Stitch Loves To Get Out And Smell The Coffee

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Lets start off with coffee. I start my morning’s with one cup of coffee, it’s a strict habit.

Let’s be honest though, some mornings I roll out of bed, throw something on that looks presentable (probably gym clothes), drive to my munchkins’ house, put their coffee press to good use then proceed to sit on the couch and put on one of Stich’s favorite shows. Some mornings are slow my friends. Some mornings with kids, you just choose lazy.

If you think that sounds easy, you haven’t factored in ‘the wild card’ that is children. Stitch doesn’t always want to watch her favorite show. Stitch likes to go places. She regularly comes up to me and signs the word “go” because she likes to be out of the house and running errands. Most kids don’t like errands, but this 2.5 year old loves them. She even likes falling asleep in the car. So, every once in a while if I haven’t had coffee or I could use another cup because it’s been one of those weeks, we go to the coffee shop. She’s as happy as a clam and I am too as long as she stays seated and entertained.

So, nanny advice of the day; take the munchkins to a coffee shop, let them bring books, coloring books (something quiet) and let them experience the calm, lovely smelling atmosphere of the coffee shop.

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#thankthelordforcoffee

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Total Drama – Not Even The Mama.

Okay so – drama – does it ever end? (Rhetorical question, of course)
I’m sure that everything is bigger when you’re young and in the handful of years you’ve been kickin’ n’ screamin’ it’s harder to brush a year, a month or a week off like it’s no big deal. But some things still make me scratch my head. And I guess hormones are something not a lot of people understand nor can they predict their ebb and flow, but seriously this sucks. One minute these kids are happy as a clam and then the next minute their balling their eyes out because you said “Not now.” Literally, kicking and screaming because now is the only time available in their minds.
Currently, my absolute least favorite is the outrage and all-but-swearing-attitude that comes with asking a simple chore to be done. “It’ll pass,” they say. Well, thanks but today that’s not even a little comforting. It only tells me that I have a long way to go before then. (Here’s me, kickin’ and screamin’ wanting something now, yikes!) Have you ever had to physically wrestle an object into place? Brothers that thoroughly enjoy wrestling may relate to this metaphor in a more personal way, I’ve been on the receiving end of such a brother… So… Fun… :I But, seriously, that exhausting physical exertion – that’s how it feels mentally. It’s so mentally and emotionally exhausting you want to lay down on the floor and pretend it’s not happening because seriously, what adult wants to go back to all that drama again? We’ve already done it once why must we do it again? And not even with someone that’s like us – they never are, even if they’re related to you, they react different then you would.
Lord, help us all! No, really, LORD, help me. Help me choose patience even when I don’t want to. Because they are just kids, they know not what they do.
One thing I do stand by, and it’s the best advice I can give myself and others, is to always let your “no” be no and your “yes” be yes. In light of that, I believe with unacceptable behavior, you cut it off right there. It’s not okay, deliver appropriate consequence, when our emotions are gone, then we’ll talk. Bottom line, I love you, I want you to enjoy life, letting your emotions out of control won’t result in enjoyable things. Make them practice control, when they have it then talk about it calmly with understanding and love. It is tough being a kid, let ’em know you get that. There really is hope though, “practice makes better” I say.

#nannyout

The Day Havok Turned Into The Hulk

Well it happened. Havok ran away. He came back after a little over an hour so don’t panic. But I did not like any of those minutes at all and I will not deny my own amounts of panic in them.

