PSA for all the parental units out there. Take note.

Consider this post a Public Service Announcement. You've been warned.

I've been babysitting since I was 13 years old. If you're counting, that's 11 years. It's an extremely effective method of birth control. Don't get me wrong; I love kids. They are loving and insightful and just plain adorable. Most of the time. However, I realize that at this point in my life, I am too selfish to be a mother. Plus, I'm extremely single. Over the course of the past 11 years, I've had many wonderful, not-so-wonderful, and interesting experiences.

In high school, before I was legally able to drive after dark, I had to have the parents drive me home after babysitting. Generally, that duty fell to the husbands. One particular experience stands out in my mind. It was late and one husband was driving me home. It was a short drive because they live just a few streets away. Sounds like an uneventful thing, right? Wrong. As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, the husband started bragging to me about the affair he was having behind his wife's back. Awkward! Luckily, we arrived at my house before I had to say anything. I politely said goodnight and try to block out the awkward moment.

Around the same time, I was babysitting two kids that lived across the street from me. Keep in mind, this is back in the day, before everyone had cell phones. (I had a pager, but that's not really the same thing. It was way lame.) The parents had recently gotten divorced after the husband had an affair with another woman from their Sunday School class. (I swear, I don't only babysit for adulterers.) The kids and I decided to play outside because it was a nice summer day. The little boy, WW, accidentally locked us out of the house. He was only 6, so I couldn't be too angry with him. I knew their mom would be home in less than an hour, so I knew we would be alright. Wrong. WW was very upset about his parents' recent divorce. He snapped. He took off running down the street. Do you know how fast 6-year-old boy can run?! I finally caught him when he lost steam at the bottom of the hill. Talk about panic. I should have asked for hazard pay.

I've decided that there are some unspoken rules for babysitting. I foolishly thought that these things were common sense, but apparently they aren't. I've decided to share a few babysitting etiquette tips for all of those parents out there.

1. Try and give your sitter an accurate estimate of when you will be home. It upsets me when parents leave me saying it will be an early night and then they roll home after midnight. I really appreciate the parents that send a courtesy text when they are on their way home. That way, I can be sure I'm not in the bathroom or something when they get home. I realize I'm being paid to be there, but what if your boss told you that your workday ended at 5pm, but he kept you at work until 8pm? Not cool.
2. Please don't expect me to do laundry or clean your house. You are paying me to take care of your children. It's difficult to do that when I'm knee-deep in your dirty clothes.
3. Be realistic of your expectations of a sitter. One mom said to me: "You know, he's starting kindergarten in a week. I realized that all of his friends know how to read and he doesn't. Can you try and teach him this afternoon? Read to him and stuff, and I'm sure it'll work." The same mom also told me: "We are going to the beach tomorrow. Our rental house has a swimming pool, but he doesn't know how to swim. You need to call our pool and see if a lifeguard can give him private lessons. By the way...he's afraid of the water. Good luck!"
4. If you want me to drive your kids all around town, consider adding gas money into what you pay me. It's the polite thing to do.  Providing necessary carseats is also nice.  I do happen to own a booster seat for these purposes.
5. Don't come home hammered. You aren't in college anymore, so stop drinking like you're at a frat party. Knocking over furniture as you stumble in is not classy. When you are that wasted, you tend to lose your filter and say things that you shouldn't. I once had a mom tell me: "You know, some days I don't really like my daughter." Wow. Some things should never be said out loud. Also, you suck at math when you're drunk. Calculating how much you owe me when you can't see straight isn't easy. And most of the time, you under-pay.
6. If you have 4 kids, pay accordingly.
7. If you have a unique and complicated bedtime routine, please tell me. Even if you forget, your child will still expect me to read the 4 stories, sing your made-up lullaby, say your nightly prayer, tuck them (and their 75 stuffed animals) in juuuuust right, and do it all as if I were you. You are setting me up for failure and a breakdown from your child if you keep these things a secret. It's a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.
8. Keep your cell phone on and handy. I should be able to reach you if I need to.

I love babysitting, and I'm actually doing it right now. Don't worry, little A is fast asleep. I can see him on his video monitor, and I'm typing this on my iPad that I brought with me. I have the privilege of spending time with some very wonderful kids and I love watching them grow. I am grateful for all of the opportunities I've been given and I wouldn't change a thing. These are just a few tips that I have for all of my parent friends.

Love and baby kisses,


Not a ballerina

This post is random, but so is my mood. I'm currently curled up in my recliner, watching Harry's Law on NBC, and fighting the urge to find something to munch on. In the spirit of random, I thought I'd share some random facts about myself. Let's be honest, you're all dying to know about my spectacular life.

When I was 22 months old, I fell out of my swing set and broke my jaw.

I have a bizarre fascination with the Mafia and with prison culture. I watch too much TV and too many movies, I guess.

I have flat feet.

I can touch my nose with my tongue. See? I'm awkward. And talented.

I was on the SAT team in high school, which means I took the SATs for fun. Not so fun.

I know too much random trivia. I'm not so talented with Name That Tune.

One Halloween when I was in Elementary School, I dressed up as a genie a la I Dream of Jeannie. I was just a few houses down the street and looking forward to all of the candy I was going to get, when I broke out in hives. Mommy Dearest brought me home and I made Daddy and his best friend finish trick-or-treating for me.

I'm addicted to chapstick. I panic (Napoleon Dynamite style) if I don't have any.

