Posts Tagged ‘Full House’

Full House

June 24, 2015

At least it’s a gigantic house.

But there’s a lot of us here and today I had a moment of needing to be completely alone.

That is not going to happen, but I did take time to reach out to a few people and check in and do the things that I need to do to keep myself centered and sane.

I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked either, one of the boys had night terrors last night and I woke up to a little boy screaming.

Not the best sound to wake up to.

I wasn’t needed to assuage the dreams, but I found it took a moment to drop back off to sleep and the full impact of so many folks in a space, when I am used to my own space has made me desire the silence that I surround myself with in my home.

I am quiet in the morning.

I get up and do my deal and for the first two hours sometimes, two and a half hours of the day, I don’t interact with anyone (granted 45 minutes of that time is devoted to my morning bicycle commute of 6.5 miles through the city).

I read.

I write.

I eat a mindful breakfast.

I check some e-mails and my bank account and make a mental list of any bills that may need to get sorted and the general effluvia of the day that needs addressing.

There is not that same quiet here.

There are four parents, four boys- 2 and 3/4s, a three-year old, and 2 five-year olds, one baby–a five month old baby girl that I just want to squeeze and squish and kiss every time I see her and I cannot help myself, I flirt with her like nobody’s business.

I’m partial to dark-eyed babies with curly brown hair.

Hell.

I am partial to all babies, whatever flavor or color, they all are delicious.

There is also another nanny, a dog, a caretaker that comes by the house every evening without fail right before the boys are being corralled to the dinner table who throws the whole house into complete ruckus as he checks the swimming pool and the garden and waters the plants and does any minor maintenance that needs doing.

That’s a lot of people, personalities, and activity happening around me.

I feel that I have done a pretty damn good job with my self-care, the family has certainly helped with that–accommodating my “strange” food diet, no sugar no flour, and being mindful of keeping the boys out of my room and space.

I have stayed with my current routine, the one that I would do if I was at home, so I get up two and a half hours before my shift starts, which has shifted a bit later here than it is in the city, also keeping me working later in the day than I am used to, but as I said to the mom tonight when I realized I was getting testy, in my brain, not with the family or the boys or the situation (a gentle reminder that I am out of my milieu and my comfort zone and a deep breath) where can I best be of service?

And when I was told, clean up the kitchen.

Ok.

I did it.

I felt a bit like the help.

Then I realized.

Hello.

You are the help.

Then I remembered, I feel best when I am of service.

So I happily scrubbed the kitchen while the boys and baby all went out to the wide swath of green grass behind the house and ran around the verdant paddock, not even realizing until I was half way through, oh, this is nice.

It was quiet.

The noise is not unpleasant, it’s just a balancing act, knowing when I need to engage, when I need to pull back, when I can help the other nanny, when I can help the other family or my family.

I also know that I am not a live in nanny.

I never have been.

I don’t know that I ever could be.

I like the autonomy of my own space.

I love the going home at the end of my day.

And that’s not the case here.

I have not left here since I arrived on Sunday evening and that in and off itself is surreal for me.

Despite the house being large and rambling and the grounds wide, the house is on 13 acres, I haven’t gotten out a whole lot to do exploring.

Mostly I am getting my exercise running up and down the back stairs and hunting down the various swim suits and rash guards for the boys.

I am getting into the pool everyday and that is enjoyable.

I mean, really, how bad is it when I am getting paid to swim in the pool with my charges on a sunny afternoon in Sonoma.

The constant presence of the parents is something I am used to from working in the city, just not the presence of two other parents and another nanny.

I remind myself to take care of myself.

To stay connected with my people.

One of whom is actually going to meet me in Sonoma tomorrow evening.

I cleared it with the parents to go out tomorrow and do that thing I need to do.

The timing has not been great for getting me out to do the deal and I am beginning to feel that, but tomorrow, I get out and I get to meet one of my ladybugs who is going to drive into Sonoma to meet with me.

Thank you Jeebus.

I need it.

I actually called and left her a message telling her I needed her to call and check in with me, because my solutions are sub optimal, but when I hear someone else’s problems, I suddenly have none.

Like really?

I have any problems.

Please.

I found out twenty-four hours ago that I was awarded a second scholarship for $30,000.

Which brings me to my total awards package of $80,000.

Again, who has problems?

I called my mom and she suggested that since things were going so well my way that I should be looking at getting my PhD.

Mom.

Can I please enjoy the moment?

Just let me.

Ugh.

I know better.

And that’s when I knew I was just a little spiritually off kilter, don’t go to the dry well expecting a drink of water.

My mom means well, but I know better.

I wanted something from her, I wanted acknowledgement, love, accolades.

I don’t need to look for validation from outside sources and when I realized I was doing just that I started making the necessary conversations happen to get me out of the full house and off into the world for a sit down in a church basement on a crappy folding chair.

It’s a lot more comfortable place for me to sit then in my head.

The house may be full and I may get overwhelmed at times, but this is a temporary situation and I know I am doing a really good job for the family.

I am grateful for that.

I’ll be grateful for Friday too.

But until then.

I will continue to ask, “where can I best be of service?”

Because when I do that.

I know that I am exactly in the right place.

Full or empty house.

Got My Cable Car On

January 5, 2015

“We want to do the trolley.”

My friend from college is visiting with his company on business.

