Misadventures in Babysitting

I recently reread the first three books of The Baby-Sitters Club series, and the nostalgia was overwhelming. I remember being inspired back in the day to make my own “kid kit” and be the best babysitter EVER. I’ve been blessed to care for children of all ages, and I like to think that I made some kind of positive impact on their lives. This is starting to sound heartwarming so let me put on the brakes because this is not about the good times. Be honest; you’re here to laugh at my expense. 😂 This is a more accurate description of what you’re about to read:

Just to be clear, I am a responsible babysitter, and nothing dangerous has ever happened in my care. The tales I’m about to reveal weren’t directly my fault, just a handful of humorous and unfortunate events.

– Board Game Gone Wrong –

The brother & sister I was babysitting suggested we play chutes and ladders, and I eagerly agreed because I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood. I have to be honest and tell you that I got beat fair and square. I didn’t come in first place nor did I come in second; I was dead last. This particular board game is meant for kids, and even though I had no intention of beating my young companions, I didn’t think I would be so terrible. We hadn’t been playing long before the sister turned to me and said with a straight face: “You’re really bad at this game.” There is nothing quite as humiliating as an insult from someone who is less than half your age. I haven’t played that game since.

– Late Night TV –

This particular situation was mostly my fault, but have no fear because it had nothing to do with my young charges. For an extended period of time, I had a steady babysitting job with a family who lived in my neighborhood. One night while sitting at their house, I decided to watch some television after the kids were sound asleep; of course I had the parents’ permission. It was late at night, and there was a thunderstorm brewing. Of all the things I could have watched, I settled on a crime show. That was my first mistake. I eventually decided TV was a bad idea, and picked up the book I brought with me which just so happened to be a mystery. That was my second mistake. My third and final mistake was leaving only one lamp on. I’m not sure why, but I never turned on the room light to make myself feel safer. It was a tense few hours. I didn’t know nighttime could be so noisy! I can’t even tell you how many times I checked the doors and windows to make sure they were locked ( once I built up the courage to do so ). When the parents arrived through the garage, I naturally thought they were murderers until they stepped into the house and greeted me by name. That was the last time I ever watched a crime show or read a mystery while babysitting.

– I Cry Fowl –

I will ease you into the fourth and final story with the typical babysitting story of a bird in the garage. It happened while I was outside with the “chutes and ladders siblings” for some fresh air and playing time. While taking a brief break from the sun, a curious bird joined us. He was harmless, but I couldn’t help panicking. The brother’s personality was unpredictable, and I pictured him opening the door and accidentally letting our new winged friend inside the house. Of course I had to cage (get it?!) my fear so the kids wouldn’t panic and do what I just described. I spoke softly and encouraged them to stay still so the bird wouldn’t feel threatened. He explored a little more and flew away, never to bother us again. Crisis avoided! I swear the animal kingdom is out to get me.