I operate under the philosophy of "why buy it if I can make it myself." Embrace your inner crafter.

Wearing my glasses makes me sneeze.

I love muscadine wine.

I took ballet and piano as a child. I sucked at both.

I like to eat pineapple. Sometimes I eat too much and it makes my tongue hurt.

That's all I've got for tonight

Sweet dreams,


B is for Boring.

I swear, I didn't disappear in real life.  I just haven't felt like I've had anything blog-worthy lately.  Scratch that: I have, I just haven't had the energy to write it.

Last week, I had the single-most awkward experience EVER.  I can't go into the details, but it was way awk.  Think of the most awkward thing you can imagine. (Go ahead, take your time.) Now, multiply the awkwardness of that situation times 239,273,894,743,127,943,967...(you get the picture).  That's about half as awkward as this incident.  I won't say anymore since I can't tell the story, but I will leave you with these hints: mannequin, leash, Mexico.  Now let your imagination run wild with those!

Today is my first migraine-free day in 21 days [knock on wood].  All of the pain has left me exhausted everyday.  I'm at my wit's end with this whole thing.  I've been taking my medicines like I'm supposed to, but they just aren't working.  It's incredibly frustrating.  If you have any tips on how to deal with migraines, pass them my way.  I've been suffering my whole life and I've managed to keep them mostly under control.  Occasionally, I would have a string of them, but it has never been this severe for so long.  I'm desperate.  I will try anything.

On Friday, I was checking the Facebook newsfeed on my Blackberry and I saw a post that made my heart sink.  Will had died.  Will was a good friend of mine in college, and we had the very briefest of flings.  If you blinked, you would have missed it.  Not exaggerating.  Will played on my college's soccer team.  I was a soccer "groupie," and friends will all of the players.  My girls and I went to almost all of the games and spent a great deal of our free time hanging out with the guys.  (Trips to Fraternity Row, late-night runs to Jack in the Box, shenanigans all over campus, OC parties...never a dull moment.)  Will was a year behind me in school, but we were roughly the same age.  He was always the life of the party and never failed to bring a smile to my face.  I remember one particular night down at The Row when I ran into Will in the middle of the grass, dancing to the music, wearing a sombrero.  Classic Will.  We didn't remain close after college.  We led different lives that took us in very different directions, but I will always remember him fondly.  It's just another reminder about how fleeting our time on this earth really is, and how we should cherish every moment, even the crappy ones.  I know that it's a cliche thing to say, but it's so very true.  Here's to you, Will: Thank you for the laughs, the hugs, and the memories.  Thank you for always being true to yourself, however wacky it was.  I know you're rocking it out on the other side, sombrero and all.

Love and Rockets,

PS- If you haven't checked out Jenni's blog yet, you totally should.  She's got a great giveaway going on.  (I plan on winning, but you can totally come in second.)


Short and sweet.

I have a brilliant suggestion for everyone.  Everyone needs to head on over to Jenni's rad blog (Story of My Life) .  She recently posted her serendipitious love story about how she met her hubby, and she's got a really sweet giveaway going on.  However, if any of you win, you have to share royalties with me.  After all, I was the one who told you how fab Jenni and blog are.  Booyah.



This is why I blog.

I blog for myself.

I don't blog because I think that I have anything particularly interesting to say (which doesn't mean that I don't) or because I think people care to read about my life.

I don't blog to gain anyone's approval.

I blog because there are thoughts in my head that I need to get out.  Sometimes these thoughts are easier to share with strangers.  Strangers don't judge you (but if they do, you can delete their comments and leave them out to dry in interwebs limbo).  Strangers don't interpret your comments as spiteful (but if they do, delete them).

I blog because I have awkward/comedic moments in my life and I want to share.

That is why I blog.  For the record.

New blog address, new chapter.  Get ready.


"I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream." -Van Gogh

I majored in Art History in college.  I started out with a sensible major (Business Economics), but I quickly changed during the second semester of my sophomore year.  I took my first Economics class and understood nothing.  I love Art History.

If you share my love of art, you will LOVE this: Google Art Project

It's so magical that I can't even describe it.  To see Van Gogh's brush strokes...to see Cuyp's insane details...to see the magnificence of Versailles...


Pardon me while I go drool over artwork at my desk.


Inappropriate laughter

Today is one of those days.  It's yucky and rainy and nothing is going right.  I was looking through my Blackberry at my pictures and I found some that made me giggle.  I decided that I should share these with you, my lovely followers.  Enjoy!

I babysit this sweet little girl and I tried to take a picture of her smiling.  This is what I got.  Even better.
Do I stop?  Or do I go?
Best pizza delivery van ever.  TMNT for life.
I pass this church on my way to my parents' house.  I don't even know what to say.
Don't get greedy, now.
"FLU SHOTS HERE" sign fail.  
I was reading through old work orders for a client and came across this gem.  That's an "L," not a "C."  (Give it a second...)
I found this Nutcracker head when I used to work at The Children's Museum.
Variations of this ad were all over the Tube stations in London.  www.loveyourvagina.com  Go on, I dare you.
This is a toy vending machine thing at the movie theater.  Couldn't they have come up with a better name?
How to write in Braille:
Step 6: Laugh at Steo 5.
Step7: Go to Hell.  You're a cruel person for laughing.
Hearts and sparkles,
Blog Design by April Showers