I finally found these scented candles that I've been looking for. I originally picked up three of them at CVS, but have been unable to find them since. The reason I like these candles (I prefer the "Mountainview"), besides the fact that they come in a pleasing tea green color, is that they smell good. Well duh, right? Yeah, but have you noticed how many candles don't smell good? Or that have a strange and wrong smell, like "Coffee Cake" or "Peach Cobbler" or "Turkey Dinner with Mashed Potatoes" (OK, maybe no that last one), implying that you would want your house to smell of such things? I don't want my house to smell like food. I want my house to smell like clean-ness, as though I just scrubbed everything down and left all the windows open and oh my, doesn't everything smell fresh. I burn candles so that my house doesn't smell like food. Like after I seared up some shrimp and scallops for dinner last night, I lit the candles, because damn, the whole house smelled like a Red Lobster. But maybe some people like having their house smell like Red Lobster, and there are special "Shrimp and Scallop" candles marketed towards them.
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Thanks for the advice and all regarding the nanny issue, everyone. I know it seems like we have a lot of time to look, but that shit can sneak up on you, and I don't want to spend my entire maternity leave frantically interviewing people and deciding in a rush. We had thought about looking into getting an au pair, an option that seems to have worked for a lot of people, and is more affordable besides--but I think that au pairs are only allowed to work 45 hours a week, which is much less than what we'd be needing. Also, I'm not in love with the idea of leaving some 18 year-old with our newborn, nor am I in love with the idea of having someone living with us. Haven't you seen "Single White Female"? That bitch was crazy, all dyeing her hair and murdering people with shoes and shit. So maybe that's not such a good option.
In terms of upping our salary offer for a nanny, believe me when I say that I would love to be able to do that, but we just don't have that much boullion stashed away. I mean, unless we skimp on , you know, food and toilet paper and stuff. We do have savings, and we're expecting to have to dip into those savings, but given that we've never done this before, we have to plan a good chunk of our expenditures next year to be unexpected incidentals, like...I don't know...diapers and such. (I guess that's not so unexpected. But how much does this stuff actually cost? I have no clue, and never had to look--in the hospital, all of that baby crap just appears for free.) So while I'd love to be able to offer $12, $15, hell, $18 an hour (the upper limit salary suggested by New York Magazine, which would make the nanny's salary significantly higher than that of either of her employers), we just don't have that kind of money.
As for the grandparent option that some people mentioned--an option that a lot of residents fall back on--I don't think that's a viable choice for us. It would be a nice solution, to go to the grandparent's house one day a week, thereby giving time for VITAL INTERGENERATIONAL BONDING (as well as allowing us to cut back on the number of nanny hours per week), but I don't think it's going to happen. Joe's parents would love to help out, but they live in Ohio. Which, as you know, is this whole other state. So there's that. My parents live in Manhattan, but they both work full-time, and when I gently probed my dad about the idea (Just an idea! Just a suggestion!) about the option of maybe taking the kid one day a week, trading off days between my dad and my mom so that it would only average out to every other week that either would have responsibility for the kid on their day off, my dad sort of said no. Well, he didn't say no like, "NO!" but he said it like, "Well, you know that we're always here for EMERGENCIES, so you can always call us in an EMERGENCY situation...but maybe not on a standing schedule." So that's not really very helpful.
It's ironic, really, how this is all panning out. Can't afford to go back to work after the baby, but neither of us can afford to take off from our jobs either. After all, the longer we put off finishing residency, the longer we're delaying earning an attending-level salary. So this is all just a little bit stressful. I guess I'd better start buying those lottery tickets now. Either that, or maybe I can meet a dancing chimneysweep who can introduce me to his magical governess friend with a flying umbrella, who is not only interested in working for a turn of the century salary, but also maybe singing a few songs along the way to teach us valuable life lessons.
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And in the world of New York news, there was a fire in the tracks of the C train yesterday that destroyed some sort of relay station and has caused mass chaos described as "the worst damage to subway infrastructure since the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001". At first, when I heard "track fire," I was just like, "Just spray it with the extinguisher and let's move on, people," but apparently, this relay station was a VERY IMPORTANT relay station. So important that they expect service for the C to be suspended for the next 3-5 YEARS, with significant curtailment of service on the A during this time period as well. Hey, I need those trains to get to work, dammit! Luckily, because of where I live, I can still take the 1/9 uptown. And who knows, maybe with all this shutting down of the A/C, they'll put more trains in the 1/9 fleet and it'll be a faster commute uptown for me overall. Hello lemons, let me introduce you to sugar and water.
Currently reading: "Nickel and Dimed." Just worth a re-read. Also possibly related to nanny-finding stress.