Everything was fine after school. We had a snack and had a really good bible study – he totally understood a verse that I thought might be confusing and we had a great little talk about it. Then, I had to bring up his chore situation. See, he was leaving his clean laundry in the basket and putting dirty laundry on top of it then washing them all together again. We’ve discussed the consequences of this many times. He conceded until a few minutes later when he wanted to go outside and then… Well, he lives up the the name Havok.
If you’re anything remotely close to human, you know when you reach your patient limit and you no longer have the calm control you wish for. Well, after several calm attempts to calm him down, asking him to speak respectfully to me, telling him to go to his room, him refusing point blank a couple of times, him continuing to argue his point, I lost it.
Ya’ll don’t know this but I’m naturally soft spoken, I don’t easily anger and I don’t yell often, when I do it hurts my throat. But I yelled, that loud, throat wrenching yell that scared the baby and everyone else. And it just so happened to be the exact moment that one of the older boys let a guest in the front door (a confirmed appointment for Stitch that I totally forgot about in the heat of it all). Perfect right? Perfectly embarrassing. This guest being a mother also and generally knowing me, understood graciously. After I finished with the appointment I went to speak to Havok, only to find his window open, the screen taken out and his phone on the floor.
You guys, I looked everywhere, truthfully there was no way he could have made it out of his window, so I figured it was a trick and he was hiding somewhere or he left out a regular door. I was livid and oh so worried at the same time. What a crazy combination of feelings. I didn’t like it. I drove around couldn’t find him and finally decided that the best thing to do was to give him some more time. Hopefully he would come home before his parents came home. It was hard though, what if he didn’t come back? What if he was so angry with me that he’d rather not come back?
When he walked in the house, I wasn’t totally calm on the inside but I asked him in a serious voice, where he went;
“I rode my roller blades around to try and calm down.”
“So you decided to leave even though you weren’t supposed to?” I asked.
“Yes.”
“You’re okay with the consequences that follow that decision.”
“Yes.” His tough composure wavered here. And he went to his room.
I was still so angry, so many horrible consequences went through my mind! That’s when I know I’m too angry to make any reasonable decisions.
I did go to his room and take all electronics. I told him calmly that I was too upset to speak about it today so we would discuss it tomorrow.
Tomorrow came and I still didn’t want to talk to him. He’d never been so blatantly disrespectful to me before. He was reminding me of his oldest brother, Hulk, whom I’ve never been able to get respect from. I don’t want to go down that road with this boy, I got to start younger with him, I’m really hoping our relationship is deeper.

I don’t know friends. This is the part that’s hard for us nanny’s. It all depends on follow through with the parents and bottom line – I’m not the parent. They want their parents more then me – as they should. This is just the part where the nanny can’t do much more then trust The Lord and the parents. And this is the part where I realize I need to let go of my desire to control what I cannot. It’s a hard lesson but a good one.

Goodnight My Little Ninja Turtle

I’d say that my little Michelangelo is a well-rounded little girl, because not only does she like princess’ and sweet little girl things but she also likes action adventure and mystery. Tonight as I asked her what song she would like me to sing and she named three: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Moon Moon Moon” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. She chose the latter. This is probably the third time She has asked me to sing this, I’ve also been known to sing “Scooby Doobie Doo”. And I smiled to myself afterwards and said, “Goodnight my little ninja turtle – I mean – little girl” This time I knew all the words to “TMNT” and she was very pleased to hear one of her favorite songs. (And it’s no wonder I’ve nicknamed her Michelangelo)
She’s perfect in her own unique personality. #loveher

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Que the Waterworks

The world ended several times today for a certain 4 year old girl.

Let me just give you a summary of today from 3 PM to 5:30 PM:

“No, Michelangelo, you cannot have a sticker.”
Que waterworks for the next 3 minutes as I am driving.

“We need to go upstairs and clean your room.”
Que immediate waterworks.
“But I want to count to 100!!!!” Mikey cries nonstop for 5 minutes about this.

“You need to go to timeout now.”
Que waterworks.
“But I want to be with you!!!!” She proceeds to scream-cry for the whole 4 minutes of her time out.

“We need to make the bed and clean up.” I say.
“But I want to play a game right now.”
Que waterworks for the next 4 minutes.

“We’re putting away your train.” I instruct
“But I want to play wif it.” She wines.
“No, sorry it’s time to clean up.”
Que waterworks.

“I think you’ll need an early bed time tonight.”
Que waterworks.
“No, I don’t want to go to bed early!”

*Insert long deep sigh here from a worn out nanny.
Please, no more rivers of tears and snot today. I need to go to bed early too.

The Truth Comes Out.

I’ve been meaning to write this since after the last post about the Krispy Treats.

I made them again the very next week and the next day no one had eaten any, I found this odd because they always finish the baked goods I make within 1-2 days. The end of the week comes and no one has been eating them. Havoc asks me if we can go get a milk shake or something after school and I tell him we still have Krispy treats to finish before we get something else. He gets really quite and mumbles something, I figure he’s just sad because he wants a milkshake but I ask him what he said and he says sadly, 

“I don’t really like them.” Then he begins to get teary-eyed,

“I just said I did because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.” 

I am shocked. He clearly feels guilty so I say,

“That was very kind of you, and you don’t have to like everything I make. But I’d like to know so that I don’t keep making it. It’s okay, I’m not mad or hurt.”

“Okay.” He says trying to compose himself. 

I still can’t believe it. Those treats are so good! Oh well, I ended up eating them all. No harm done right?

 

The Art of Baking for Picky Eaters

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The Fruity Pebble Rice Krispie Treat = Current favorite Dessert of this nanny.

I have two older brothers who eat like its their job. It could be because we spent a great chunk of our young lives being poor, it could be because they are tall and excercise fairly regularly or it could be that it’s an inherited trait that our family thoroughly enjoys foods of any kind. But it’s because of them and all their friends that I have cooked and baked for that I made the conclusion that boys will eat anything and everything. Until, these 3 young boys turned down cookies, ice cream, pies and chocolate.
You’re in shock right?!?!
It makes a nanny rethink everything she knows about boys as well as all the baking she had been so looking forward to doing. I imagined my awesome baking skills improving and the joy and warmth that would wash over their faces when they arrived home from school to find yummy snacks waiting. But it was only a dream. Reality hit when I made cookies and they made weird faces at the sight of them and tentatively tasted them then to simply state, – “They’re okay… I guess.”
It took them at least a 12 months or more to finally start asking me to make certain things.
Boy #1 – The Hulk, Changes what he likes constantly. If he likes something he will only eat that for a long time then suddenly he hates it and we have to start over to figure out what he likes.
Boy #2 – Beast, Loves to eat, most things I think, except chocolate. But He thoroughly enjoys saying ‘no’ just for the heck of it.
Boy #3 – Havoc, Is the most open to trying new foods and he’ll try most everything I bake.
The girls will try most things as well.

This Fruity Pebble Dessert was a hit. I pride myself in just experimenting and finding great things that at least they try. Either way, I eat it… I need to workout more…

Nanny Future Thoughts

Nanny Future Thoughts

I don’t know how other nannys can come into a job and not feel so entirely attatched to the kids. I feel so invested, so in love.
They aren’t mine but they feel so much apart of me.
This littlest munchkin is getting a lot of one-on-one time with her Miss J. I’m teaching her things and watching the emotions and thoughts play across her features as if I’m watching a movie. And I think I almost know what she’s thinking most of the time…
Lately, I’ve been contemplating their ages. Mikey goes to Kindergarten next year. Havoc goes to Middle School and the oldest two boys are both in High School next year. The oldest The Hulk (I’ll call him) and Beast don’t need me anymore. Havoc is almost there too. When Stitch goes to school what will I do? I’m sure a lot of young nannys don’t plan to stay forever but at this point, I want to stay as long as I can… That’s crazy!
I love them. I love this job. There’s nothing like it. Nothing pushes me and yet comforts me like this. It’s hard but I have such peace doing it. Maybe The Lord made me just for this. Maybe when these guys don’t need me anymore there will be something else I’m good at ready for me. I don’t know. But I know who I am and who I love and I plan on loving and being who God made me until the end – whatever that means. But, here I am Lord, use me.

For The Love Of Boys

For The Love Of Boys

This is a picture of one of the boys I care for and his neighbor friends.

Seriously, boys… they make me crazy sometimes.
They argue and dissaprove of all the boundaries you set. They can be very ‘literal’ and technical especially if it’s something they feel strongly about. And if they like you, they will not tell you out right. So you gotta learn to read ‘the signs’ and in case you don’t know the signs they are usually the opposite of what you’re thinking.
Let me lay it out for you just for because.

All of the following things mean you’re okay:

– If they sit, stand or positiong themselves in anyway near your person
– If they poke, punch, kick (most of the time it doesn’t hurt), attempt to wrestle or tackle you
– If they tease or pick on you in anyway
– If they initiate conversation in general

Now there are exceptions of course but I’d say this is a standard baseline. And this mostly applies to young boys, as per my experience.

When I recognize this I can find some solace in a job that rarely offers blatant verbal appreciation. In this particular picture I am in the car at the end of a work day about to head home. Havoc and his friends occassionaly will run after my vehicle or jump on it if I’m parked and try to get in. This is most likely just fun to them but I think on a level, they think I’m alright so they initiate chase. I’m just going to recieve it and be thankful that at least they don’t hate me, because if they did, they’d not give me a second glance.

This nanny might be doing something right.

Good Morning, She’s Gettin Too Big!

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She’s almost 19 months old and for a baby with an extra chromosome she’s excelling in so many ways. She’s just gotten the hang of the sippy cup. Next we’ll work on the straw.
She’s so encouraging to me. Just when I start to feel discouraged about her slower growth, she excels at something and I’m like, “Yeah, baby! You’re so big!!!” And you know, I partially don’t want her to grow. It’s sort of a double edge sword with this nanny. I love these guys so much which is the best for them but it’s worse for me because when they get old enough they won’t need me anymore. But I’ll feel like I need them. 😥 When I’m away for long periods like vacation, I notice their absence like something’s missing. When I’m with them of course there are plenty of days where going home at the end of the day is a total relief. (I imagine most moms can agree to that feeling when they get a babysitter and get to leave.) People – the day I walk away from this job – I will drown in tears! I’m so committed to these little lives. The last kids I left was hard and I still miss them sooooo much but I visit them and write. So, I guess these guys are stuck with me for life. Hah!