“And the Painted Ladies, you know that place where they filmed Full House.”

Ugh, yes I do know.

“And the Golden Gate Bridge.”

Oh sweet jesus.

I just thought we were going to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on the past few years that we haven’t seen each other.

And how the fuck did he turn 40? Or for that matter, how am I 42?

I also don’t remember him being taller than me, but that could be because the guy I am dating is shorter than I am and I am automatically thinking that all men are shorter than me.

My friend is also losing his hair.

Mortality.

I gave him a little grief about the hair, I had to poke some fun, but I get it, he’s got a 13 month old baby boy, I’m sure the hair loss happened shortly after realizing that he wasn’t going to get any sleep for the first 8 months of his child’s life.

He always hollers “hola” at me because of my name and despite many years of persuading him that I do not, in fact, speak spanish, despite my spanish sounding name, the “hola” has continued.

It is like my family calling me Bubba.

Which is not a bad nickname when I acknowledge it, and I may have inadvertently gotten a new nickname from my boyfriend.

“Hey lip gloss,” he said to me the other night as I re-applied some lip balm.

“I just brushed my teeth,” I warded him off, “I need to re-up.”

Poor man.

He got more than he bargained for with this sparkle pony.

I joke that I am not going to prank him by mowing off an eyebrow while he sleeps or shaving some silly design on the side of his head; no, I’ll just dump loose glitter on his motorcycle jacket.

Or spray him down with aerosol adhesive and then dump loose glitter on him.

I have red, purple, and sky blue.

I bought them years ago for Burning Man and then never used them.

But he’s right, I do have a fondness for the lip gloss.

I like my mouth to feel a certain way and I hate dry lips.

I digress.

I basically played tourist today.

I took my friend and his boss on a little sightseeing of San Francisco.

I didn’t mind, although, truth be told, I was surprised at the number of things we crammed into a short amount of time.

They picked me up around 2:45 p.m. and dropped me off just before 6 p.m. having to give themselves enough time to get the rental car back to the airport and pick up another person from SFO for the rest of the business trip.

In that time we drove Great Highway, went up to Lands End, parked, walked around Seal Rock, Lands End, and took photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Then we hopped back into the car and I navigate us to the NOPA neighborhood so that we could do a quick spin around Alamo Square Park and see the Painted Ladies.

Which actually looked really lovely in the late afternoon light.

Plus the scaffolding that has been up on one of the girls finally has been pulled down.

I’m not always the biggest fan of the Painted Ladies, I think there are far prettier houses, but the view is gorgeous and my friend and his co-hort got to snap some photographs.

Before heading to the cable car.

At least I know my cable car lines.

I did not direct us to either the downtown turn around on Powell or the one at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf.

Nope.

We hopped on the California Van Ness line at California and Polk Street.

I pointed out things like a good host guide–“there’s the Masonic Temple, in case you wanted to see any Mason’s,” I chuckled when we passed the venue.

“On the left side of the car is Grace Cathedral, there’s Huntington Square Park, here’s the Fairmont Hotel with the Tonga Room, and on the other side is the Top of The Mark, where Vertigo was filmed.”

I told them about how the cable cars run and the difference between a cable car and a trolley.

I got to see some San Francisco I don’t normally see.

Then we hopped off at the end of the line in the Financial District and walked over to the Ferry Building.

They joked about hipsters and gluten-free diets and hippies and vegan donuts and I used the bathroom.

We grabbed a Boccalone sampler of salted pig parts and walked back to the Financial District and for the first time in so long I can’t remember when this actually happened, we went to a bar and watched the end of the Dallas Detroit Game.

My friend was determined to find a place to watch the last few minutes, and his compatriot seemed just as eager, I think they were on the spread (what does that mean anyway?).

So, that’s how it happened to be that at 4:30 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon I find myself in the hotel bar of the Hyatt Regency downtown sipping a Pellegrino and sending texts to my boyfriend who is away on business in Santa Clara while my friend drinks a pint and watches the football game.

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

Twice in one weekend I find myself in social settings with bars.

I’m not interested in drinking, if anything it really grosses me out, the smell of it especially, I find myself more and more sensitive to it, but I did not like that I had ended up in a bar on my day off.

I was glad to see my friend.

But I was ready to go home.

We took an Uber from the hotel bar to the rental car after the game finished and I thought, my life, it really is so different from the everyday hustle bustle of the rest of the world.

Not just because I live and work in San Francisco, but also because I practice an actively spiritual way of life that does not include drinking.

I have been reminded at New Years and again today, how the rest of the world works and plays, oh, yeah, this is what “normal” people do.

I have to say.

Thanks, but no thanks.

I don’t mind playing tourist once in a while.

But that’s not a part of town I need to revisit again.

Literally and figuratively.

That being said, it was a gift to see my friend, it is nice to see people from Madison, from UW, from that part of my life.

If only to smash home how radically different a person I have become.

“Your place looks entirely Carmen,” my friend said as he used the bathroom and I gave him the “grand tour” of my in-law.

Although not exactly the person I was when I went to school back at UW Madison, I am apparently not too different either.

Just a bit more clear-eyed.

And present.

And now back to my regular programming.

My “normal.”

Living my own little slice of San Francisco.

Away, way, way, down by the sea.

In my little bungalow that looks like me.

 


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