Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snippets from my day job

You may or may not know this about me, but this year I have taken on a "nanny" job.  My youngest in in Kindergarten now, and this job was an answer to prayer.  I was looking for something that wouldn't take me away from my family on nights, weekends, or summers.  Or snow days.  Or holiday breaks.  Or any day that my kids were sick.   And I didn't want to have to leave our new doggie in her crate all day long.

So you see, my demands were extremely reasonable and simple. 

My plan was to get an Etsy shop up and running.  I couldn't think of any other income-producing thing that would meet my list of "requirements" for my family time.  I had just been praying about what God wanted me to do...understanding that "unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127:1).  I wanted to stay home and build my Etsy store.  But I didn't want to do it if God had something else in mind.  And in August, a friend of mine called me to see if I'd be interested in taking care of her kids during the day; she'd just gotten a teaching job.  So that' nights, weekends, summers, holidays, snow days, sick I could even bring the piggie-doggie with me if I wanted to.  AND, it was a guaranteed paycheck, unlike the uncertainty of how much I could earn on Etsy, and how long it would take to even get that ball rolling.  So I agreed to do it.

(Did I mention that my friend has 7 kids?  Oh, and the oldest one is 7.  They got married and had a baby every single year for 7 years.)

It is probably one of the most challenging jobs I've ever had, actually.  I tell people what I do, and almost 100% say, "are you crazy?"  (which by the way I think is kind of rude...but I know they don't mean it that way.)  When I've been out with only a few of the kids, people ask me the things I hear actual moms of lots of kids talk about, like..."are they all yours?" and things like that.  And I think, ha.  You think 4 is a lot?  I've got the rest of them stashed away at school right now...just wait till they get home.  THAT'S a lot!

It did take me the better part of the ENTIRE FALL to get used to handling all 7 at a time.  My whole perspective has changed.  I now think that having "only" 3 kids in the house - the baby, toddler, and preschooler - is a piece of cake.  (In what kind of world-gone-mad is that a piece of cake???)  And being at home with my own two school-age kids?  Absolute luxury. 

Well anyway, I always enjoy having a job where I have lots of stories to tell over dinner.  With this job, I am never at a loss for a funny story.  Here are some snippets from the last several weeks...

[With a great deal of urgency] "Do you know what, Miss Rachel?  There's a kind of ant that can eat your skin."
[Amidst the din of 7 children running all over the house] "Miss Rachel, could you please be quieter?  I'm trying to practice my piano."
"WAAAAH!"  What's wrong?  "I BIT MY HAND, WAAAAH!"  Well, maybe you should take it out of your mouth.  [Indignantly] "NO!"
"MISS RACHEL!  CanIgooutsideandplayinGod'sbeautifulcreation?  Pleeeeease?"
[After seeing my little white dog run downstairs with several green marker lines down her back]...Um, [6yo], why did you draw on Maggie?  "I didn't.  I was leaning on her while I was drawing on a piece of paper and the paper slipped."  (Incidentally, the green marker also "slipped" onto her bedroom carpet, forming the words "I Love Maggie" with several hearts around it.) 
[While explaining why kids aren't invited to girls' night out]..."Is it because you need some chill time with other adults?"  Yes.  How do you know about that?  "Mom says that to Dad a lot."  I'll bet she does.  I'll bet she does. 
[Me, to the 2yo]: Did you get to sit on Santa's lap?  Yes!  And what did you ask him for, for Christmas?  [Forcefully, with great conviction] a PWESHENT! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Highs and Lows: Midweek Edition

...Because it's Wednesday night already, but it feels like yesterday was Saturday, so this sort of counts as a Sunday post, if we go by how I feel and not what's on the calendar...

1. This sounds like an incredibly lame "high," and maybe it is.  DH & I, on Sunday (the REAL Sunday), went to both church AND "Sunday school for grown-ups."  That's what I did all growing up, and it's always felt a little weird to me that we haven't done it since we've been married.  For like, a decade.  The class we're going to is really good and very interesting, and there are donuts, and it's not important to get there on time, because there's about 20 minutes of social time first.  Score!  Plus, the kids don't mind - they actually enjoy - being at church for that extra hour or so. 

2. All the supportive comments I got from my last post were really cool.  It is really great to know that there are people who are on the same page as me. 

3. Went to MOPS yesterday and re-connected with some friends that I don't feel like I see very much anymore.  Not as much as I used to, anyway.  This is my last year for MOPS.  If you have young children (kindergarten and younger, down to infant), and you have a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) group in your area, you should definitely consider going.  You drop your kid(s)(ss) off with the childcare workers for free, and then go in and have some food and adult conversation with other moms.  It can be such a lifesaver!  Here's a link: Find a Local MOPS Group.  I don't work for them or anything, don't worry.  ;)  I just wanna pass it on!

1. My car hasn't blown up yet so that we can get insurance money to just get a new one.  I keep hoping that one day I'll walk outside, and find that it has spontaneously combusted.  What a piece of junk!  It has LESS than 40K on it and already we've had to replace the alternator, and now it's doing something else that sounds like it's gonna be expensive, too.  I'm so frustrated!  If you are thinking about a Dodge Caliber, just do yourself a favor and DON'T.  I just want to trade it in and get a new one.  But we would probably get more money for it if it just exploded.  Keeping fingers crossed...

2. My sister has not moved to my town yet.  Not that she has plans to.  I just wish she would.  She lives in another TIME zone, for the love of Pete.  13 hours away.  I miss her.  Thank goodness for all-inclusive cell phone plans. 

3. This was a few weeks ago, but I realize that I haven't griped about it online yet: I spent weeks knitting my dog Maggie a sweater.  And the blasted thing is too big.  It looks like a Snuggie, and she just walks right out of it.  Sigh. 

Well, I mainly just wanted to say "hi" to those of you who read & comment.  Hi! :)  I'm still here, just doin' my thang.  Maybe soon I'll have something pretty & ruffly to share...................  ;)