Gearing Up for Earth Day: Living Green, Clean and Healthy Guide

Green House & Healthy Family

 

As Earth Day, April 22, approaches, it’s time to green your life, inside and out.  Everyone knows about CFL light bulbs, low-flow showerheads and reusable grocery totes, but there’s lots of other ways to green up your world, like using these household and personal care items that can make your life greener, cleaner and healthier.

  

Round the Green House

 

Green Wash

Clean your clothes using less detergent and no harsh chemicals with the Robby Wash Laundry Ball by Oransi, an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic laundry detergent ball that can do the work of 75 lbs. of traditional laundry detergent and lasts up to 12 months and is safe for baby’s laundry. Safe enough for newborn laundry.  Oransi.com  $32.95.

 

Good Air Day

Everyone at home can breathe easier with the energy efficient ultra-quiet Blueair Air Purifier, which continuously monitors and removes 99.97% of all airborne contaminants such as pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke and dust.  The new E-series air purifiers come complete with a built-in digital display and remote control.  Bed Bath and Beyond. Prices start at $449.95.  

Off-the-Hook Green Phones

Top-ranked phone-maker VTech’s commitment to conservation rings true with its new line of phones that are EnergyStar certified and packaged with environmentally conscious materials and ink, such as the sleek and user-friendly VTech LS6225-2, with latest in DECT 6.0 digital technology for great sound quality, security and range.  vtechphones.com. $79.95.

Great Good-for-You Snacks

Ice Ice Yummy

I scream, you scream, we all scream for alternatives to sugary treats and soft drinks for kids.  Now there’s Power Ice, a delicious, healthy frozen snack that helps quench thirst and replace electrolytes with 0 grams of fat and cholesterol and no caffeine, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.  Lime Kicker and Orange Blast flavors come in packs of three for $1.99.  Available at drugstores and supermarkets nationwide.

Happy Trails

 

Bear Naked Granola and Trail Mixes contain all-natural whole grains, fiber and protein for energy and nutrition that’s easily portable in two-ounce packs perfect for throwing in a backpack or jacket pocket for healthy boost on strolls, bikes, hikes or camping trips.  For a special treat by the fireside, bake up some delicious Bear Naked Heavenly Chocolate S’mores12 oz. mixes from $3.50 to $5, 12 two-ounce bags $15. Available at grocery stores nationwide or bearnaked.com.

Strip Up

Kids can enjoy the taste of fresh fruit wherever they are with Stretch Island Fruit Strips.  They’re  easy to carry along on a stroll, shopping trips, at sports games or wherever you might want a nourishing snack.  For a pick-me-up for moms and dads, all natural FruitaBu Rolls Fruit Rolls by Stretch Island Fruit Co. offer a whole serving of fruit and are perfect for a healthy deskside snack.  As a bonus, your purchase of Stretch Island fruit snacks helps fund The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation and “Fruit Tree 101’s” which as planted 1,000 fruit trees and shrubs at  schools across the country.  $13.99 for a 30-ct. pack of Stretch Island Fruit Strips or $.49 each.  $3.60-$3.99 for box of six FruitaBü Rolls.  Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Target  or at stretchisland.com or fruitabu.com.

Sweet Squeeze

 

All-natural, low-fat and dairy and allergen-free Jolly llama Sorbet offers premium frozen whole fruit in individual 3 oz. squeeze-up tubes four flavors (strawberry, blueberry, acai, and mango) naturally sweetened with pure cane sugar and averaging just 75 calories each. Ages 1+.  Find stores or order online at Jollyllamasorbets.com.  $1.69 each or $36 for a 24-tube case plus $12.50 shipping/handling. 

Eat Your Greens

Munch on a between-meal snack that even Mother Nature would love.  Amazing Grass Organic Green SuperFood Whole Food Energy Bars are packed with unprocessed and organic nutrients such as antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds in delicious flavors. Whole Foods Markets.  12 count box $35.99.

Best Foot Forward

 

Happy Feet

Made by hand, Soft Star shoes are crafted from natural materials to be light, roomy and breathable, by a wind- and solar-powered company committed not only to footwear that is flexible and comfort but to and local sourcing, biking to work, recycling and reusing.  Styles for babies, like the Laguna Sandal ($42), to adults, like the Grippy Suede Roo Chocolate ($63).  softstarshoes.com.

  

Green My Ride

Out-of-the-Box Seating

New car seats for kids usually come in huge, wasteful cardboard boxes, but not the Cosco Scenera Convertible Car Seat, packaged in the first-ever eco-friendly travel and storage bag.  The carry bag has eliminated over 65 tons of paperboard waste, saving an estimated 2,700-plus trees a year, and cut warehouse and transportation costs by 33 percent.   The seat features a 5-point internal harness system and detachable cup holder.  Fits children 5-35 lbs. rear-facing and 22-40 lbs. forward-facing.  Target.  $54.99.

Just for Little Sprouts

 

Flower Power 

For fashion that makes a statement, check out the Organic Floral Peace T-shirt by Trendy Twin and Kid Shop, made with super soft 100% organic cotton and adorned with a floral cotton peace sign. 2T-4T. Trendytwinshop.com.  $28.95. 

Back to Nature

 

Gear up little ones with an adorable 100-percent eco-friendly EcoGear Ecozoo Backpack, made of organic cotton, non-toxic dyes, and sustainable components in four cute designs: Pig, Puppy, Panda, and Elephant. Ages 1+. ecogear-products.com.  $29.99. 

Shoe In

Start toddlers early with a good sense of eco-style with the cuter-than-cute “Noodle” by Simple Shoes, made with washable suede from an eco-certified tannery and lined with fuzzy certified organic cotton fleece.  Toddler sizes 2-9.  simpleshoes.com.  $40. 

Feel Good Clothes

Kids with allergies and sensitivity to tags, seams, buttons, zippers and other clothing trims and textures don’t have to give up style for comfort with Soft Clothing for All Children, a kids fashion line made with vegetable dyes, natural enzyme washes, and water-based prints that won’t irritate and distract children who have these sensitivities, designed by a special educator and designer and a mom advocate for individuals with Autism. XS (age 4) to XXL (age 12).  Classy to casual styles, softclothing.net.  $10 – $25. 

Clean & Green Diapers

Disposable diapers may be convenient, but they pose a threat to our environment and can contain chemicals and materials that are not good for baby’s health.  Here are some safer and less wasteful options to consider:

 

Wood-pulp processed Seventh Generation fragrance- and chloride-free diapers offer softness for comfort, stretchy leg gathers for fit, resealable closure tabs for ease and non-toxic and hypoallergenic absorbent polymer to keep your baby dry.  Comparable in performance to traditional premium diapers but a whole different look with a plain, neutral beige rather than the white cartoon-embossed covers of most commercial diapers.   Whole Foods, Walgrens, Babies R Us.  Ages 0+.  Newborn (up to 10 lbs.), 40 count, to size 6 (35+ lbs.), 22 count,  $10.99.

Earth-friendly Earth’s Best TenderCare dye-free, perfume-free, chlorine-free diapers are made with annually renewable resources such as corn and wheat that lessen the use of petro-chemicals to reduce your baby’s environmental footprint.  They feature breathable sides, moisture barrier cuffs and refastenable tabs for comfort and ease of use. No cutesy cartoons on the outside but great performance.  Ages 0+. Available in seven sizes from newborn (40 count) to size 6 (22 count).  Babies R Us.  $11.99.   

Distinguished by a tiny leaf pattern and a unique center channel, the best looking of the Earth-friendly disposable diapers, hypo-allergenic Nature Babycare ECO unbleached, latex-free, frangrance-free and chlorine-free diapers are constructed of 60% natural materials such as soft absorbent pulp from sustainably harvested Scandinavian forests.  Less plastics provides more comfort without sacrificing protection.  Ages 0+.  Size 1 (40 count) to size 6 (20 count).  Diapers.com, Amazon.com, Target and Babies R Us.  $12.99.

An eco-alternative to disposables is KUSHIES Ultra-Lite organic diapers which feature a snug designer-style waterproof adjustable shell on the outside and washable liners of 100% soft cotton flannel or a flushable, biodegradable diaper liner inside.  A built-in flap can be folded up for boys or down for girls for extra absorbency where they need it most.  Pre-soak and machine wash and dry.  Ages 0+. Infant to toddler sizes.  Kushiesonline.com.  Trail pack of two diapers $32.99.  Toddler five-pack $68.99.

Big-brand Huggies hopped on the organic bandwagon with Huggies Pure & Natural hypo-allergenic and fragrance-free diapers, with an outer cover that includes organic cotton and aloe and vitamin E.  Ages 0+.  Newborn (30 count) to size 6 (20 count). 
Target, Babies R Us, Diapers.com.  $11.99.

Beyond Bed and Bath

Green Dreams

Don’t lose sleep worrying about toxins in your baby’s synthetic-materials mattress.  Sleep well by putting your little one down for a restful night’s sleep on the handcrafted Coco Mat mattress for cribs or toddler beds made with breathable pure lambswool and other all organic materials.  Age 0+. Locate retailers at nauralmatusa.com. $399.

 

Potty Talk

When Mother Nature calls, and little ones gotta go, go green, with the Safety 1st Nature Next 3-in-1 Potty, which includes a potty, toilet insert ring and stepstool, featuring a locking lid for easy carrying, all made with bio-plastic.  Walmart.  $9.99.

Up with Bamboo

Budding environmentalists can sit up tall and proud in the Safety 1st Nature Next Bamboo Booster Seat, made from durable bamboo, a renewable resource that grows quickly and is able to rapidly replenish itself. The booster includes an easy-to-remove adjustable tray and 3-point safety harness.  Babies R Us, Sears, Walmart.  $39.99.

Growing Up Green

 

Beating the BPA Bottle

 

Green to Grow baby bottles are free of toxic bisphenol-A (BPA) plastic which is found in many baby bottles, and the grassroots company proves they care about the future of our little ones and our planet by using 100 percent recycled paper and soy inks in all of their packaging.  They also founded Bottles to Babies Initiative which provides donated used bottles and new nipples to non-profit organizations and women’s shelters.  Whole Foods Market and baby boutiques nationwide.  5 oz. and 10 oz styles, $9.99 to $10.99.

Raise Your Glass

Silikids Glass innovates the child’s drinking glass with a germ-free, mold and toxin free silicone sleeve that makes gripping easier and prevents breakage.  6 oz. glass.  Find stores or order at silikids.com.  $7.95. Enter silibaby for 10% reader discount.

Good Green Read

Read it and Cheep

Author Carol Zelaya has created the Emily the Chickadee series of children’s books to help youngsters appreciate the beauty of nature and what little creatures can teach us, inspired by a baby bird that lived in her own backyard.  Amazon. $12

Naturally Beautiful & Healthy

Green Hair Day

Instead of chemicals that damage hair and pollute waterways, eco.kid products are made from ingredients that are organically certified, plant-derived, wild-harvested, vapor-distilled, readily biodegradable and indigenous to Australia.  Safe enough to eat them, if you wanted to.   The line includes eco.kid Bubbalicious Smooth Hair Paste shapes and holds hair and even repels head lice.  ecokidorganics.com. $16.50

Eco-Chic Hair

Snip-its kid’s hair salon now has a line of all-natural hair products with formulations safe enough for newborns.  For water babies, try Snip-Its Swimmer’s Solution Clarifying Shampoo made with natural papaya and pineapple extracts to remove mineral protein, chlorine deposits and residue from hair. snipits.com.  $9.99.

 

Smile Bessy

Natural Dentist Healthy Teeth & Gums Whitening Plus Toothpaste (5-oz. tube $4.99) and Natural Dentist Healthy Teeth Fluoride Rinse (16-ounce bottle. $6.99) uses natural ingredients like grapefruit seed extract, menthol, peppermint, sage oil, bamboo powder and aloe vera gel to whiten teeth, remove stains and sooth gums without alcohol and chemicals contained in most toothpastes and rinses, and they are sold without cardboard boxes to reduce waste.  Whole Foods, Rite Aid and CVS.  

 

The Nose Knows

Everyone from Oprah to the guy in the next cubicle extols the wonders of the neti pot, the drug-free way to clear stuffy sinuses, and SinuCleanse Neti Pot has done the nasal washing vessel one better by making it a clear blue plastic so that the user can easily see if the saline solution is fully mixed for proper use.  For little noses, SinuCleanse Kid’s Mist provides quick relief with a gentle nasal spray safe for infants to relieve nasal discomfort.  CVS.  Walgreens.  Both $14.99.

 

Now You’re Talking Cool

When tiny tots have sore throats, Children’s Throat Cooler offers icy relief in the form of a non-medicated frozen Grape or Strawberry treats that cool and sooth with immune-boosting ingredients including pure honey and Vitamin C.   Sold in multi-packs of six pre-portioned single-serve .8 fl. oz/25 ml pouches.  Ages 2+.  CVS and Rite Aid.  $3.99 to $4.99.

 

 

Good Read: Blood Strangers

I’ve just started reading “Blood Strangers,” a memoir by a lesbian mom, Katherine A. Briccetti, a school psychologist, who writes about dealing with the emotional wake created from three generations of fatherless families–her father’s closed adoption, her own adoption by her stepfather, and the “second-parent” adoption of her sons by her partner.  The book will be out May 2010, but thanks to my blog I got an advance copy.  So far I find the topic fascinating and the book, written like a novel, very compelling.

 

La. Asks for Rehearing in Two Dads Case

The Associated Press Posted: 03/04/2010 08:56:40 AM PST Updated: 03/04/2010 08:58:20 AM PST

NEW ORLEANS—State attorneys have asked the federal appeals court in New Orleans to reconsider whether both fathers’ names must be on the birth certificate of a boy born in Shreveport and adopted by a same-sex couple in New York State.

The petition filed Thursday says last month’s opinion by a three-judge panel creates a new interpretation of Louisiana law going directly against the state Constitution. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office wants the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to hear arguments.

Louisiana law allows adoption either by one person or by a married couple. Unmarried couples, same-sex or not, cannot adopt. The state Constitution says marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and legal status substantially similar to that of marriage cannot be recognized for unmarried people.

The boy was born in 2005. His fathers adopted him in New York State, where same-sex couples may adopt. They now live in San Diego, Calif.

People’s Court – Craigslist Sperm Donor

Judge Marilyn Milian’s self-proclaimed favorite case ever.  I feel sorry for the women, as clearly they very much want to get pregnant and have children.  The judge shows compassion about this and encourages them not to give up due to this experience.  I agree with the judge that their contract did not stipulate how many donations the donor needed to make, and that if they had an oral agreement they should have backed it up as an amendment to their contract.  In any case, they were not educated about how and when to inseminate, as the donor in fact needed rest between donations to build up his sperm count, and they only needed to inseminate in the small window of ovulation, not for 12 days straight.

Live and learn.  Hopefully they will try again and realize their wishes of having a family.

The People’s Court – Shopping for sperm donor on craigslist! pt. 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qro3xNB1xmY&feature=related

Fish Are Friends

naptime

My son LOVES the movie Nemo, so my partner and I knew he would love the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. It is a perfect day’s outing from Los Angeles, and the logistics are a breeze, i.e., ample parking, elevators for strollers, accessible restrooms, child-frienldy eateries. The only issue was having enough time to do it all.

We headed out early to arrive just in time to board a Harbor Breeze Cruises tour boat, just outside the aquarium. It was a bargain at $12 per adult and kids under 3 for free. We opted for the 45-minute tour versus the three-hour whale watching because we were afraid our toddler get cranky at sea on a long trip, though we heard reports of awesome whale sitings with the animals bursting out of the water to greet boats earlier that day. Oh well, another time.

On the boat tour we did get to see some sea lions to my son’s delight. We laughed a little to hear our guide say they were “free and wild in their natural habitat,” as the huge animals lounged across a man-made barge anchored in the harbor, and half of them were branded with numbers. They were still very cute, all cuddled against each other in a pile.

After an enjoyable boat ride with perfect weather, we had a quick lunch of pizza and pasta at one of the restaurants that surround the acquarium, all walking distance away, and we headed to the main event, the acquarium.

There was so much to do, but also quite a crowd of people, as we made the mistake on visiting during a holiday weekend (Presidents Day), so we had to chose just a few exhibits and attractions to visit that day. We started with the Tropical Pacific Gallery, consisting of several large tanks of exotic fish, and Stephen was delighted to spot “Dori” and from Nemo, a bright blue fish. He also saw “Crush” and “Squirt,” magnificent sea turtles.

All of the galleries captivated him, but clearly his favorite was the petting pool where he was able to actually reach into the water and touch a stingray, shark and other fish that swam by, seeming to enjoy the attention of the tourists.

We also visited exhibits with penguins, manatees, sharks and countless other fish and animals housed at the aquarium, which is truly impressive. We learned that our local world-class acquarium is home to more than 11,000 ocean animals, representing nearly 500 species, featuring 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits, exploring the waters of Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific, and the Tropical Pacific.

Just as our little one started to get drowsy, we loaded him up in his stroller and headed for home. There was still lots to see, and we can’t wait to explore more of the exhibits and fun activities for kids, like 3D movies “A Fish Story” and “Turtle Vision,” or Lorikeet Forest aviary, but we realized we couldn’t do it all in one day, so for sure, we will be back.

Cost for admission:
•Adult: $23.95
•Child (3-11): $11.95
•Senior (62+): $20.95
Hours:
9 am – 6 pm everyday

(562) 590-3100

www.acquariumofthepacific.org

V-Day Sick Day

Monday Hearts

After a misdiagnosis as stomach flu, then ongoing fever for three days and a new diagnosis of ear infection in both ears, followed by treatment with an antibiotic that didn’t work, followed by a fourth visit to the pediatrician and urgent care, I hope Stephen is now on the mend.  Needless to say my Valentine’s Day was not so romantic with my girlfriend and I as I was doing my best to console a feverish two-year old and cleaning up barf, but we did manage to take a few minutes out to give each other cards and token gifts.

I gave Kira a book called Monday Hearts for Madalene, which is a lovely photo book of hearts constructed with flowers, hardware, grass, candies, figs, candles and other simple daily ephemera to form a moving display and expression of love from the author, Page Hodel, to her one true love, Madalene Rodriguez, on whose doorstep she left these hearts each Monday morning.

Kira gave me the gift that truly captures the state of our lives — a stack of lottery cards, and of course, two quarters which we used to scratch them off, to see if we might get lucky.  unbelievably, even with 1 in 3 winning odds, not one of the cards was a winner.  Oh well.

When Stephen’s temperature went down to normal and he seemed to be doing a lot better , i.e., jumping up and down and asking to go outside to ride his tricycle, I figured we could break away for a Valentine’s dinner — and I had reserved the babysitter weeks ago, so we ducked out to Grand Lux for Kira’s favorite ahi tuna salad and my fave chicken piccata.  Not fancy, but really we didn’t feel like getting dressed up anyway, and with the preoccupation of Stephen’s illness all week we had forgotten to make dinner reservations.

Thing is, once we were out, we worried so much about Stephen that we ate our dinner in a hurry and rushed home.  Truth is, there was no other place I preferred to be than home with him.  So indeed Valentine’s was a day to express our love, in the new form it has taken since my new love came along.

The Real Nanny Diaries

The 2007 Scarlett Johansson movie , The Nanny Diaries, based on the novel of the same name, tells one side of the story — of the life of a nanny and her awful employers.  Well I have another side to tell.

We just got a new nanny, and she’s a keeper.  She’s a sweet, kind and caring young girl of 23 years from Nebraska, new to LA, and she loves kids.  She is our third nanny in two and a half years.  We had hoped for consistency in child care for my son’s sake, but unfortunately the others had to go.

Nada

The first nanny, we’ll call her “Nada,” came recommended by a friend who had employed her as a housekeeper.  She seemed nice enough, very animated, though a bit screechy, and she came recommended by a mom who told me, “She always helped out without being asked” and “She not only cleans, she deep cleans.”  Wow, she sounded fantastic.  I hired her to babsit my son three days a week when my maternity leave was up and I had to return to work when my son was three months old.

She spoke Spanish and broken English, and I spoke some Spanish, but I found that her English failed her — as did her ability to understand my Spanish — when she did not want to understand.  For instance, she had agreed to do light housekeeping, such as mop the kitchen floor once a week and wash my son’s clothes, when my son was napping, but these things never got done.

When I came home for lunch or unexpectedly dropped in on her during the day, she would be reading a magazine at my kitchen table while my son napped.  When I mentioned that it would be a good time to do the laundry, she would nod and say, “Yes, yes,” but then she would continue to sit and read.  In fact, she would give me a dirty look right before she went back to reading her magazine, which by the way, was in English.

Okay, so that’s not so bad, but then I found out the real reason why she always rushed out in the morning to get to the park.  I thought she was eager to play with my son on the swing and let him run around with the other kids at the park.  After some recon, I discovered that she was dashing out to get her latte at Starbucks and then meeting her friends to chat while parking my son, imprisoned in his stroller, for up to three to four hours each day.  Then she would return home when he was sleeping — stashing her empty Starbucks cup in our bushes in the front yard on the way in — to read magazines and have lunch.

When I learned that my son was basically vegetating all day in her care, I said “adios” to her, and I went about finding another nanny.

P.S.  I will never know why that first mom gave Nada such a high recommendation.

Tricki

Due to being laid off at my job, I couldn’t afford to pay a nanny as I had done previously, so I offered a live-in position three days a week in exchange for housing.  I found our second nanny, we’ll call her “Tricki,” on craigslist.  She told me her career ambition was to one day own a day-care center.  She said she loved kids and had been a nanny before, though she could not get a recommendation from her former employer because she was a “stage mom” who had expected too much, and the employment did not end well.

Tricki was 23 and returning to LA to live after being laid off from her entry-level job in Colorado, where she had relocated to be near her boyfriend.  When I heard “out-of-state boyfriend,” I should have known better, but I took her into our home and she began babysitting my son while I was freelancing from home.

At first, things seemed fine, except my son’s sleep schedule inexplicably changed coinciding with her babysitting routine.  On days that Tricki watched my son, he began taking long morning naps, sometimes for three or more hours.  While I worked from my home office I often assumed Tricki had taken my son to the park, because the house was so quiet, but then I learned they were in her room, both of them sound asleep.

When I asked Tricki to shift naptime to the afternoon, she claimed she tried but my son just naturally fell asleep in the morning, though sometimes he had just woken up an hour or so before.  Finally, I got to the bottom of the mysterious sleeping schedule.

Seems that Tricki was tired from her night job as a hostess at a popular local restaurant, often followed by late-night carousing with her co-workers and friends, and she needed her rest, so she put my son on her schedule, for her own convenience.

I also noticed that she was calling and texting her boyfriend, a lot, and I was very firm with her that she should wait until my son was napping or when she was off duty to call and text.  She agreed, but the calling and texting continued. Constantly.

Once I came outside to see her standing in front of our house with my son in his stroller while she chatted on the phone.  I waited a few minutes, unseen, as she continued to chat. I went into the house for about 25 minutes, and came out to astoundingly find her still standing chatting on the phone.

Needless to say, the mopping and laundry never got done, but really, these issues were minor compared to what followed.

When I had already decided it was time for Tricki to go, and I was just deciding how to handle it, she threw a wrench in my plans to get rid of her by wrecking my SUV.  I had suspicions she was texting while it happened, but she claimed she simply did not see the parked van that she struck in the parking lot at Chuck E Cheese.  She had no funds to pay for the $4,000 in damage, but she agreed to “work it off” by putting in extra babysitting hours.

Then, through no fault of her own, as she pointed out to me, she had an emergency appendectomy, which required her to convalesce at my home for a few weeks.  During this time I of course was not able to do any freelance work as I had to take over childcare during the day.

After her recovery, I let her know that I was letting her go, but I explained that the reason was that my parents were coming for an extended visit and I needed her room.  When she knew she was on her way out, she showed her true colors.

The week before she was due to leave, she came home at 5:30 am so stumbling drunk she could not figure out how to use the key to get into our house.  My partner heard the commotion of her fumbling with her keys, and looked out our front window to find her crouched in the courtyard, urinating.  Appalled, my partner left for work and Tricki passed out in her room.  At 9:30 am I tried to rouse her.  I saw her feet sticking out from the covers and thought she might be dead.  I yelled her name and shook her but she was unresponsive.  I called 911.  Just as the operator was about to send help, Tricki emerged, smelling of alcohol, and apologized that she “must have overslept.”

That was the last straw, but it was not the last of the outrages.  Tricki was due to pack up and leave at the end of the week, and that last week while she was still living in our home we would hear her leave late at night and return in the wee morning hours.  We wondered how she was getting around, as Tricki did not have a car.   Then we found out how.  Every night, after we went to bed, Tricki took my partner’s spare car key and helped herself to the car.  When my partner mentioned to me that she thought the car was not where she parked it, or the seat was moved back, or the gas tank was empty, I thought she was imagining things.  Then Tricki accidentally left her coat in the car, and she was busted.

With this bit of solid proof, I confronted her outright.  “Have you been taking the car at night?”

She was speechless.  Then she managed a few lines that she must have rehearsed when she realized she left her coat in the car and would likely be questioned: “Just a few times when it was late and I went out for ice cream and I didn’t want to walk to the store late at night.”

Right.

So Tricki was gone.  Good riddance.  And don’t even think about getting a reference.

P.S.  I think I know now why she wasn’t able to give me a reference.

Hope

So now we have Hope.  She’s working out great so far.  I’ve given up on the laundry and mopping thing.  If she does it fine, if not, I just do it myself.  The main thing is she is responsible and she takes good care of my son.

Ok, so her first week she wrecked my partner’s car.  A lady just unexpectedly stopped in front of her and she couldn’t brake in time.  No one was hurt.  For some reason the magic figure for body work these days is $4,000, and that is what the latest nanny crash cost us.

Stuff happens, and perhaps this one incident with the car “got the stink off” as an old friend used to say about breaking a spell of bad luck.

We sure hope so.

%d bloggers like this: