Posts Tagged ‘nap time’

Buried Alive

August 29, 2019

This is it folks.

You may not see or hear from me in weeks.

In fact.

I am already askance at myself for not throwing myself headlong into some reading, writing, researching, or the other.

Why, I’m writing my blog when there is a shit ton, a fuck ton, a whole lot of things to do this semester.

I knew that at my intensive, when just after two days of one class I realized that class alone was going to be a full time job.

Then.

Add in two more classes.

One is “light,” like I only have to read five books.

But the other is fairly substantial and I am thinking about using the work in progress project to write a potential publishable paper.

I get ahead of myself, but it was suggested that I might want to do that by a fellow who’s on the three year course track.

He listened to my project and was like, “you should publish that,” then told me how to do it, then approached my professor and told him what we had discussed and the professor liked it!

Holy fuck.

Anyway.

One day back from the intensive and I haven’t done a lot, although I have done plenty.

Since I have been back I have had supervision, seen 7 clients, worked a nanny shift, went grocery shopping, did laundry, and food prepped for the week.

That in and of itself is full time work.

Then, today at work, while the little guy napped (why oh why have his naps grown shorter!?) I plugged in all the due dates and assignments and readings that I needed to do over the semester into my Google calendar.

My calendar looks crazy.

It looks like every spare minute has been accounted for until mid December when the semester ends.

I sense the days are going to fly by because they will all be so very full with the work that I have to do.

I have a lot to do.

This is by far the heaviest work load.

And.

In a sense the most clear cut.

I figured out who I want to be my chair for my PhD dissertation committee and I also asked said person, or at least gave him the heads up.

It will still have to go through the channels and what not, but I know who I want and I believe he wants to work with me.

Plus.

I asked another person to be on my committee and she said yes.

So, that’s positive.

Granted, I can’t actually assign anyone to my committee without my chair’s approval.

So first the chair.

That will officially happen in November.

But I interviewed with three professors at the intensive and with each one I talk substantively about what I am doing and what my inquiry is and how I want to pursue the work.

Two of the professors I talked to for an hour.

One professor I only got to catch for ten minutes between classes, but she was ecstatic with my idea and really impressed with how I’m going about it.

She recommended that I sit in on a former TA’s dissertation defense, which I did and she was the person I asked to be my second committee member.

The professor also suggested I take her elective in Spring, which I had already written down to take!

So my courses are lined up.

I will get through this semester and I’m going to light it on fire.

I’m going to bring it.

The fact that I am going down two days of nannying a week for me is even a bigger deal now.

I need that time.

I also want to have incoming therapy clients fill up those spots, but every spare minute is going to be used.

I had clients cancel for this Friday, not all, but two, Labor Day weekend travel plans, and I immediately blocked the time off to do homework.

I will always, always, always, be carrying my laptop with me so that I can take whatever time I get whenever I get it, to be online, posting discussion posts.

I will always have one, if not two or even three books with me so that I have something I am consistently reading.

This is the semester to get my literature together.

For my Ecology of Ideas class I have to submit a literature journal with 250-300 pieces of literature–dissertations, studies, books, articles, etc.

I don’t have to read them through, but I will need to be consistently searching for materials as well as consistently skimming and scanning and adding them to my annotated bibliography and my journal.

There is so much to do.

It’s exciting too.

I’m not going to lie.

I can really see it coming together and I plan on submitting my proposal next fall instead of waiting for the fall semester to work on the proposal, I am going to do it over the summer.

I am going to dig in next summer and get it done, it will literally save me a year of tuition and waiting for approval.

A friend of mine who TA’s for some of the courses did that this intensive.

She did all her course work in two years, like I am in the middle of doing, took the summer to work on her proposal and the second day of the intensive, the first day of classes, she defended her proposal and got it approved.

Which means she moves right into her dissertation.

I’m all for it.

I made a pact with a friend of mine in the cohort and that’s what we’re going to do.

It will knock out time and a lot of tuition.

Fuck my student loans are big.

But you know.

I am so fucking worth it.

And so is my idea.

I can’t wait to show it to the world.

Until then though.

You will not see a lot of me this semester.

I literally am going to be buried under books.

I might come up for a breather around Thanksgiving.

But for now.

Well.

See ya.

I got shit to read.

So much.

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My Head is Full

April 23, 2019

Like so full.

So much stuff in there.

I have a touch of a headache.

This sometimes will happen when I have been trying to shove too much information into my brain and it just can’t take any more in.

Over the weekend I had to address a lot of homework and do a lot of research.

The research went well, the paper got written, eleven pages thank you very much, but I was still behind.

Not by a lot.

But by enough to make me a feel a touch chagrined with myself.

I had completely missed out a weeks discussion in one of my classes.

I figured out how today when I realized I had read all the chapters well in advance of the discussion and some part of my brain just thought I was totally ahead of the curve.

Plus.

I had met with the professor of the class last week and I just presumed to myself without checking into the actual syllabus that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I think unconsciously I let myself do it.

I tend to post well thought out, referenced, worded well, well supported, thoughtful post.s

I am typically one of the first people in my classes to respond to a post prompting and I am pretty open and transparent with the work I do, how I am in the world and what is happening personally.

My cohort knows I went through a break up two months ago.

My cohort knows I had shingles.

My cohort knows I juggle a full-time PhD program with full time nannying and a roster of clients, I’m seeing ten this week.

I’m busy.

I dropped the ball in one of my classes.

I can also see that I had a stupendous busy week last week nannying.

The two older kids were on Spring Break and their grandmother has been visiting.

I did not have any time, none at all, to spend on my homework.

I really do rely on getting in at least a couple of hours of work done during the week, sometimes, like today, I can actually even get in two hours of homework a day.

Not always, but anything helps.

Not having a spare minute or moment to do classwork last week put me behind and I didn’t even realize it until I was sitting in a cafe on Divisadero before my Saturday commitment this past weekend.

I literally thought I was going to burst into tears.

I had totally missed the deadline and I didn’t have the book with me that I needed to reference to have posted a discussion.

I made damn sure that came with me today.

I also had to just let it go.

I had to do research for the paper I wrote yesterday and I had to also do a big post for my Creative Arts and Leadership class.

I had to acknowledge that I wasn’t actually going to be able to do the discussion until today.

On top of that.

I have another paper due on Wednesday of this week.

So.

I got lucky.

I got really lucky at work.

Not only were the kids back to school, they had after school activities, I was basically alone the whole day with the littlest guy.

He didn’t have the biggest nap, but he had a long enough one that I did a 1,300 word discussion post with six references to the book in it and I responded to a classmates work as well.

I started looking over the work that I needed to gather up to do the next paper, the one that is due Wednesday, and I could feel my head getting a bit spun.

So.

Lunch break.

Sat down.

Looked outside.

Watched the sky.

Ate a nice meal.

Made some tea.

Got back in it and then the little guy woke up with one of those cries that says I’m not quite awake and something woke me up and I want to sleep more but I will need cuddles to do so.

You don’t know that one?

I gathered him up, snuggled him into my arms and he slept in my lap for another half hour.

It was enough to let my brain simmer down a little bit, but the pot is still dangerously full of stuff.

I went to a cafe in between work and my commitment tonight and I tried to do some more work and I managed to eke out a bit, but really, fuck, my head just said no way, no more.

It is at times like these that I do question what the fuck I am doing.

I know it will pass and I already feel like I have committed myself to it to stop now, but stopping, whoa, it might feel really nice.

When I get stuck I do tell myself to just focus on what can be done today, just today, that’s all I have anyway.

Today.

I did well.

Really.

I did and I need to acknowledge that.

I got caught up and I did the work that needed to be done to prepare for the next paper.

I have my books and notebook packed already for tomorrow with high hopes that I will get another good few hours without interruption at nap time.

It’s a smaller paper, just six pages, but it’s on theoretical framing, so, um, yeah, hella dry.

If I get two hours tomorrow I should be sitting really well.

I also had a client cancel tomorrow night, so I just have one after work.

I’ll lean into it and I’ll get it done.

In the mean time.

Fuck me.

I am tired.

I am in need of tea and a good mindless few minutes of a video that has nothing at all academic about it.

Seriously.

Sneaky Blog

February 12, 2019

I really should probably look at my homework.

But.

Fuck.

I have done a lot in the last couple of days and I also really should let myself off the hook once in a while.

I wrote a paper yesterday as well as attended a three-hour training in Berkeley for my internship.

Day off, what day off?

I also did laundry and roasted a chicken for food prep and packed up my carry-on for a trip this weekend.

I am going to do a quick zoom in and out of D.C.

A friend gave me some miles and I’ve booked an Air BnB with a fireplace in Georgetown.

We’re going to hang out, go to coffee shops and eat nice food.

I might not even go out all that much.

Sit in front of the fire-place and toast my toes.

I am going to do as much homework as possible this week so that I can actually enjoy my time there.

The trip was originally supposed to be before I started up school again but my friends schedule got wonky and we had to push it out.

So.

I will have a quick two and a half days and I’ll be right back in it.

Next weekend will be my weekend off.

Of course it does mean staying on top of things and as of such I did read 65 pages of an article today.

No fucking article should be that long.

Just saying.

Thank goodness the baby took a long nap today.

Poor little guy.

He’s been sick.

Went with the mom to the pediatrician today and it turns out he’s got an eye infection, a sinus infection and an ear infection in both ears!

He’s going to get a whopping big dose of antibiotics in the next couple of days and hopefully it will all get knocked out.

And yes.

I do actually have his cold.

I suspected I was coming down with it on Friday.

Sure as shit, Saturday I was running a fever.

But there was really nothing to do about that.

I got up, I did my morning routine, I went and saw my clients.

Fortunately it never really got anywhere as bad as the little guy’s had.

I’m a tiny bit sick, more like a light runny nose and some yuck congestion in my nose and throat when I wake up in the morning.

It’s like I got the diet version of his cold.

It’s enough to be a little annoying, but not enough to knock me down.

I will admit I was in bed pretty early last night, just to make sure that I was getting enough sleep.

That is the thing I constantly have to do for myself, get enough sleep.

Other things are getting dropped.

Socializing.

Blogging.

My blogging has been slight and I’m not excited about that, but I have to address homework pretty much every day and there is just so much to read.

My God.

The reading is heavy.

I am so very grateful I knocked out three books before the semester started.

I’m also 3/4s of the way through one of my class readers, which is going to be really helpful as I move forward.

But there is just always something else to read.

And I am constantly being sent stuff to read as well.

I can’t do it all

And I can’t blog as much as I would like, but I feel like I’m in a good place right now, turned in that paper yesterday and today did a substantive post to one of my classes.

I need to check into the other two and see what’s on the agenda, but I don’t have to do anything quite yet.

Aha.

I actually did.

And I just did it.

Hopefully I didn’t screw with the flow of the blog, but yeah, I had an inkling there was something I needed to attend to in my Arts and Creativity in Leadership class.

And there was.

So.

That’s done and now I can say I checked in and took care of it and between that, the discussion posts, the responses to others I made today and all the reading, I’m pretty good with my efforts today.

Really.

As long as I stay sober today, ultimately nothing else matters.

But I do want to do the work to get this PhD.

It does feel really important.

I have had some people in and out of my cohort as well exhort me to do a book about what I am writing on and to have it full of photographs of my tattoos.

I am actually thinking about that quite a lot.

I do know some photographers.

I should start asking around.

Of course the two that pop up in my head first are professionals and would probably be a lot to use, but it may be worth it to start engaging in looking.

I would like to document my tattoos anyway and since I’ll be writing about them and my experiences I am also leaning very heavily towards adding them into my dissertation as well.

Which is something I can do with the methodology I’m using.

Things to think about.

I also have to remember I’m meeting with one of my professors next Friday, pop that on my calendar.

My online program piece uses a lot of Zoom meetings, but I can’t make most of them wtih my schedule.

I actually had one this Saturday, client cancelled, and I checked in with one of my professors who lives on the East Coast.

We had a great talk and he gave me some of the best compliments.

I mean.

I was really blown away.

He said, “Well, Carmen, I just think you’re brilliant, I really do.”

And.

He added a little later that he had something else to admit to, “I save your papers until the last to read, that way I have something to look forward to.”

OMG.

Best compliment.

I was so very flattered.

I really want to let myself enjoy this compliment too.

In the not so recent past I have used compliments like this to stress myself out, I better perform even better, I can’t disappoint now!

So for the last couple of days I have really held that for myself.

Of course.

The paper that was due yesterday was for his class and the first of the semester (for this class, not for the semester, I’ve already turned in two other papers thank you very much).

So.

Yeah, I had some anxiety writing it.

But overall, I think it was a good paper and he’ll like it and it’s ok if he doesn’t either.

I know that I have skills.

Maybe not mad skills, but I do think I have some writing chops.

Grateful as hell for that.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

It’s time to attend to a few more school things before winding it down for the night.

Sweet dreams.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bedbugs bite.

(I have always wondered how one does that?)

Heh.

Almost Over

August 3, 2018

The jet lag.

I forget that it takes a bit longer for me to adjust on the way back.

I was sitting at the park watching one of my charges swing and suddenly I got whacked with the tired’s.

I looked at my phone and realized it was 1 a.m. Paris time.

Of course.

I am still surprised that my body doesn’t adjust as fast as I think it will.

But I only had to take a look at the baby this morning as he fell asleep with his head down on the table, to see how powerful it is when we mess with our time clocks.

He was so sweet and out hard.

He didn’t wake up, although he fussed a little, when I removed him from the high chair and got him snuggled down for his nap.

I had a moment of wishing to just hold him and let him sleep against me, but the other two monkeys are with me full-time this week, school’s not yet back in for them, and it would have been too much to juggle a sleeping baby on me and two high energy kids on top of it.

As the case was, the little lady decided to help mom with chores and the eldest and I played Monopoly.

He’s really quite good for an 8-year-old, but he had a hard time with losing.

I didn’t rig it, I won, yes, I am that person, I am the person that will beat a kid at a game.

And not because I’m an asshole.

My mom was an asshole to me the first time I learned how to play Monopoly and was extremely competitive, she and her friends would have Monopoly parties that went on for hours and hours and days at a time.

They would leave the board set up in the kitchen and keep playing until there was a winner.

I was quite fascinated by it and at some point I learned how to play.

I learned how to be cut throat.

It wasn’t much fun.

Although the competitiveness of it was a kind of excitement that I had not experienced before that ramped me way up.

No.

I wasn’t trying to be an asshole, but I was trying to show him what it felt like to lose.

He’d rather win.

What kid wouldn’t?

But he’s also smart enough to know if I was throwing a game.

I have been tempted to before, he likes a couple of card games and he’ll get super upset if I win, but he also notices if I’m not playing with my all, so I just stay honest and play like I mean it.

Which is how I played the Monopoly today.

And he was good, not great, but good, and I could see that he was super into getting the money and collecting the properties and building the little houses and hotels up.

He was also expecting to win and a bit flabbergasted when he didn’t.

I told him how proud I was of him for figuring out big words, and for doing math problems and for playing as long as he did.

I also gently pointed out that there were things that he did super well, that he had ideas about how to make investments on his properties and figured out that he should put more houses on the properties that were landed on most often.

He was picking up strategy.

He didn’t much want to hear it, but I told him anyway, and when he realized that the person with all the money was the winner he went quite socialist on me and it was so sweet.

He decided to make up his own game where all the hotels became public housing and there were gardens and places people could go and get soup and be fed and it was so endearing to watch him draw it out on pieces of paper and talk about how having all the money wasn’t the most important thing.

I don’t know that he’s going to remember our game of Monopoly down the line, but it felt like a little victory, a win even though he’d lost, that he figured out that money wasn’t the most important thing.

It was probably pancakes.

He adores pancakes and I obliged this morning and made him breakfast (and lunch and dinner).

It was a lot of cooking today, but I don’t mind, I do like cooking for them and often I will make things I don’t myself eat, which is fine, I’m not tempted, it’s actually rather nice.

I used to love to bake before I got abstinent from sugar and flour, so it’s rather soothing and fun for me to cook for the family, I get the joy of making things that others enjoy and pancakes were definitely on that list.

So too, apple pie.

Which I will be making two of tomorrow.

I wasn’t expecting that, but dad’s got company coming over and a big request was made for my apple pie.

I don’t mind really, it’s nice, like I said to bake, and truth be told it does make my day go faster.

It will definitely eat up some time.

Which I’m all about on Fridays.

So despite the bit of jet lag, I am making it through.

One more day of work and then a very busy weekend.

I have an early interview on Saturday for a private practice internship, then a dentist appointment, then group supervision, a nail salon date for myself, a get together to do the deal, and then a late dinner with my person.

And Sunday will be full too.

But I’m not there yet.

One more day to go.

Thank God it’s almost Friday.

What A Day

June 30, 2017

A good day.

But quite the day.

A full day.

For sure.

Into work, lots of loving on the charges, family friend visit, lots of kids running around, and then quiet, a reprieve, unexpected in the middle of the day.

Snuggles and nap time with the baby and then the family and their friends went out to lunch and I had nearly an hour to myself.

It was so nice.

I haven’t had that since school has gotten out.

I ate a slow, relaxed lunch.

I looked at the skyline from the back porch, I made a few phone calls and connected with a girlfriend I haven’t seen since January, we made tentative plans to get together when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

So nice to reconnect.

I was to do the camp pick up for the middle child and I enjoyed the hell out of riding the MUNI, not having any charges, and then taking a nice quiet walk to BiRite, picking up snacks for my charge and a few things for the house.

Pick up at school was great.

My charge and I ate cherries and apricots and talked about sunshine and being nice, “I’m going to tell mom that I was kinda nice to you today,” she said and squeezed my hand tight.

I love her so much.

She is always the best.

Even when she is a handful of fierce fiery little girl.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She has a voice and I really love how her parents let her have that voice.

I was shushed often.

There was a lot of don’t speak unless spoken to in my home.

I didn’t really know that children could engage and interact and have conversations with their parents.

It was sort of, get out-of-the-way and be quiet or go outside and leave me alone.

I’m ok with that.

I developed a big case of the curiosity at a very young age and a desire to explore, seek, find, and experience whatever I could.

I had, and still do have a great big imagination.

I don’t really escape into fantasy anymore, life is real and reality is so much more interesting, but for a while, when I was young, fantasy was my hard-core go to.

And I was, and am, dare I say it, creative.

I concocted lots of games, did relay races with kids in the neighborhood, made up my own version of Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Ding Dong Ditch, and a plethora of other things.

The summer I watched the Iron Man triathlon on television and became absolutely mesmerized in the event.

I staged a mini Iron Man, I called, aptly, Iron Kids.

There was a run around the apartment complex, followed by a bicycle race.

I couldn’t do the swimming in the ocean part, seeing as how we were in Wisconsin and the nearest pool was miles away, but I am sure I improvised something.

It might have been running in and out of all the wading pools in the courtyard.

I found my voice in motion and then again in books and escaping to the library.

I was always reading.

Always.

I would hide under my blankets at night with a flashlight and read.

I got yelled at a lot to do that.

Now.

I wonder, would a parent yell at a kid for reading past bedtime?

Perhaps using their phone and texting or being active on social media, but reading?

I think, probably not.

Ooh.

I got a new book in the mail.

Such a gift.

To get a book.

That is not for school.

I look forward to reading it.

I don’t have much time now, but it is something that I can flip through and I will be able to enjoy it when I am off from the family in July.

I am still trying to suss out if I’m going to travel.

One of my clients who I see on Thursdays will be gone for vacation and his times overlap mine and the availability I have to travel.

Maybe there’s a long weekend in my near future.

I am open to all possibilities.

And I’m super psyched.

Tomorrow is Friday!

I have a client consult after work.

I will have a long day still.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in a little time with my fellows, if I get out of work fast enough, and then I’ll have a client at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a consult, so there’s the possibility it may only go a half hour.

So if I don’t get out of work in time I’ll see about doing the deal after seeing the consult.

Then the weekend.

Which is full, since I still have to go to my Group Supervision.

But.

I’ll have some pockets of time.

I’ll do yoga in the morning both Saturday and Sunday.

I desperately need a mani/pedi/eyebrow waxing session.

And I do need to do grocery shopping, cooking, and errands.

Plus meeting with a lady Sunday afternoon.

And still.

There will be time.

There will be time to stop and breathe and love.

And maybe.

Yes.

Read a little for pleasure.

Such a sexy thing.

Oh life.

It is so.

So.

So.

Good.

Give It To Me!

March 3, 2017

I was just having a moment with my lip balm container.

I love it.

It’s the best that I have found since my favorite brand stopped making my lip balm about ten years ago.

It’s by Tokyo Milk.

And it is so good.

But damn it man, the packaging is so hard to open.

I was like.

My face is cracking, open up.

Ok.

Maybe not that dramatically.

But.

I can tell some things about me are changing.

My lips get chapped faster, my hands are dry (I mean, I’m a nanny, I do wash my hands a lot, especially when handling a new born, but still, I’m definetly getting the old lady hands, age spots and all), I have laugh lines around my eyes, even though I wear sunblock every day.

I’m getting older.

As though the gum disease and the having to wear bifocals, um, excuse me, let me get politically correct, my “progressives” glasses, weren’t enough, the grey hair at the roots of my crown, the aging, it is happening.

But.

I still wear them damn flowers in my hair and I still feel often oddly childish and silly and light-hearted, I may be getting older, but I still have a wonder about the world and a curiosity and a wish to see more things and have more experiences.

Once in a while my brain tries to launch an attack, oh my God, you’re 44, what’s next?

Death.

I suppose.

A cold, hard, lonely death, boohoo.

Can you hear the tiny violin playing.

It’s in concert with Jim Croce.

That’s not the way it feels.

I didn’t bother to watch that horror show though, today.

I just rather enjoyed the red rose in my hair and the lip gloss on my lips.

I had a nice day.

I even had a half hour by myself, sort of, my charge was napping, in which I was able to make a check in phone call with my person and confirm meeting with her on Saturday at Tart to Tart, look over some defects of character and get right with God.

And.

I got to sit outside on the back porch and enjoy the sun and a hot mug of tea.

It was pretty fucking spectacular.

Shit.

I even put my phone down for a while, got off the social media and just connected with the blue skies, the warm sun, the flowers blooming in the garden, the paper whites, narcissus, in a pot, the tiny buds of jasmine just turning pink, the whir and buzz of hummingbirds in the plum blossoms.

It was exquisite.

It is Spring and it is a little warmer.

Not a lot, but enough and yes, there’s more freaking rain this weekend, but the last couple of days the sunshine on my face makes all the wrinkles fine and acceptable, what am I going to do anyway, erase my life, rub away the laughs and the adventures and the experiences.

I like how I am, most of the time I’m in acceptance about my body, my health, my age, I’m pretty fucking lucky to have gotten to this age and have the health that I have.

Ridiculous the gratitude I have for that.

I have plans for these old bones, I’m not ready to roll over any time soon.

I was talking to my boss about going to Venice at some point and I think about all the places I write about in my morning pages.

I want to go to Burning Man.

Duh.

I have the time off but haven’t found out about the ticket yet.

I will be going to Paris, so that doesn’t count, I have already gotten the ticket and I have a place to stay.

All I have to do is show up with some money for food and museum entrances, and oh a couple of Claire Fontaine notebooks and maybe a tattoo and a flea market score or three, a souvenir or two from the Marais.

Paris is a done deal.

Other places I’m contemplating are Anchorage to see my dad, Portland to see my sister and Puerto Rico to see my roots, and because I have a friend that has contract work there, he’s invited me and I’m just waiting to find out when the family will be out and off to Europe for three weeks in July.

I don’t know what their dates are yet, so I’ve been holding off on getting any forward motion on buying a plane ticket.

I still have the voucher from this past Christmas too for an air plane ticket.

I am planning on using that for Puerto Rico and then buying a one way to Anchorage and doing three days there and then a one way to Portland, get a room in some hipster hotel and drink a lot of coffee and walk around and see what the scene is like, hang out with my sister, see what the deal is like.

I’m thinking one week in Puerto Rico, then one week split between Anchorage and Portland.

Then the third week the family is gone, just chill here in the city, do some yoga, hang out.

I get ahead of myself, but it is fun to contemplate.

Better travel plan contemplation then my brain trying to play some late night B movie horror show about being single and alone.

Frankly brain.

I’d rather watch Dirty Dancing again.

Go away.

I mean, for real.

I got better things to do.

Dear God help me see what you want me to see and help me to let go of what I can.

Thanks.

I mean it.

I need all the help I can get.

The weekend is nigh and I want to have fun.

Please show me the way.

I’m open to suggestions.

Bring it on.

I’m all ears.

Seriously.

 

Today Was A Shit Show

January 27, 2015

Actually.

It was a vomitorium.

The oldest boy puking, everywhere.

Just after baths.

Fifteen minutes before I am leaving.

Just after getting home from swimming lessons, a raucous dinner, a crazy younger brother who did not nap and construction on both sides of the house all day.

Plus the housecleaner was there today.

And I made a double batch of the family’s favorite dinner.

Oof.

It was a day.

Not a bad day, either.

Just busy.

Sometimes things happen and it’s not good or bad, it’s just what it is.

Oh and a trip to the market and a trip to the coffee shop and the park.

I mean.

It makes the day go fast.

And I do like being needed.

Although at one point, I think it was when the youngest blew a raspberry at the dinner he normally eats ravenously, “I LOVE IT” is his usual response to said meal, and dumped the entire plate on the floor that I thought.

That’s it.

I’m done.

But the vomiting was still to come.

I was not done yet.

I am glad the day is done and I had a good bike ride through the Wiggle and up into the park and over to 7th and Irving to catch up with friends and fellows and get out of myself for a little while.

Be of service and such.

“You’re single!”  My friend said, after I gave him a big hug.

I missed him last week, but it was Noir City and The Thin Man at the Castro was playing.

We caught up and it was good to acknowledge, that yes, it is true, I am indeed single.

And it feels like it again.

I’m close to saying I’m ready to date, I’m definitely entertaining the thought, although there is no one in mind, it’s just there.

I have no desire, however, to re-open my OkCupid account or to actually activate the Tinder account I had downloaded.

I am going to try it the old-fashioned way.

Let someone ask me out.

I’ll give that a couple of months and if it doesn’t appear to be happening I will actively start asking guys out again.

At the moment I feel that I have to be approached.

I am worth the ask.

“What are you doing this summer?” The mom casually, not really, asked as we headed to the school to pick up the oldest boy for swimming lessons.

Working as much as possible I thought, getting ready for graduate school, hopefully not having to look for another job.

It turns out that I was being felt out about the summer vacation plans for Sonoma.

Oh.

The house in Sonoma.

Pool.

13 acres.

Woods.

Creek.

Llama farm next door.

Llama farm.

Really.

Some where around Glen Ellen, about an hour outside of the city.

The family has taken a month before, but it sounds like they are planning on taking 10 days in June and 10 days in August.

They haven’t gotten the dates set up, they are finding out about the availability of the house.

Did I say pool?

“We would rent you a car so you could come up and go down for the weekend.” The mom explained.

I would work there, staying over night, I believe, I need to check my contract, but I believe I get an extra $50 per day for doing any over night travelling with them.

I would have my own room and bathroom and all my food would be taken care of.

It sounds scary and awesome all at the same time.

I also reiterated with the mom that I wanted to stay with them as long as they wanted and they do want, even when both the boys are in school, I feel that there will be plenty of work that can be done at the house.

Especially since I do so much of the marketing and cooking and general snack and food prep.

“What are you doing when he goes to pre-school,” the savvy pregnant mom at the park asked me.

“I’m heading to graduate school,” I told her, “though the likelihood is that I will be staying on and helping the family part-time.”

“Well, I am at the same school,” the mom said, “my oldest daughter is in the same grade as ________, just in the other preschool class.”

Oh.

Nice.

I like that.

“And I plan on contacting them, because should they not need you, I will.”  She smiled.

That was good to hear.

I’m not going to mention what school that is, but suffice to say, it’s not a public school.

It is good information to have and I know that I certainly have the references to continue working in whatever capacity I will be working in for the fall.

I suspect, again, though, that I will be staying with the current family.

Through the good times and the bad, vomit.

Because I like them and their dog, who always gives me kisses and wishes me a happy hello Monday when I come back from the weekend.

And the snuggle pie boys who yes, are boys and poop and pee and vomit and throw food and splash water out of the bathtub, and fart.

Oh.

My.

God.

The oldest today, after swimming class, was in the car seat and had taken off all shoes, socks, and tossed his whole back pack from school on the floor of the car with all the lunch fixings and containers tumbled about and while I was gathering it all up and grabbing his feisty feet to put them back in their socks, he farted to kill a cow.

I mean.

Holy Jesus on a flaming pogo stick.

It was like sticking my head in a fart oven.

He laughed so loud that he almost peed his pants.

He was the one who threw up all over tonight too.

I am laughing at this all now.

Although at the time I was almost over it.

Poor bunny, coughed so hard it triggered a gag reflex which brought up some phlegm, which grossed him out and then he hurled everywhere.

Everywhere.

Ugh.

I hollered out to the parents, one vomit covered boy, fresh from the bath, so at least he was only in the clean underpants I had just put on him, plus his younger, completely naked brother, who was running around playing 3, 2, 1 blast off with his Meow Meow (his stuffed kitty cat, who he informed me did NOT speak Spanish, when I greeted him with “hola gato.” “No hola!” He trumpeted at me.  “Bonjour mon chat,” I replied. “NO bongor!” he hollered kicking his feet out.  “Well, what language does Meow Meow speak?” I asked.  “Cat,” he said and if a two-year old could roll his eyes, he might have done so.  I mean, duh, nanny, get with the program.) running through the vomit barefoot, to come up and help.

Please dear God, help me now.

Thank goodness for extra hands when you need them.

I left soon after, the dad helping by cleaning up the various piles of puke.

The mom lining up a Pengu video.

I got the oldest one juice with a little bubbly water and some saltine crackers and wrapped up my day.

It was one hell of a day.

But I made it through and I am grateful for my job.

Even when the shit.

Er, vomit.

Hits the fan.

It cleans up fast.

 

You Have Changed So Much

January 14, 2015

He said.

“You are so beautiful, look at her,” he said to the man sitting next to me.

Thank you.

I have grown up a lot.

My heart so tender today that I would rather not write tonight for fear that if it, my heart, were any more on m sleeve, it might burst.

Just the ache that fills me when I look at the ten pink Gerber daisies my boyfriend left on my scooter for me to discover when I got home tonight is enough to make me want to stop writing.

I know the only way through this is to grow through it.

That was not a typo.

I really have to grow more.

Just when I think I can stop stretching my arms toward the sun I find myself needing to reach even harder toward that warmth and light.

The sunlight of the spirit I need more than ever now.

I still feel so new at this thing called living.

I still find myself trying to find my voice.

Last night as I was heading to bed I played the Bach cello Sonatas again that I had been listening to, one in particular that reverberates within me when ever I hear it, Cello Suite in G Menuett 1 & 2, and I cried.

It just filled me with grief and joy and sorrow and gratitude and awe and I was astounded that I could feel so very much, that I could hold all those emotions at one time and feel them each and every one.

Painfully so.

Gratefully so.

I held him in my arms and kissed his hair and said, “shhh, I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, it’s ok.”

He sobbed like the two and a half tired toddler he was, overwhelmed with the sugar from a rice crispy treat and a trip to his older brother’s pre-school class for a family share day.

He was inconsolable with feelings.

He wasn’t able to express, without screaming in frustration what he wanted.

He wanted it all.

And he could not find the words to ask for everything he wanted.

I am forty years older than him and sometimes I feel like that too, the words get stifled in my chest and I cannot find the way to have you hear me, to express myself, that my heart is tender, that you have touched it, that I feel you, even when you retreat again and leave me here to stare at pink flowers on an aquamarine table, next to a bunny night-light from Paris, tears well up and then down.

I breathe.

I held him and calmly spoke to him and let him know he was heard and it was alright and he didn’t need to do anything but breathe.

“Take a big deep breath,” I told him and inhaled through my nose and exhaled slowly.

“Again.”

“Baby, try again, you can do it, I’m here, I’m here holding you, you are safe.” I said and held him and swayed next to the sound machine.

It took some time.

It always does when our hearts are so full and there is so much to say and no words to express all the feelings but to holler in a scream, NO!

NO!

He screamed.

The tantrum lasted about 20 minutes.

It felt longer and all at the same time timeless, effortless, the screaming, the heart wrenching holler of a frustrated child.

And when it was done, a snuggle, a story, a song, lullaby my baby, down to sleep.

A two and a half hour nap and it was like the world was a brand new place and yes!

Let’s go to the park and play fire engines and slides and hide and seek and tag and please, more shovels, and diggers, and sand, yes.

Feelings they pass and when I am overwhelmed, I remind myself, this too shall pass.

And.

To thine own self be true.

So I do what makes sense, I make a cup of tea, I arrange flowers in a Mason jar and smile that I have once again been given so much more than what I asked for and that, yes, I am allowed to ask at all.

I don’t have to be a quiet wallflower.

I can keep changing.

I am not the same woman.

I am this woman.

Alive, imbued with emotions, all allowed, intelligent, funny, sweet, beautiful, hopefully more on the inside than the outside–that’s where it counts, really, physical beauty fades, but heart beauty, that which is inside, that only grows deeper in beauty and fullness.

Rich.

That is what this life is, full of flavor and spice.

Salt and pepper, smoked paprika, grated nutmeg, golden turmeric, spicy ginger, sultry cinnamon, spiky mace, sweet Cicely, clove, anise in all its wild glory.

So much.

Tonight as I was riding home through the park, just past the end of the Pan Handle where it ends at Stanyan, I rode by a patch of the park that smelled so pungent I was bowled over with memory.

Wet, dark, damp, sweet, the smell of soft rotting nectarines and the wound of a night-blooming jasmine melded my heart to the here and now and the little girl I was so many moons back.

I did not perhaps have that same comfort and soothing that I was able to give the littlest boy I take care of, but I could connect the woman I am to the girl that I was and see how far I have come and see how tender I can be to that part of myself and know that no matter how open and vulnerable I feel, that I really won’t be hurt be letting others see exactly what there is to me.

All of it.

I am as see through as the pink of a bunny rabbit ears.

Have you seen that?

The translucent light, pearled and pink with blood and the white of a fur softly ringing the tender skin, that shines through a rabbit-ear.

That is me.

Tonight anyway.

Tomorrow?

Let’s not go there, shall we?

Just let me sink, soft, and unbound into the sound of cello rasping away into the evening as the stars shimmer over the woods, deep, wild, and omniscient in their tangled ramble toward the sea.

 

Playa Melt Downs

August 21, 2014

I am just starting to have them.

Already?

I thought to myself, why am I already having this much emotional resonance?

Well, let’s see lady.

You spent the entire week working before you left for the event.

You rode up in cramped quarters and that wasn’t restful.

You stayed over night in Reno and started to freak out about expenses that you weren’t expecting.

You have been on playa five days and haven’t had a shower yet.

That seems reasonable to be a little teary.

Plus, seeing people that I rarely ever see, except out here, supercharges those emotions.

Add to that not quite getting seven hours of sleep, more like six and a half every day and not getting a nap yesterday and though I was given a break today, it wasn’t long enough to nap.

I lay down and I got the knock within a half hour/twenty minutes of excusing myself.

The monkey has been having a hard time as more folks come in and it gets overwhelming.

It’s cute and sweet and amazing to see him engage with so many people, he’s very social, but every once in a while he gets overstimutlated and watch out.

Screaming.

I got an ear full today and it just wore me down.

I was pretty done in.

Pretty done with being a nanny.

Not with being a nanny out here, I am not going to quit, I would never do that, I am a woman of her word and I commited and though I may need to be commited when it is all said and done I am in it for the duration.

I just realized again that it’s so hard to do the nanny job out here not because of the conditions, those are hard, but because of the proximity to the parents and the friends and the folks in camp and beginning to feel like I am on a stage and everyone is watching.

I know exactly how self centered this is, the world is not about me, my petty designs, my schemes, my directions, but I am also, I forget, not used to being around so many people when I work.

I work by myself.

Yeah, the mom or the dad or a grandparent may be around, but I go for walks, to the park, in the neighborhood, I have down time, and then you know what I do?

I go home.

There is not a separate space for me here.

I forget that I have basically become a live in nanny.

Oops.

That.

I want to simultaneously retreat into my space and I get lonely and isolated and I then want to be out in the world and engage, but it can be too much.

Finding that balance.

Trying to figure it out.

Which makes me nuts.

And I need to get myself centered.

It’s Wednesday, pre-event, the damn thing hasn’t even started yet.

So.

I must up my self care a little and that means a shower tomorrow and I don’t care how it happens, but I have to get washed.

That will bring a huge uptick in my quality of well being and I can start with that.

The other is to get to bed a tiny bit earlier tonight.

Which means I am ending my blog early.

It’s a short night for me.

I have to rest more.

I don’t want to be a bucket of tears.

That’s the thing too.

I feel the emotions are overblown a bit, but there’s a lot of truth there too, and I have experienced what I am experiencing before and I have had friends counsel me and I have had epiphanies and spiritual awakenings galore out here, but then.

Well.

I fucking forget.

And I have to relive the experience.

I know that I have lots of amazing things to witness and art to see and friends coming home for the first time and I don’t want to not be present for that.

This is supposed to be fun too.

I know I will get in there and my perspective will change and it will all be good.

And I will have the experience I am supposed to have and I don’t have to judge it.

I just have to have it.

So.

Here’s to a little bit more sleep tonight.

A shower tomorrow.

And finding that still, soft, sweet, serene space in me.

I don’t have to search for it outside of myself.

It is there.

Deep within.

First Full Day

August 18, 2014

In.

And it was a full day.

Ten and a half hour shift and this is the easy part.

The days, they are going to get longer, the mama and the papa are only getting busier.

Fortunate for me, I do happen to work with an incredible, smart, whimsical, and wonderful little boy.

He makes my heart just melt.

Today he told me out of the blue, with no prompting, “I love Poppins.”

My goodness.

Then, the topper, he leaned in and gave me a kiss.

Again, unprompted.

Sometimes I have to ask for a hug or a kiss or say, “I love you,” to get the “I love you too” back.

Not today.

This bodes quite well for the rest of our days out here.

He also is an extraordinary reader.

I mean, the kid loves books.

Thank you God.

I couldn’t be luckier to have a little one who is more than content to sit in my lap and snuggle and read books.

Of course, by the end of the event I may be more than a little tired of reading Richard Scarry’s Busy Town; Busy, Busy Town; What Do People Do All Day; Busy Town Airport; Busy Town Firestation; Cars, and Trucks, and Things That Go.

Fortunate for me, he has other books.

We just have not unpacked them yet.

There are still kinks to be worked out, but the camp is coming together.

I don’t have electricity in my trailer yet, it’s currently running on battery power, which means that when my computer dies, my blog will be done for the night.

Which is what happened last night.

The main trailer the family is in has A/C and electric so I can charge up my laptop and my phone during the day.

My day started at 6 a.m.

I did not want my day to start at 6 a.m.

However, the bladder called and I realized from lying in bed and just noting the color of the sky, that the sun was soon to come up and I would be remiss to not shoot some sunrise photographs before the space started to fill in with camps and people and you know, stuff.

So, I grabbed my camera and headed to the port-a-potty bank closest to the trailer and did my business, then out to the playa, empty, spacious, wide open.

A few cargo containers dotting the landscape and the spires heading out of the 9 o’clock keyhole.

Not another human in site.

Not a noise to be heard.

Just the sun coming up over the playa.

Blew my heart wide open just like that.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Oh ho!

The generator just kicked in.

Yay!

I have power.

I have music on my box.

I have a laptop that is charging.

Woot.

I shall actually be able to post my blog tonight instead of tomorrow in the early afternoon when the monkey is taking his nap.

He woke up pretty happy after his nap.

Two hours and fifteen minutes.

Who wouldn’t be happy after that kind of nap?

I could have used that kind of nap myself.

However, there was no napping in Who Ville today for me.

There may be tomorrow, we are figuring out a system that allows everyone to get access to the A/C during the day and sneak in nap time.

We all need it.

The parents are both out and about and busy and they are only going to get busier as the days to the event count down.

The catch is that the bunny rabbit happens to take his nap around 11a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and when he is down for two to three hours that means lunch time.

The time for lunch is noon to two p.m. with the other event staff that are here working at the Commissary, and it keeps very strict hours, you come three minutes past closing and you do not get in.

The worry was that one of us was going to miss lunch and/or napping ourselves, but it seems that we are going to be able to tag team it.

Today he went down at 11:15 a.m.

I sat with him for the first 45 minutes.

Then the papa and I headed to the Commissary while mama worked from her “office” on the couch, we headed back after a quick bite, I brought the monkey’s lunch containers with me and brought back a to go box.

Mom then went next and hit her lunch and her two p.m. meeting.

Upon returning the bunny and I headed over to my trailer–the Bambi–and worked on an “I Spy Sticker” book while he had a cup of milk and mom got a 45 minute nap snack with the papa.

It worked really well.

I, however, didn’t get a nap, tried to get the little guy to go down for a second nap, but he was not having it.

We went en famille to dinner and discussed the plan of attack for tomorrow, with some slight tweaking, we should all be able to eat lunch and catch a nap while he’s doing his nap.

That’s the hope anyway.

After dinner some friends dropped by and we went for a ride out to the playa to catch up and breathe and hug and sit under the twilight dusk and ramble at each other for a bit.

It was just the refresher I needed.

I headed back to my trailer with much joy and love in my heart and downloaded the photographs I took today.

I got some decent ones and I am happy to have technology that works.

I know it’s somewhat atypical of the event to have internet and such, but really, I would be remiss if I had to skip writing my blog and connecting with my peeps off playa.

Though I will say there will come a night when I don’t post or a day when I nap instead of write.

I have to do that too.

Rest.

And with that.

I am going to make a cup of tea.

The electric kettle is getting pulled out!

I am going to eat an apple in a camp chair and enjoy the stars and the deep quiet that is pre-event before there is no more pre-event to enjoy.

I am looking forward to seeing all my friends that are headed in, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that these first few quiet nights are my favorite time to be here.

It’s not often that I am getting to ride out to the playa before it’s full of all things that burn.

Happy I got my chance tonight.

Much love to you from the 9 o’clock keyhole.

Mary Fucking Poppins out.

Out on the playa

Poppins on the playa


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