– Dino and the Popsicles –

I realize that the title sounds like a cool band name, but the following events are anything but cool. Literally! I was once again babysitting my neighbors, but this time it was during the day. The parents provided popsicles and told me the kids could play outside. Simple enough, right? WRONG!! When the time came, the siblings grabbed their cold, refreshing popsicles, and we ventured outdoors into the unbearable heat & humidity. After some quality playing time with their dog Dino, the sister informed me that she had to use the restroom. I thought nothing of it until she went to turn the doorknob, and nothing happened. I thought the door was stuck because that is normal in Texas, and I gave it a try. Nothing happened, and my heart started to sink into my stomach. I took some deep breaths and reminded myself that I had to stay calm because I was in charge of two kids and one dog. I made my way to the front of the house to try the garage door; I brought along the sister because she was old enough to stay calm and help me with the code to open the door from the outside. I managed to get the garage door open, but the door to the house was locked, and we had no luck finding the spare key. Trust me, I searched high and low. I had told the brother stay in the backyard with the dog; thankfully the garage wasn’t far from the gate so the sister and I pulled double duty keeping a close eye on them. Unfortunately that didn’t work. The little boy gave in to his curiosity and opened the gate before we could reach him. That wasn’t my main concern. Remember who he was with!! I spent the next 10-15 minutes running up and down the street yelling “DINO!!” No, this is not an unaired episode of The Flintstones. I desperately tried to shepherd him into the gate held open by the sister while simultaneously keeping my eye on the brother because, as you already know, he was very unpredictable (typical at his age). He tried to help by joining in with his small but mighty voice, but really it was just more noise and extra stress. Finally I got that darn dog into the backyard and locked all of us in. I had a mischievous dog and two sweaty, sticky kids in my care, and I felt helpless. I hated to pull them away from something important, but I had to inform the parents of our predicament since I had tried every other way to get back inside. Thankfully I had my phone on me so I called and left a calm, collected message. I spent the next hour or so keeping the kids distracted on the trampoline until their parents came to our rescue. I profusely apologized and fully expected to never work for them again. The parents shocked me by apologizing about their faulty lock, which they forgot to tell me about before leaving, and applauded my ability to stay calm in a stressful situation. I did indeed work for them again, and thankfully the preceding story was the worst experience I ever had, both with them and with babysitting period. It was a tough experience to go through, but I learned a lot.

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– Lauren Michele <3

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You Can Make a Difference

🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍

You might be thinking “I don’t hold a position of power.  How can I be effective and help eradicate prejudice?”  You can talk and keep the conversation going in a civil manner.  You can also take action.  That doesn’t mean becoming a one-person revolution.  It can be as simple as looking someone in the eyes and smiling.  I want to share a story with you that furthers my point.  Read until the end and keep an open mind. :)

Thank you NikkieTutorials for sharing!  Why is Natasha Howell’s story important?  The tragedies that have taken place are heartbreaking, and our reactions dictate the future.  Reacting in anger and causing a divide changes nothing.  If each and every one of us does our part to treat people with kindness, those small puzzle pieces will create a chain reaction and fit together to create something big.  Perhaps I’m a bit naive, but I truly believe the people who care about unity outnumber those who allow prejudice to affect their attitude.  You might be one person in a big world, but it is better to make a difference in at least one person’s life rather than stand by and do nothing at all.

🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍  🌏  🌎  🌍

I want to share a video that was posted on Facebook today.  It made me cry, but it also made me happy and hopeful.  You might know Candace Payne as “Chewbacca Mom.”  In this moment, it doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is regarding her claim to fame.  What matters is that she continues to use her newfound platform to make people smile.

 

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

– John 3:16

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

– John 15:12

❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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– Lauren Michele 😘

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Moving On

Moving On

On Monday I left Texas, my home of 13 years. My family’s 6-bedroom house provided shelter to 26 people, not including me, my parents, and my brother; I always had extended family around me. On Tuesday I arrived in California, my new home; my family currently lives in a one-bedroom apartment above a garage. Quite the adventure we are on!! The picture you see above is my room, an empty room bursting at the seams full of memories. It is amazing to recall all the things that took place in that space: Babysitting, beauty transformations, concerts, counseling, dance practice, dreams, doll shenanigans, dramatic dress up, DVD viewings, emotional breakdowns, exercise sessions, fashion shows, fights, hide-and-seek, 2+ hour phone calls, illness rehabilitation, internet browsing, late night reading, outfit planning, schoolwork, and sleepovers. One last thing: Me and my best friend Gabby officially became friends in that room thanks to “Lord of the Beans.” I moved to Texas when I was 8, and I am now 21. My middle school, junior high, high school, and college years took place in that state. Many different struggles and transitions took place in that house; perhaps now you have a better idea of why it is so special to me. It is bittersweet to move on, but I will always carry the memories with me in my heart.

Treasure each moment readers! You never know when you will be uprooted and replanted.

– Lauren Michele :)

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The Big Bad June Bug Attack of 2015

The Big Bad June Bug Attack of 2015 (Source: http://images.tbd.com/communities/2010-0923-bedbug-freelance_606.jpg)

Before I tell my terrifying tale, I want you to see a real June bug. Prepare yourself!!

