Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hiring a baby sitter or how Law & Order ruined that for me too

We left our baby with a stranger for the first time last night.

I found her through the dreaded Park Slope Parents Board. I hadn't been back on that message board since the big blow up between sane and crazy parents in Park Slope regarding topics such as vaccines, helmets for sledding down park hills (lame), and my favorite, how dodgeball should be outlawed. BUT, we needed a baby sitter and we couldn't keep asking our friends to do it, so I sucked it up and posted a search for baby sitter recommendations.

I got a few "my nanny might want to pick up an extra job" recs. Don't ask me why, I know it is totally irrational, but the word nanny freaks me out and makes me uncomfortable. I have to get over it since I am going back to work part time soon and we'll need help a few hours a week and it will probably be a nanny, but congers up images of the women I see pushing other peoples babies, talking on cell phones, ignoring the kids and parents who have no interest in their own children's lives. I KNOW! Don't freak out. I know that is not the case in like 99% of situations, but I did say it was irrational, so don't come after me. At least I am not so crazy that I think my kid should wear a helmet to sled down a 5 foot hill.

Ok, back to the story. I got one rec from a woman who has used a college student that happened to be back on Christmas break looking for some work. She went on and on about her and this was exactly what Stefan and I felt comfortable with. College Student. This is a familiar type of person.

So I reached out to her and we spoke on the phone getting to know each other. In retrospect, this was a call in which I probably should have been more "parental" with a list of questions and a request for blood work, but we just chatted about her experience and about our daughter. Two highlights from this call are when she paused and asked, "Is this your first child?""Yes." "Wow, you guys are really relaxed." (I have no idea what I was saying about Katy Belle or what we expected to illicit this response.) A little while later I was asking her how much she was (which cracks me up when I phrase it that way) and followed it up with, "Is there anything you'll need in the house? Food, a six pack of beer?" Again, another pause. "You guys are REALLY relaxed."

HA HA HA HA HA. Yikes! Don't worry, she knew I wasn't serious and I had a good sense from her that she wasn't going to come over and get wasted and leave our baby in the fridge. I think I actually said that to her right be fore we left, "Don't worry, you'll be fine as long as you don't leave our baby in the fridge."

Our instincts were good. She was lovely and gentle and the quintessential arts major from a liberal arts college whose mascot is the "Sage Hen." I had typed up a Team Katy Belle instruction sheet and we ran around like crazy parents for a few minutes over explaining everything and then we left.

It turns out I am not one of those Moms who has crazy separation anxiety. I guess it comes from knowing I am going to see my baby again, in roughly 4 hours...or I am some sort of monster. Maybe a little of column A and a little of column B. Mwa ha ha.

Stefan and I had a nice time out and we even got a text from the sitter saying that Katy Belle was a wonderful baby and was sound asleep. Who knows if that was true (the sleep part) but it made us feel good.

We got home and hooray, the baby sitter wasn't a serial killer and she hadn't made off with our baby and she hadn't drunk all our beer (her loss) and she had even eaten all but a small scoop of my ice cream. Good for you sitter! Katy Belle was awake, but happy and fed and changed.

Sadly, this woman is going back to college in a few weeks, oh and I keep having a hard time saying she is in college because I think I am still in college and certainly not 35 or a "mom" or anything.

Bottom line....not all baby sitters are organ harvesters or Michael Myers magnets. Of course, I haven't checked my jewelry yet.

xoxo, Biz


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's start making something?

Hello PPPAers. A few weeks ago, in my house bound, post pregnancy, still breastfeeding, can't I get a few hours to myself or I may go crazy state of mind, I decided to take a sewing class.

Who am I? Some crazy woman who thinks she can sew or worse, some crazy woman who thinks sewing is her version of getting green and saving money same as the people who have their own garden and use their old coffee grounds and last Tuesday's Sockarooni to fertilize it?

Apparently, the answer is yes. (blank stare)

I had a great time making a tote. Watch out world, Mama made a that need toting.

The class lasted 3 hours a night for 2 nights. I sat in the basement of a little Brooklyn shop with 4 other women, snipping and measuring and sewing away. It was quiet and relaxing and only missing a good glass of wine. So when the next class was offered, I threw my sewing supplies into my tote (hello tote) and went back to make an apron. And I did...make and apron that wasn't too shabby. Hot damn, I was sewing. So I figured I had been a pretty good girl this year, so I asked Santa for a sewing machine. Santa agreed I had been all right and now I HAD to sew, because that sewing machine was not going to go the way of my banjo and sit in a corner reminding me of failed exercises in personal growth and artistic exploration. (Don't think this is over banjo. It's not over by a long shot!)

So, what to sew? I had gotten interested in sewing so that I could make pillows. I am a fan of a good throw pillow and after going out to buy throw pillows last year and being SHOCKED by how much people were asking for a freaking pillow that my cat would eventually puke on, I decided I could probably sew two squares together. Seriously, $90 for a pillow? A PILLOW?

Two days ago, after putzing around on some test fabric, I...made...(pause for effect) a PILLOW.

yep...that is a pillow. It's not saving me $90 or anything, but its my first pillow and goes to support the thought that no pillow is probably worth $90. (but Biz, what if people fall in love with your pillow and want you to make one for them? I would love to! That will be $90 please.)

I do love this fabric and I am pretty darn proud of my slightly lumpy pillow.

In all the excitement of the pillow, I started reading "crafty mom blogs" for inspiration. Holy crap, there are some seriously crafty women out there who can make some really cool things. Well this got me even more excited. "I too need to make an adorable owl pillow! Make my own swaddle for Katy Belle? I MUST! It's only my 3rd day sewing but I can't imagine why it would be hard for me to make a couch!"

So what did I do next?

I pulled out one of Katy Belle's old baby outfits that I had bought her and that she grew out of in 2 weeks (PONYS!) and chopped off the legs thinking it would be a cute dress and I would be the most amazing mother for doing so. Forest animals would come to my window and thank me and ALLLLLL the moms of Park Slope would stop me for mothering advice and tell me what an superb job I was doing as a mom. SUPER MOM!

ummmmmm...I wanted the hem that way?

Check out that craftsmanship.


And here she her shirt, not dress...most definitely shirt. And there I am in my supermom shirt looking very satisfied.

I predict many more projects in imperfection to come that will make my heart swell with pride and that Katy Belle will adore...until she is old enough to know better.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where did this Park come from and why has Law & Order ruined it?

Ummm...why didn't somebody tell me there was a Park in Park Slope?

It is amazing! During the beautiful last days of fall I would take Katy Belle up to the park and we would spend a few hours walking...well, I would walk and she would sleep. It was so lovely, except...

that everywhere I went looked like a possible crime scene...FOR ME!

I watch a lot of crime procedurals; Law & Order (all 3), CSI (Vegas and NY), and most recently, Criminal Minds. When I say I watch a lot, I mean A LOT. So much so that they have left permanent scars on my psyche. I am pretty positive that there are more bad guys than good guys and serial killers are in my basement.

Look see a beautiful waterfall...

...I see a place for dead bodies.

Stairway to heaven?

More like stairway to murder!

All joking aside, this one looks like the killing floor.

I am so trained by these shows that I actually look for dead bodies. Why here is one right here.


I'll just go under this know the bridge from every Law and Order opening...with my daughter, nothing ever bad happens to you when you have your daughter with you, right?


This can't be good, since it is what I always expect.

The end.