My Only Way Out

(is to go so far in)

Life in general

Posted by Cauri on March 13, 2007

Life has just been going too fast lately. And it’s weird, because in a way, I’m actually loving it. It’s full speed ahead to the end of my college career, to the end of my babysitting career, to a real life in the real world.

Last week I had a great night out with Lauren for her birthday. It was some very much-needed girl time, where we could just talk about the things that really matter in our lives. It was a lot of fun to hang out with her, and it brought back all sorts of memories. We had dinner together and then just drove around (since she locked herself out of her apartment) and then we ate sundaes at Friendly’s. It’s so weird that she’s a girl that quickly became my best friend when we met when we were 11 years old. She turned 23 two weeks ago.

The following week, my dad and brother took off to Tennessee for my dad’s work, leaving me and Ryan home with the Brunster for four days. It was a great weekend for the three of us, bonding in ways we hadn’t experienced before, Ryan and I acting as the parents, and Bruno, our little pride and joy. We loved taking him out everywhere and showing him off, to people in the park and to admirers at Petsmart. The three of us cuddled in bed at night, Bruno pushing his little nose to our lips when he had to go out, and then dashing straight back to bed to snuggle back to sleep. When my family came home Sunday night, it was sad. Watching Bruno race around the house, completely ignoring the family we’d created that weekend. It was great practice for me and Ryan. Cooking our meals together at home, sneaking out for an hour to have time alone, only to race back because we missed Bruno. We’re so ready to have a life and a family together.

Bruno’s been mostly my responsibility lately anyway, since my brother decided to take on a part-time job (in addition to his business) and then stay out late every night. But yesterday, Bruno hurt his little leg jumping out of bed with my brother in the morning. Brett put him in my bed and then headed off to work, and for four hours the puppy just cried and cried and cried. I thought he just missed Brett, maybe he was just tired and needed cuddling. Until I realized he had hurt his leg. The rest of the day was spent carrying the 60-pound baby to and from the car, to and from the vet’s, to and from the couch. X-rays showed nothing was wrong, so he was drugged and returned to us. He cried for three more hours until he finally passed out. When he woke up around 9:00 last night, he was suddenly cured. He was racing madly around the house, tossing around every toy he could find, eager to make up for the day he lost. He’s in the same mood today. He’s fine. I wish I could say the same about my back.

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There was no way out, the only way out was to give in.

Posted by Cauri on February 20, 2007

Friday was a weird day for me. Friday night I had a meltdown. I was babysitting S&G. I put them to bed and came downstairs. I poured myself a cup of coffee and paced back and forth. I just started crying. About everything. I was really sad about N moving, and I think I bottled it up for too long. I cried about graduating and not babysitting S&G anymore. I was pacing in the kitchen. The same kitchen I was pacing in two years ago when I was trying to decide if it was a good idea to date Ryan. I guess it just struck me–How many of my memories exist in other people’s houses. How many lives I’ll be walking out of, how many people I won’t be seeing on a weekly basis anymore.

I drove out to Ryan’s late Friday night and cried the whole way. When I got there, we talked until we fell asleep in each other’s arms. I was ok. Saturday we woke up and played scrabble and got sushi delivered and headed into the city. We were supposed to see Alex Borstein (Lois on Family Guy) but for whatever reason she cancelled, and we ended up seeing a mixture of comedians, but everyone was really funny. Ryan and I laughed the whole way as we walked the thirty blocks down to the show and about 10 blocks back (before Ryan surprised me with a cab). I can’t explain the comfort I felt to have him there, to share these experiences with him. To know that everything is ok, that I do have some stability in my life.

I started reading Running with Scissors on the bus. It was a super repulsive, disturbing story about the hell that was this child’s life from the ages of 10-15. I could completely relate to it.  (Just because our moms are similar, not because I’m gay or anything.)  Except I couldn’t understand how the author remained so positive, since when I was 13, all I ever thought about was killing myself, and this kid had absolutely no one, nothing in his life that he could count on, and that thought never seemed to enter his mind. I woke up early on Sunday to finish it.

I’m very lucky, and I realize that. This amazing guy that I’m in love with is also an incredible best friend. I can’t imagine what I’d be going through right now if I didn’t have Ryan to count on, if he didn’t listen to me ramble on & on about my nightmare babysitting experiences, or the professor who wouldn’t stop picking on me. But I’ve been pushing and pushing him away lately, feeling like I should be able to pick myself up on my own, I should be able to deal with things on my own. A huge part of growing up for me, lately, has been not only accepting that I have found somebody I can depend on, but to actually let him take care of me sometimes. My hugest battle has been to release, to embrace, and to give in.

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It’s been a month

Posted by Cauri on February 12, 2007

It’s been almost a month since the last time I’ve written.  I’ve been a little busy. 

At four months old, the puppy is getting pretty big pretty quickly, gaining a pound or two a day.  He’s such a joy to be around.  He’s so playful, sweet, and loving, an amazing companion.  He’s also fairly calm, fiercely loyal, and fiercely obedient.  It amazes me how smart he is (and also makes me nervous about what’s to come in the future).  I look forward to taking him for walks now, discovering new trails, seeking solitude.  It snowed just about every night last week, at least a dusting, so it guaranteed we’d be the only ones on the trails.  We definitely took advantage of it.  My brother, Bruno, and I went for a two-hour walk, and we didn’t run into anyone else out there.  We let Bruno off the leash, and he followed right along, never straying from the path, never wandering more than 20 feet ahead or behind us.  He’s an amazing dog.  I don’t think I could deal with puppyhood in any other breed after being spoiled by this dog.  I’ve just started looking into Great Pyrenees, because they’re beautiful.  I think their personalities sound similar to Dobermans, but I don’t know how well I’d tolerate all that shedding.  I could definitely tolerate naptime in that fur though.

So my mornings have been spent with Bruno.  My afternoons have mostly been spent babysitting one main family lately.  They have one three-year-old son that I’ve been watching for 2-3 hours a week for a couple years now.  Even though I haven’t spent nearly as much time with him as I have with kids I nannied for, I’ve still developed a real bond with him.  He’s an incredibly smart and well-behaved kid and the parents are great people who’ve never, not once, not ever, bragged about him.  And I think that’s why he’s truly such a gem of a child.  And on January 31st, they gave birth to another little gem–a sweet little girl.  And now they’re moving next week.  So I’ve been spending a lot of time over there, playing with the 3-yr-old, and giving the mom a break at this point when they have so much going on.  It’s been difficult for me, and I’ve actually broken down to Ryan a couple times over the past week, because out of all the families I work with, this is one that I actually look forward to spending time with.  I love that little boy, and it’s really hard to accept that I will probably not see these people again.

And so I’ve cut way back on the other families.  I actually didn’t show up to someone’s house, for a number of reasons.  Number one being that the mom drove me crazy and would call me at 8:30 in the morning to see if i could come over within the hour and kept insisting that I should keep babysitting through next fall instead of looking for a “real job”, since “Babysitting is such good cash!”  This woman paid me $8 an hour, always for only an hour or two, and always paid with a check, and last time I lost the check and cursed the world because that was $30-worth of free babysitting for a woman I couldn’t stand anyway.

This entry just went all over the place.  That’s what happens when you haven’t written in a month.  So I guess now I’ll state that I’ve gotten so tired of the fact that every time I turn on my cell phone, every day of the week, no matter what time it is, there are 4 new messages from people asking if I can come over today, and it’s really getting on my nerves.  I don’t exactly have any time to drop everything and rush over to other people’s houses so they can get their desperately-needed time away from their kids.  And I will conclude by saying that I spend the second half of my day, from 4-11 in classes.  And that is another entry all its own.

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Bruno’s Snowball

Posted by Cauri on January 19, 2007

Today was Bruno’s first day experiencing snow, so Brett made him a snowball.

Bruno enjoyed it on the couch.

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Lazy Friday

Posted by Cauri on January 19, 2007

I’ve been so overwhelmed lately, I’m not even sure what to write about.  All week it’s been one thing after another after another.  But I guess that’s just how my life is at this point.  I’ve realized I’m not very good with change.  It’s weird, because I always thought I loved change, I sought change.  But not right now.  There’s too much going on.  I’d like to settle down more into a stable routine.  I guess the new semester’s just thrown me off this week.  I could’ve used an extra week of break.  I’ve been to four of the six classes so far, and I think I’ll get a good handle on them.  I’m not as intimidated as I was the other day.  All of my professors so far have been women, so that’s sort of unusual.  They all seem very easy to relate to though.  They actually all seem like great teachers.

I have classes Mon, Tues, and Thurs nights now, and I’m claiming Wednesdays as a homework day and Fridays as a lazy day.  Today’s my first lazy Friday, and it’s 2:30 and i’m still in my jammies, so I think I’m doing well.  I watched some of The Office DVDs with my brother today (Ryan and I are trying to catch up to season 3) and I played a lot of Sims and cuddled a lot with Bruno.  That’s about it.  Compared to every other day this week, it’s so wonderful to relax around the house with my family.  I’m so tired of constantly running from one thing to the next.  I have cut waaay back on babysitting.  I’m not sure how exactly to tell people that I don’t really want to babysit anymore, but I’m just using my classes as an excuse for the moment.  I just realized that the final class I have to take this summer can actually be wrapped up in a very brief Mon-Thurs morning course from May 14-31, and then I will be done.  After 5 years and 4 schools, I will actually have achieved something.  And that’s about all that is on my mind.

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back to school

Posted by Cauri on January 16, 2007

Ugh, I have to leave for school in an hour, and I’m freaking out!  Where did my break go?  Ohh, I hate the first day going back to school.  I think I’m so nervous because I have to face the classes that will make or break my career.  Luckily, I just have forensic psych tonight, and then I’m going to the devils/rangers game with Ry, my dad, and Wuss.  That’ll be a fun little reward for surviving my first day back at school.  I don’t know why I’m so nervous.  My stomach is in knots.  I feel like I’m 18 again, and this is all new to me.

At this point, I couldn’t possibly be more focused on graduating.  It’s consuming me.  So I guess I’m just starting to feel the weight of all the pressure.  The months are speeding by, and it really comes down to this semester.  I also need to become involved with some sort of a career process in the fall…or at least some type of job that doesn’t involve changing diapers.  I am seriously considering focusing on writing (of some form or another, children’s books, perhaps?), at least for the time-being to see if that leads me anywhere.  I need to bring my creativity back into play.  I need to tap back into that free spirit of who I used to be.  Somebody who wasn’t so anxious all the time, somebody who didn’t have a zillion goals and deadlines and obligations on her mind every second of the day.  I need to let go, I need to relax, I need to slow down and breathe every once in a while.

But I also need to do extremely well in my six classes this semester, or else my life will be forever ruined.

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3-month-old Bruno

Posted by Cauri on January 15, 2007

On a positive note, the puppy is amazing! He has an incredible personality and disposition. The vet was incredibly impressed by him, as is his teacher at puppy school. He is going to be a very smart dog…which makes me nervous, as I don’t want a dog that weighs as much as I do trying to outsmart me!

But over-all, he is a very calm, smart, and patient dog.

Tonight he climbed up in my dad’s recliner just to settle in for a nap =)

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nanny nightmares

Posted by Cauri on January 15, 2007

I’ve been a little out of the loop, as last week was spent in a household where it is perfectly acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, and if you whine, shriek, or pound on your little brother, all of your wildest wishes will be granted immediately. I nannied for the week for a family I worked for a couple of years ago, while their current nanny sailed far, far away on a vacation with her family. It’s been a blast watching these kids get older and watching the predictions I made years ago all come true.

When I first worked for them, their two precious little boys weren’t even 2 & 4 yet. It started at 65 hours a week, but anyone who’s ever read The Nanny Diaries knows that it soon amounted to closer to 80. They were terrors, but I was incredibly strict with them, sometimes letting up on Friday afternoons, since I was excited to have a weekend away from them (except for those weekends I was called back for a Saturday night), and after a few weeks, they started to listen to me! The tantrums ceased, and they started to be a lot of fun to be with and take places!