June Bug (Source: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/newsrel/garden/JuneBeetle.jpg)

I was listening to Pandora and typing a blog post, and my mom was sleeping.  Suddenly she shrieked and covered herself completely with blankets.  “Do you hear that?!!  Where is that buzzing coming from?!!”  She scared me half to death!  “What buzzing?  I don’t hear anything!”  She jumped out of bed and turned on the light.  I immediately saw a large bug flying through the air and threw myself off the bed screaming.  She ran inside the bathroom and shut the door, leaving me to fend for myself.  I got back onto the bed, grabbed a pillow, and continued to scream anytime the bug came near me.  I should add that I crawled back and forth across the bed numerous times.  Unexpected cardio.  Eventually my mom emerged from the bathroom with her weapon of choice raised in the air: a plunger.  “Where is it??!”  Thankfully it had landed, and she easily captured it underneath the plunger.  On closer inspection, we identified the attacker as a june bug A.K.A. THE DEVIL!!!  After a few seconds of waiting and panicking, my mom did the next logical thing: attempt to plunge the bug to death.  It actually worked!  She smashed it with a flip flop for good measure, but the plunger was the real hero of the hour.  The bug was flushed, appropriate considering how he died, and order was restored.  Almost.  Me and my mom were able to go to sleep, but there was definitely some paranoia.  I think this goes without saying, but I HATE bugs!!  Hopefully tonight is less eventful.  Have a great day readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

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Blogmas 2014 – Step Into the Wardrobe

Step Into the Wardrobe

(Source: https://emspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/lamppost.jpg)

My uneventful day ended with a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse, a cup of eggnog, and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  Today has been a very Narnia day!  I blogged about wintry landscapes on my art blog that are reminiscent of Narnia.  Check it out here: http://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/artmas-2014-walking-in-a-winter-wonderland/  I wish I could actually go there, but daydreaming about a Narnian escape will have to suffice.  Can you tell I’m a reader??  I am very serious about alternate universes.  They are nothing to joke about, and everything to dream about.  Speaking of magical places, my family is going to see the third installment of “The Hobbit” on Christmas day.  We have seen each installment on Christmas day for the past two years.  I am practically jumping out of my skin from excitement.  I have heard it is the perfect ending.  Endings are so sad, but technology has provided us with DVDs so the series will live on!  Something else is coming to an end.  Tonight was the 8th and final night of Hanukkah.  It is sad to say the prayers for the last time, but I know it will be back next year.  Chanukah Sameach!  Until next year…

Stay merry readers!  Only two days until Christmas…

– Lauren Michele :)

“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”  – C.S. Lewis, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

Lauren Michele Photography Portfolio

Hello hello hello!! I am feeling very happy these days, and I wanted to share with all of you. If you have been following the graduation countdown on my website, you know that I am a little more than seven days away from my college graduation. Fortunately all I have to do is wait because I have already completed and passed all of my classes and turned in my diploma paperwork. I will be posting a more detailed post on my last day of class soon. This post is all about my portfolio and updated website. I will put three links below: my updated website, complete with my two portfolio series, and two Youtube videos, one for each of my portfolios. Deep in the Heart is my landscape photography portfolio, and Nymph is my conceptual photography portfolio. I hope that each and every one of you will check out the links and enjoy.

Website: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/
Landscape Photography Portfolio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2d_N7WK5YE&list=UUic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA
Conceptual Photography Portfolio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v5uuZJYnEg&list=UUic1VLw_OuW2fzDQ88oi_AA

Stay passionate readers!!

– Lauren Michele :)

“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Photography Exhibition

Nymph Invitation

Hello readers!! I have some exciting news. I am having a photography exhibition on August 22nd from 7 to 9pm at Calvary Chapel Garland: 1546 Rowlett Rd, Garland, TX 75043

If any of you live in or near Dallas county, you are more than welcome to come check out my photography and meet me. There will be photographs, music, and snack food. The event is not exclusive. Feel free to invite family and friends.

Appreciate art readers!!

– Lauren Michele :)

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein