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Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Our New Blog Picture
We have a new name! No, not of Emmett or Fia, but of my blog. While we loved Of Fi I Sing, Emmett was excluded. Plus, with two kids I am entering a new phase of my life. As my blog has evolved, we realized my outlook is more than just focusing (and obsessing) on Fia. Motherhood is so all-encompassing and takes on almost all aspects of my life. We wanted the title to reflect that more. Plus, I didn’t want my boy to need (more) major therapy later on for feeling left out.
So after some massive brainstorming sessions in which I thought my computer Thesaurus was going to fire me, we came up with this new one. Introducing:
Fearless Feisty Mama: Candid and Comical Confessions of a Slightly Obsessive Mom
I’m really excited about it. I think it conveys more of my tone and style. We decided on “Fearless” because I’m not afraid to share my story. Whether it be the death of my drug- addicted mom, my decision to stay on antidepressants when pregnant, or my ugly vag issue, I tend to speak my mind and give an open and honest opinion.
We came up with “Feisty,” not only because I love alliteration, but in many ways it is my attitude towards parenting issues. From my annoyance at my babysitters for constantly losing sh-t, to the people who pay their nannies six-figures (ridiculous!), to my adamant stance on sleep training (do it!).
With my new name, we have a new look! My friend Jilly Wendell is an amazing photographer. She was kind enough to come over to our chaos and take a zillion pictures, hoping to get one without Emmett barfing, Fia screaming and me grimacing through a forced smile–though that is probably more realistic of our current state.
I’ll post some of the others this Friday.
Also, you may notice some of the older posts have images missing. And there are a few technical difficulties we are sorting out in changing my blog title. So bear with us and keep coming back. You guys help feed my creative soul.
Blog photo courtesy of Jilly Wendell Photography
Categories: Must Read | Tags: babysitter, Candid, comical, drug addiction, Fearless, Feisty, Ferber, jilly wendell, nannies, nanny, new blog, new posts, old posts, photography, pictures, posts, sitters, sleep training, taking antidepressants when pregnant, toddler pictures, ugly vagina
Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
Author’s Note: Join me every Tuesday or Wednesday for “Moving Mid Pregnancy,” to read about my ongoing search for a new “everything” (from nannies to mom friends to health providers) while pregnant and living in a new city.
I hired a nanny full time. I better hide behind a duck blind to keep from getting shot, given the outrage from my Sitter Chronicles awhile back. i.e: Why aren’t you raising your kids yourself? –was the gist of many comments. But hear me out:
It takes a village right? Well, I am new to LA. I have no village. No family nearby. And I don’t have a ton of close friends yet–or at least friends who don’t have their own lives, jobs, kids to take care of. And even if I did, I wouldn’t burden them with helping me. I just felt like with 2 babies, I’d be a better mom if I didn’t feel constant pressure to be the “only one.” So here’s how it’s shaping up:
Cleo, my nanny, is part time now. She becomes full time once baby Leroy (working title) comes. This isn’t so I can skip off and take tennis lessons (not that there is anything wrong with that, but I’m not a Desperate Housewife). This is so I can pick and choose the quality time to spend with either Fia or Baby. Or by myself. No one wins a medal for carting two kids around all the time. I mean, plenty of people do it. Many out of necessity. I am just incredibly grateful to have the means to hire help. (I often hear, “Well, our parents did it.” I laugh at that. God, if you had known my parents, you’d know that they are not to be put on pedestals for their stellar parenting!)
A little bit about Cleo: She is the wife I always wanted. She sweeps my floors while Fia naps. She cooks for me! As in homemade soups, salads, black beans from scratch….she can look in the fridge and see meals where I see nothing. She brings me afternoon tea if I’m in my office writing. I don’t ask her to do any of this. She is just a nurturer. I am in love.
I found her on a website/listserv out here called Booby Brigade. She had amazing recommendations. When she walked in, Phil and I both knew. She was the one. Like my friend Teresa said: finding a good nanny is harder than finding your spouse. So I feel like I’ve found both.
She’s from El Salvador and is speaking Spanish to Fia, and will to the new baby as well. She raised 5 kids on her own here. Her youngest daughter is 15 and she sometimes brings her with if she’s watching Fia for our date night. Fia loves them both. I feel like they just add a good energy to our house.
I’m hoping that by having her, I’ll handle the newborn phase a little better than I did with Fia. If nothing else, I should be able to take naps and catch up on sleep with a second set of hands. I think this is a great solution for me in terms of juggling a household, a 2-year old, my freelance work, and a newborn.
Any of your pregnant women planning on full time help even if you don’t have a full time job outside of the home? Dare I ask if you think I’m indulgent or smart?
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles, The Sitter Chronicles | Tags: babysitter, babysitters, family, help, losing my mom, moving to LA, nanny, parenting, pregnancy, pregnant, sitter, sitter chronicles, sitters, village
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
A WORLD SANS ELMO
I barely put my foot down in San Diego today for the BlogHer Conference when my husband called me. He sounded so serious.
“I think we need a new babysitter.”
My heart tightened. “Is everything okay?”
“Yes, but you have something to blog about with sitters again.”
Oh dear lord, not the Sitter Chronicles again, I thought.
“What happened?” I said almost frantic.
“She lost Elmo.”
The world screeched to a stop. I felt dizzy. Saw bright lights. My brain turned fuzzy.
“OH NO!!!!!!!!” I screamed.
“Yep,” he says, “It’s true.”
This is a substitute sitter who we’ve only used once before. My regular sitter had to cancel at the last minute and with me going out of town; I had to scramble to find a replacement. I emailed her a list of stuff to be aware of last night, and one was Fia flinging her shoes off while she’s in the stroller. I’d hate to loose an expensive pair of stride rites. (I left this morning before she came and was completely freaked out about not being there in person to drill everything into her. Namely, no texting while strolling, stay on top of Fia at all times, don’t let her have pacifier during the day…you know the usual control freak issues of moms–or at least this one.)
But because she was so focused on Fia flinging her shoes, she didn’t notice the little red monster being hurled out on the street. She retraced her steps, but was too late. Elmo was gone. G-O-N-E.
I blame Phil. He should have told her not to take her monsters out of the house. This is what happens when mama leaves town. Things go south. Elmo becomes homeless.
As I type, Phil and Fia are on the way to the toy store to buy a replacement Elmo before bedtime (didn’t happen, see picture). Hopefully this is the biggest thing I will worry about while I’m out here for 3 days. I’d really like to enjoy this conference of entrepreneurial women, maybe learn a thing or two, and sleep in!! So please sitters/husband/and Wayne Sanchez–I’ll even include you–Take care of my baby. And her accoutrements. In the words of our annoying, talking Sesame Street book, “See You Sooooon.”
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations | Tags: blogher, blogher conference, cat, conference, Elmo, losing things, losing toys, lost elmo, lost toys, monsters, sesame place, Sesame Street, sitters, sitters losing things, sleep, sleep training, toy store, toys, Wayne Sanchez
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
I was a bit surprised by the firestorm my blog set off. I was pondering it with my girlfriends Tuesday morning at the playground when a very strange thing happened.
A woman I had never seen came running up to us. She was almost in tears.
“Have you seen a blue baby blanket?” she asked frantically. (Her name is Julie.)
We shook our heads no.
“My sitter took it out with my son today and lost it!! It is his special blanket that was made from yarn we got in Australia. I let them take it because his father had to fly to Australia today and my son wanted to hold it. I even told her to be careful with it,” she said, clearly distraught.
My gals and I looked at each other, mouths hanging open.
“You gotta talk to HER!” my friend Stephanie said, pointing at me. It was like the universe sent Julie to me. Divine intervention reinforcing the point of my blog.
She went on to say, “You know the most ridiculous thing about this? I am paying my sitter to watch my son while I go searching for it.” I nodded. Been there too. It’s on my mom-crutch post.
Now before conclusions are drawn, let’s step back and think for a second what this argument is really about.
It’s about what we moms define as important. And what our expectations are. And it’s okay to agree to disagree. But I think it goes deeper than that. There was an underlying tone and theme in many of the comments. It speaks to the judgment we cast on each other, particularly the Stay At Home Moms versus the Working Moms.
And so begins Part 2 and 3 of my Sitter Chronicles.
Let’s first answer the question– how do things get lost? Sometimes it boils down to an accident. A mistake. And in that case, yes, get over it. But a lot of times it’s because tots fling things out of the stroller, or throw something in the playground. I know the few times I have lost stuff it’s due to texting while strolling (not something I’m proud of). Or not paying enough attention to what Fia is doing. I accept that my behavior is unacceptable. And I make a conscious decision to be better. So are sitters beyond reproach on that? I don’t think so. Because at the top of their job list is to pay attention to their biggest responsibility: The Child. Not their phone or their sitter friends. I believe that is exactly how Julie’s baby blanket got lost. And Fia’s things.
Dear lord. Diapers are a shit storm—literally and figuratively. I heard you all loud and clear on not checking the diaper bag: guilty as charged. Last Saturday was the first time it happened. And it bit me—and Fia—in the butt. It won’t happen again.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Must Read | Tags: accidents, baby blanket, babysitters, diaper bag, diapers, expectations, judgmental, judgmental moms, lose, lost, lost baby blanket, mistakes, mom, moms, playground, professionals, raising a child, responsibility, sahm, sensible, sippy cups, sitter, sitter responsibilities, sitters, stay at home moms, stroller, texting, texting and strolling, toy stroller, wipes, working moms
Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Good god. I know they keep my child alive and out of harms way, but is it too much to ask that my sitters keep track of all her “stuff”? I’m talking sippy cups, snack traps, the play stroller, a soccer ball, her hat, to name a few. All of which have been lost–some, multiple times.
Granted, I’ve done it too. I’ve lost some mom-crutch items and been thoroughly scattered (see post). But then I pay the consequences and buy more, or whatever. And, I’ve gotten better on the scattered front.
But my problem is two-fold. Sometimes they don’t restock and reorganize the diaper bag. And leave dirty items in it. I’ve even put a checklist on the refrigerator. Yet, today, I was out with Fi. I went to get a diaper, only to find a dirty spoon, two dirty sippy cups and no diapers. And the playstroller and ball are missing too. I mean, isn’t this childcare 101?
I know what you’re thinking, find new sitters, idiot. And I may have to. Except that one of them gives me something a lot of others won’t: complete flexibility to book her at a moment’s notice. She is a college grad and very laid back. She hasn’t found a real job yet–which is to my benefit. And truth be told, I really like her. She cares deeply about Fia. And Fia adores her. And even though she loses more than my other sitter, it’s just been small things. And I honestly don’t think she’ll lose my baby. Plus, she just rocks. I can’t say it any other way.
The other one I use on Friday afternoons. She is a career nanny, paid no matter if you use her or not. But for me, since it’s just 5 hours a week, as long as I give her ample notice if I don’t need her, I don’t have to pay her. (It may sound crazy, but “pay or play” is the nanny culture in our neighborhood. They practically have their own union.) I know her from the neighborhood and have complete trust–at least in keeping Fia safe.
So here I sit on a Saturday morning, totally annoyed because I spent an hour texting one of them to track down Fia’s soccer ball and play stroller, both of which went missing on her watch. A neighbor had the ball, the stroller is still MIA, which means I need to go buy a new one. (BTW–Those things are like crack for tots. What’s up with that?)
My other sitter did offer last week after she lost Fia’s baseball cap–the only thing she will wear to keep the sun off her head–to pick up a new one. And I thought that was a really cool gesture.
But honestly, am I being a bitch here? Or do I have a point? Do I need to accept this as the price of doing business and keeping my tot safe? Does anyone have any ideas for me?
Before I waste any more time, I need to sign off. But thank you for letting me vent, because I kid you not, it infuriates me. Which probably means I’m overreacting.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read | Tags: baby, babysitters, childcare, diaper, diaper bag, disorganized, disorganized diaper bag, lost sippy cup, lost snack trap, lost things, lost toys, nannies, nanny, neighborhood, park slope, sippy cup, sitters, snack trap, toys