word condemned to the annoying *BLEEP* as it comes across the airwaves. One thing we all seem to attempt to avoid at all costs is the title of being boring. We want to be vivacious, exciting, out of the norm, and exceptional. What I've learned is what some people may see as boring is a break from the regular scheduled program to others. And sometimes the very simple things are the very best.

Why would I trade a hundred nights in a martini bar for one night sipping coffee while sitting across from my husband playing an ordinary board game? Because those few hours offer more than just seeing how many triple word scores we can reach and whether someone can break 300 points on the scorecard.

In the couple of hours we take to play a couple of games, we have the opportunity to learn things about the other we haven't yet had the chance to otherwise. Creating funny or racy words to cause a smirk or giggle from the other, questioning words that lead to conversations completely off subject and intriguing debates. It's quite amazing what an otherwise unsuspecting coffee date can do.

So, although I definitely won't snub my nose at a nice evening sipping cocktails while listening to a local jazz combo, some of my favorite date nights have been, and will continue to be, a simple game of words.

February 10, 2012

Fluff

Ok, so this isn't really a legit post, but I felt compelled after writing the other day about not wanting to be too blingy on the fingertips.

Yesterday, while at the grocery  store with the little lady I nanny for we went down the aisle that had all the Valentine what-not you could want and lo and behold, she discovered the holy grail of little girl nail polish- pink and sparkly. So, we picked that up, along with the other things on the little list (we walked up with the oddest assortment of items) and proceeded back home to do a holiday-inspired manicure.

After that, I got the bug myself go to uber-girly on the tips, so I broke out yet another member of the OPI Muppet line and gave myself some dainty digits as well. So if you will "Excuse Moi!," here are the (not quite cleaned up) super sparklies for the upcoming love-filled holiday.

And because I love her so much, here's the not so thrilled puppy who happens to be just the black background I needed in order for my phone's camera to cooperate and get a slightly less blurry picture.

Looks thrilled, doesn't she? 
                                                                                        

February 8, 2012

Trendy

Ok, so I'll fully be the first to admit I am 100% guilty to, at times, submitting to trends.

Whew, happy to have gotten that off my chest.

Now, not to worry, I'm not about to post about going all hipster on you (but if you'd like the step-by-step tutorial of how to do so, you can visit HERE to learn). I'm merely accepting the somewhat embarrassing fact that at times I too fall victim to the evil thing known as trendy. However, I try to be fairly discriminatory when it comes to trends, because ladies, we must admit, sometimes a trend becomes a trend and it's a good one that should be around.

A few trends I'm more than happy to have followed in suit in are boots, copious amounts of scarves, huge bags, more huge bags, and dark hues of nail polish. All of these have now worked their way into the permanent collection, so hopefully they won't be looked down upon in the near future. Heck, even if they are, I love 'em, so they won't be going away any time soon.

Anyway, on the tail of that, my most recent "trend" I've adopted is the painted nails with one lone sparkly one.
These lovely nails are not the latest creation on my tips, but they definitely helped inspire. It's cute, no? I went back and forth deciding how I felt about it. On one hand (ha ha), I love it because I love a bold color on my fingers (totally fell in love with the neon colors that seemed to be everywhere this summer), but I didn't think I wanted to commit to such a bright color + lots of sparkle and glitter. When it comes to the stage more is always better, but when it comes to my every day life, I actually lean more towards the less is more mindset.

However, for some reason this idea stuck with me. So when I was re-doing my nails late last night (hmmm... maybe that's the reason for the more daring choice- note to self, make more decisions with the help of sleep deprivation, sometimes it works), I decided why the heck not. Well, it may have been that combined with a little indecisiveness due to the new colors in my palette (I'm the proud owner of OPIs line made for the Muppet movie that came out over the holidays) and this allowed for multiple colors to be used. Either way, it came out well and it doesn't feel nearly as "daring" as I thought it would. Or un-uniform and lacking symmetry. Not a fan of either of those things usually, but I had a thought that kind of helped it all.

The nail dubbed special enough to stand out from the crown is my ring finger on my left hand, ie, home base for my wedding ring. At first I thought it'd be too much, but then I started thinking it may be nice to have a little additional bling there. Also, it helps for when I don't have my wedding bling (which is a good majority of the time).

As I mentioned in passing in a previous post, I'm a nanny for a family. Besides taking care of the kiddoes, another part of my job is to help with the cleaning. Whether that be dishes, laundry, or keeping the bathrooms in a state of usefulness instead of complete disarray, it's part of my daily duties. With all the cleaning and hands being in the water and soap and within close proximity to drains, I generally leave my wedding band safe on my ring holder at home. I've done the wear it and take it off when I need to, but then I always have that split second, stomach dropping, heart stopping moment when I look and don't see the ring and forget if I took it off before hand or not, so I just decided I'd stop wearing it when I go to work.

Although practical, I do miss being able to look at my hand when I need a little pick-me-up or being able to catch it out of the corner of my eye and smiling because of what it stands for. Now, I have somewhat of a stand in. While my other nine digits are a lovely reddish-purple (the Wocka-Wocka color in the line), my ring finger is all sparkly and shiny thanks to Designer De Better, topped with Rainbow Connection. Admittedly not quite the same, but it definitely makes me smile when I see it.

I guess it just proves that sometimes following a trend isn't all bad. Well, as long as it's not acid wash denim. That can stay back where we all left it.

February 6, 2012

Escape from suburbia

Hey, look, two in one month. Official record broken... and now officially jinxed.

Anyway, on to the meat of this sandwich. This past Sunday was one of the most holy of days to the American culture. That's right ladies and gents, the Superbowl. Or, as I like to look at it, the point where there is the longest amount of time before the next football game crosses the airwaves. That, and Puppy Bowl. I love me some Puppy Bowl.

As is traditional for celebrating the grid iron, we made our way to a Superbowl Party. Now, I know what you're thinking- copious amounts of beer, booze and butt-size-increasing snack food. All of that was included (although not in gigantic, irresponsible amounts), but there was one other thing that wasn't part of the usual party plan. Kids. Lots and lots of kids.

Let me back track. Neither my husband or I had any major desire to watch the game for any other reason other than to not be the only people in the English speaking world to not have known what happened during the game. Well, ok, the commercials are always enticing. And Madonna. My goodness that woman is amazing. If you missed the performance, stop reading right now, go. Watch. NOW.

Welcome back. As I was saying, neither of us were going to be sitting at home watching the game, and we all know it's much more fun to enjoy such things in a group setting, so when my hubster received an invitation to a watch party from a friend we haven't seen since our wedding in 2010, we said yes. I was quite excited actually because it had been well over a year since we had seen these friends, and we had yet to meet their little boy, so it was definitely looking to be an enjoyable evening. And it was. Just not what we've come to expect from our enjoyable evenings with friends.

See, we are on the half of married couples that have been together a long time, have gotten married and have decided that starting a larger family outside of the two of us isn't something in the cards at this time. This actually seems to be sort of the trend with a good majority of our friends we see on a regular basis, so when we get together, we enjoy a nice evening of chatting, wine, beer, maybe a cocktail, some light munchies and maybe a board game. All fairly laid back and quiet. That was not how this evening was.

While we were making the trek out to their house (about 40 minutes from our home Downtown, yet still considered part of Kansas City... I'll never understand the thought process that made that happen), I said to J "I bet you anything we're going to be the only couple there without kids."

Yup, called it a mile away.

Now, before I turn off all you mothers and family folk out there, please, don't take it as any sort of insult. I love kids. I work with kids, as a nanny to two. There's almost nothing else in the world better than when I get the opportunity to visit my very good friend and her lovely little girl. It's just not time for us to have kids of our own.

Upon stepping into the house, we were welcomed by the screaming hoard of kids. Well, and a friendly hello from our friends. Definitely a different vibe than our usual visits to friends homes. As the evening continued, there was almost a constant hum of yelling, laughing, crying, talking and just a general dull roar from the kiddoes. Of course the adults were huddled into twos and threes and a few, like ourselves, who were watching the game.

If you recall, earlier I stated neither of us really had a desire to watch the game, we were much  more interested in attending for the social aspect. Yeah, well, a social gathering including kids is much different. Much, much different. I don't think we said more than a few words to the very gracious hosts before they were running after one of the kids, being beckoned into another room due to an action by one of the visiting kids, or just because we flat out don't have nearly enough in common to carry on more than a few sentences at a time. Basically it kind of worked out to be we didn't have kids to talk about = we didn't have anything really to talk about.

It was then that I just sort of had the thought/realization/musing/what have you, that as we grow up we move into cliques. Ah, the dreaded "C" word we all though we escaped in high school. Sad, but true, they follow us into adulthood. Just now they seem to follow with our life decisions. First it goes from the clique of singles to the "in a relationship" group. Then it's a mere hop, skip and a jump to "long term relationship/married" group and from there it usually seems to split into two. The married with children and the married without. We (along with the majority of our friends) fall into the latter group.

We were at a party where all the "cool kids" were the ones with kids. We weren't in the right clique, so we didn't really have the "in" and therefore we just sat, borderline awkwardly in our chairs, watching a game we didn't care much for, and observed.

Don't be mistaken, we did enjoy our time there, it was just, well, different.

A definite plus to the experience was the conversation it motivated us to have in the car ride back home. We covered subjects from where we would live if/when we have kids other than the furry, four-legged variety to how we would raise them/what sort of rules would be applied in our house, etc. A very interesting turn and thankfully eye-opening in a way that I don't think either of us really were aware (P.S., we will definitely be considered the "strict" and probably "uncool" parents, in case any of you were wondering).

All in all, it was a very educational evening in which we mostly learned one thing- we succesfully escaped suburbia and will happily return as long as we know there's a return ticket.

February 3, 2012

Here we go... again

All right, so I'll be the first to fully admit when it comes to blogging I'm very much a love the concept, not so great at actually making it happen sort of person. I think in the time span of only a few years I have written started designed a layout for over a handful and never went any further. Really, the only time I somewhat kept one up-to-date was during out wedding and I created one of those wed-sites in order to have a central hub for everyone involved. Mostly that was purely selfishly motivated as to not have to answer endless emails and to avoid lots of phone calls (not a fan of the long phone conversation- to me, text messaging was one of the best inventions EVER).

So, why try writing yet another online masterpiece? Good question. In a way the blogosphere has a strange siren-call that I can't ignore. Well, can't ignore so much that I at least make the initial effort to start something and may or may not continue what I started. It's really and odd habit being someone who doesn't like to start something and not finish.

Speaking of starting, one of the best and trickiest things of a blog is coming up with a name that is 1)fitting to the writer, 2)fun and eye-catching, and 3)not all ready taken. The last being probably the hardest. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to start a blog (oh wait, I'm pretty sure you do) and found the name I decided would be more than perfect was taken by someone who hadn't written for years. Yes, pot calling the kettle black, but I'm fairly sure the titles I've gone with no one else will want. Hopefully. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry and I promise to... feel sorry... yeah.

All that being said, the title of this one is courtesy of my wonderful husband. And (not) surprisingly, it wasn't all ready claimed! I thought, considering what I want this blog to be, it couldn't be more appropriate. My goal with this blog is to be able to do what I didn't feel I could do in others. Mostly the past blogs I've started have partially revolved around my marriage, or coupledom or other things of that matter, and although all very important to me, it wasn't the right outlet for the gazillion other thoughts and musings that come through this insane mind of mine that don't have anything what so ever to do with marriage, etc. I mean, sometimes a girl just needs a place to rant about running, enthuse about an awesome find on Pinterest, or just a place to put endless pictures of cute animals.

Ok, so maybe the latter is fairly unlikely, but you get the point. I wanted a place that was mine. Not having to worry about the post not relating to whatever the theme of the blog is because this ones "theme" is me.

Anyway, I guess in a way that's a pre-cursor for somewhat of a disclaimer stating I in no way make any sort of promises to keep this super up-to-date. If something inspires me to write, so it will be. I've learned from past blogging attempts, that I would always make a "promise" of sorts in the post in order to motivate myself to write again. Obviously, it was a fruitless effort, so in a way, I'm trying to reverse psychology to it all... yeah, that's it. So enjoy, hate, don't feel strongly either way, but either way, thank you for reading and hope to see you again.