Anyway, long story short, it’s been years since I worked for them full-time. The boys will soon be 6 & 8, and their little sister is 2. I sort of love this new position I have in their lives. I get to be the “superstar” fun babysitter who pops in unexpectedly a few times a year, and they’re usually so excited to play that they just pass out after a couple hours. But last week was a very nice reminder of why I should never get involved in the full-time nanny bizz again.

The 12-hour days were pushed longer and later each and every day, as the mom invented new things she “just had to get done” around the house. By Friday at 6, I was sitting on the couch drifting off to sleep while the kids played around me and the mom would occasionally pass by the living room windows, pretending to do God knows what outside. The kids fought me over every single thing I asked them to do, from eating anything besides candy for breakfast, to putting a coat on before venturing into the 26-degree weather, to doing homework, to getting in the goddamn car or you’re going to be late for school! They’re just horrible monsters, and the week just really confirmed that I’m getting too tired of taking care of other people’s messes.  It is so hard keep my mouth shut about the way some people are raising their children.  And it is so hard to not curse and scream and yell when you’ve been waking up at 5:30 every morning to deal with these little monsters whose parents would pay anything to not have to deal with them themselves.

I guess the lesson of the week was, I’m done.  I’m done with babysitting and nannying, or else I will never want to have my own children.  I have to remind myself that my own children will not be anything like this.  My two-year-old is not going to know what chocolate is!   My children won’t be bombarded with t.v. and videogames.  My children will learn to enjoy picking up a book once in a while, or putting together a puzzle!

I guess this just confirmed that I need to look for a different sort of job in the fall.  Something suited just for me.  Something that doesn’t cater to everyone else’s needs.  Something that’ll allow me to use my creativity and passion for something I enjoy and that other people can benefit from.

Posted in Babysitting, Ugh | 1 Comment »

ranting and resolutions

Posted by Cauri on January 4, 2007

I think I’m just incredibly burnt out. There was only one other child in the past that I got this way with, a little demon I nannied for two summers ago. And now I’ve hit the point where, I really don’t want to show up at anyone’s house. I feel like I’m not doing this for myself at all anymore. I’m just doing it so the parents can go out and have fun and enjoy their lives. But what is the point in doing that for other people when I’m not enjoying my own life? So, once again, I’ve hit this point I’ve hit several times in my babysitting career over the last ten years. I actually considered taking a seventh class this semester so that I can graduate in May and get a “real job” in June. I threw that out again though, as it will be ok to graduate in August. But I can’t keep babysitting as much as I have been or I will never have my own children. So I’ve decided to keep my eye on some bigger goals, goals for this year, and goals for the next ten years and keep them as separate pages here on wordpress.And my most important new year’s resolutions this year are:
– To learn how to say no to people without feeling guilty.

– To make time for myself and for my own hobbies without feeling guilty.

– To make time for Ryan and for my friends.

– To lounge around on the weekends without feeling guilty.

– To accept the fact that I’m not going to have money for a couple of months because my sanity is worth it.

Posted in Babysitting, Daily Life | 1 Comment »

last weekend

Posted by Cauri on January 3, 2007

Last weekend Ryan and I headed down to A.C. for a night to see Bouncing Souls and to gamble, as part of Ryan’s xmas gift. Nothing compares to being drunk and eating breakfast at some skeevy diner at 3:30 in the morning. It was actually a blast. It was just what I needed, after two weeks of being couped up in the house on antibiotics & Cepacol, to be able to let go and drink and be merry with my love. On Saturday we went to see one of Ryan’s friends’ last shows and then headed out for more drinking and merriment. On Sunday, New Year’s Eve, we were being pulled in a million different directions, and we were both burnt out and didn’t really feel like doing anything. At 8:00 we said, “Screw it, we’re staying in.” We went out and bought two bottles of wine, a bottle of champagne, and got sushi delivered. It was heaven.

We were drunk by nine, while watching Seinfeld dvds and playing Hoopla. Around 11:30 we’d had waaaay too much to drink and got in a fight about something incredibly stupid. We cried for about 20 minutes and at midnight we were kissing again. His parents called at midnight and his dad was shouting, “We love you, Courtney!!” and that made me burst into hysterical tears. His parents are such sweethearts who have completely opened their hearts to me, and it was just overwhelming to realize how lucky I am. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my new year’s.

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