On Friday night we had a new babysitter come over, a wonderful lady we found through SitterCity.com (cannot recommend them enough based on my experience thus far*). The kids instantly fell in love with Diane, and Riley didn’t even whine as we left. “See you later!” he shouted, clinging adoringly to her pantleg while he waved a careless hand in our direction. “Don’t hurry back!”

We had a great evening watching Up in 3D (you may be tsk-tsking over the fact that we saw a kid-appropriate movie without the kids, but let’s be honest: it was more fun this way. Also, I know my preschooler and he would have filled his pants over those dogs) and when we got home the house was peaceful with the kids tucked in and asleep, which was a nice change from our last babysitter who routinely let Riley stay awake—half out of his mind with overstimulation and tiredness—until we returned.

Diane was full of smiles and said everything went well, and she’d even kept notes throughout the evening of when everyone ate and pooped and what books they read and when they went to bed. I had liked Diane from the moment we met her last Sunday, but I think her perfect cursive handwriting which so neatly outlined a comprehensive** play-by-play of the night sealed the deal—not that I expect or need such a thing from a babysitter, it was just the delicious little maraschino on the confidence-sundae she gave us.

We’re trying out another sitter tomorrow afternoon for a couple hours in order to go on a bike ride together, which I guess is kind of a lot of kid-fobbing for one weekend but next weekend we’ll be traveling and who knows what will happen after that, since eventually we will ALL die!*** The only way she could be better than Diane is if she gently floats down from the sky holding an umbrella, but I feel pretty good about her too. After nearly four years of not having a reliable sitter and being so far from family, it’s exciting to think we might actually have some regularly-scheduled date nights coming up. I’m not sure it always has to take a village, but it sure is nice to have backup.

* By the way, I keep seeing blog posts that seem to indicate there’s some ongoing Troubling Concern over whether or not the writer is discussing a product they received for free instead of paying their hard-earned cash for said item, hopefully by means of gainful employment that’s universally accepted as Hard Enough Labor to have deserved the purchase in in the first place because the only thing more abhorrent than a free product, of course, is one bought with funds earned via unsavory methods, such as, oh, I don’t know, maybe running blog ads. I don’t share this all-consuming desire to know how exactly a person who claims to like their SuckaDick brand vacuum came to acquire the Dick-Sucker in question, as long they’re being truthful about how much they truly enjoy the way the appliance does such a bang-up job of sucking dicks. Whether they paid for it by laboriously turning in filthy saliva-coated beer cans over the course of a year or Big Fattie CockBlow Co. sent them a brand-new model via UPS, if the review is honest, I don’t give a shit. But since I keep seeing so much hand-wringing over how blogging is being corrupted by the evil forces of marketing I’ll go ahead and tell you I’m recommending SitterCity.com because their service, which I paid for (by stripping, because don’t let anyone fool you, only like .0001% of bloggers make actual bank from ads), is awesome, and don’t worry, if I ever rave about something I got for free I’ll provide full disclosure so those who wish to disapprove may easily do so. Of course, the last freebie I got from a PR company was a press release about a pie-eating competition in upstate New York, but you never know when I might find myself on that exclusive Dick-Sucking list we all covet so dearly.

** Hilariously, the last note read, Cat suddenly appeared when I put Dylan to bed??? and we eventually determined she had been in Dylan’s room putting him down for the night when she heard a door open—she came out to discover a large fat yowling cat had seemingly materialized out of nowhere, thanks to Riley unlocking the front door and letting her in. Riley explained that he was trying to let her in the “kittycat room”, our utility room which has a nearly impossible to turn door handle, which she assumed was locked, and thus she had to spend the rest of the evening listening to the nonstop howls of an outraged cat who was trying to get to her food, when she wasn’t even 100% positive it was OUR pet.

*** A cheerful little phrase I like to shout at random moments, thanks to comment #94 on this post, which I think is maybe the best thing on the internet next to that weeping Leave Britney Alone guy. Just remember, folks: we will, someday, be alone with nobody who loves us unconditionally. GONE IT WILL BE FOR US ALL, amen.


28 Responses to “Backup, footnoted”

  1. Julia on June 6th, 2009 8:54 pm

    Eventually we will all die! As we were reminded by some very friendly Jehova’s Witnesses that showed up on our doorstep at 9:30 this morning to provide us with a pamphlet regarding the end of the world. An informational session about the world ending is being held sometime at the end of June at Qwest Field and you may attend starting at (no joke) 9:20 AM to 4:55 PM. Because apparently you are not allowed to learn about the end of the world at 9:19 or 4:56.

  2. E. on June 6th, 2009 9:36 pm

    I think it’s fair to wonder if someone is getting a product for free or not, especially when they are writing about it on their blog.

    You’re in the marketing field, so maybe you have a clearer idea of the ins and outs of it all, but I don’t think belittling people who desire full disclosure is a very kind or useful thing to do.

  3. Angella on June 6th, 2009 9:36 pm

    Have I told you lately that I love you? Because this post just confirms it even more.

    All of the review hand-wringing…SIGH. I have some sweet things coming up and an HAPPY ABOUT THEM. Because my ads pay for, what? A few coffees?

    I don’t blame you for leaving the boys home to see Up. While my three did fine, they were much more entertained by Monsters vs. Aliens. Up is really not for anyone under the age of ten.

    There. I said it.

  4. Kathy on June 6th, 2009 9:44 pm

    I’ve got to be the only person in the known universe who hasn’t seen “Up”, yet and I am totally, officially jealous of you just for that, not to mention that you go to go out on a date night on top of it!

    Glad you had fun, though. And kudos on finding an awesome babysitter!

  5. Kari C. on June 6th, 2009 10:41 pm

    I just saw “Up” last night and as much as I loved it, it was a pretty emotionally heavy movie for kids, and I’m sure there was a LOT of explaining being done by parents that night, and to come, over what “dying” means. So I’m going to agree about the age limit. It was much more adult oriented, so 10 and over seems a good age for kids to see this.

  6. Amy on June 6th, 2009 10:51 pm

    You are by far the best blog on my reader! I don’t think I’ve ever read suck and dick so many times in one paragraph. Thank you for making me laugh so hard that I cried and probably woke up the household. I needed it! :)

    And in response to your Twit, yep owning a bike is like owning a boat. You always find something else you GOTTA TO HAVE to spruce it up a bit.

  7. kim at allconsuming on June 7th, 2009 3:07 am

    You know, I’ve taken to shouting out ‘we’re all going to die’ thanks to commenter 94 in my head and for real in all manner of situations.

    And yey for Diane.

  8. Casey on June 7th, 2009 5:10 am

    Thank you so much for a) a great read and b) mentioning something about the hand-wringing. I, too, was just not getting it, but thought, since I’m not one of the cool people, that I just might not be in the know. I’ll trust from now on, when I’m not getting it, maybe there’s simply nothing to get! (Except maybe, a SuckaDick vacuum. Those sound awesome.)

  9. Mel on June 7th, 2009 6:26 am

    Excellent about the babysitter(s)!!!! It’s such a liberating feeling to actually go out and not think about what state you’re kids will be in when you return.

    Freebies…Completely agree with you there! WHO CARES! Honesty in the review is all I care about, but how do we know if they’re being honest? hmmm my little dilemma I guess.

    And OMG thanks for pointing us to Dooce’s crazy assed comments!! I usually catch up on Dooce once every couple of weeks so I probably wouldn’t have really looked at the comments…but whoa who the hell are these people that feel so righteous about a bathroom!! I guess no one every taught them the what I think is a very important social rule “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”. But then again I wouldn’t have gotten the laughs I did!

  10. Cookie on June 7th, 2009 6:30 am

    SuckaDick Vacuum, so much better than BJ Vaccuum :) I often found myself laughing at your posts. You are a fantastic writer. Also commenter 94 on that post? Lol. What a nut job. I mean why care about anything or worry about anything or joke about anything? After all, “we’re all going to die”. I like that Dooce added an update recommending the comments, I read some other ones that were also pretty good for that post.

  11. robin on June 7th, 2009 6:56 am

    oh my god…if you get free shit, who cares? more power to you, I say.

  12. Sarah on June 7th, 2009 8:03 am

    OMG! You had me laughing out loud with your first footnote! I don’t know why people must hound drama so much. I don’t care what people do with their blogs…I don’t like reading them I stop. Simply put. No need to lambaste them…but I’m digressing…

    Thanks for the recommend! I am definitely going to check them out! Not that I don’t ADORE my in-laws (*glances around* Okay, they annoy the crap out of me, but I still think they’re good people cuz they try…they REALLY do)…but I wouldn’t mind going out and NOT having to worry about coming home to unexplained injuries…

    Am I rambling? Damn. Sorry. Anyway…thanks for the tip! Glad you guys are able to get out again! It’s a wonderful freeing experience, isn’t it?!

  13. kath on June 7th, 2009 8:03 am

    my sister commandeered one of her son’s teenage friends to babysit her dog one weekend, he had taken care of the pets before, he was a good kid. unfortunately, she forgot to tell him that poor old pussycat had died (of old age), the cat was one of those cats that you would only see occasionally, she slept alot. Poor kid spent the entire weekend looking for the cat, he thought he had lost her. Ooops.

  14. monkeyinasuit on June 7th, 2009 12:10 pm

    1) I don’t get the handwringing over other people’s blogs in the way the majority of posts on the subject have done-this vague sense of ire that some people’s activities impinging on the “community.” The whole thing is way too vague and seems to be borne largely out of old-timers attempting to find some ground to bitch at people taking their marketshare.

    2) On the other hand, I am somewhat appalled by one particular marketing campaign in the sense that I think it fosters bloggers making outlandish claims about benefits of the service while avoiding having the company directly linked to those claims or be responsible for them. In such instances I think it’s fair for the FCC to determine whether some conversational marketing campaigns are designed to circumvent federal regulations*. I also think bloggers often talk through both sides of their mouths-they want to be taken seriously as businesspeople but the overwhelming sentiment seems to be that mean old government is coming down on them unfairly as it regards marketing/advertising. It seems like many people want all the benefits without any of the responsibility. I’m just waiting for the slew of posts on how the FCC is a big old band of sexists eager to reinforce the patriarchy or whatever.

    All in all my experience as a blogger and observing the neverending drama in this arena totally turned me off pursuing marketing in business school. I think I’m going to go for finance-at least the bullshit is higher stakes.

    *while advertising/marketing regulations aren’t my specialisation, I do regulate messaging approval for private sector organisations that want our federal agency logo on their marketing products.

  15. sundry on June 7th, 2009 12:34 pm

    Monkey: I hear you on all that. Also I should just STFU on this subject because the entire notion of thinking of your personal blog as a business (and the associated freakouts with regards to PR COMPANIES DON’T TAKE US SEEEEERIOUSLY, etc) totally turns me off. That’s just my feeling and I know lots of people have a completely different point of view and I probably shouldn’t be such a sandy vag about it.

  16. Jillian on June 7th, 2009 3:37 pm

    Excuse me. I’ll be back after I have changed the pants I just peed while reading your disclaimers.

  17. jenB on June 7th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Sandy Vag and BJ Vacuum killed me. I can barely write now. I am a hand wringer, but about everything in general. :-) I just like to see the sponsored posts from the no sponsored posts differentiated. I like the Suck-n’Blow vacuum, but they didn’t pay me to say that. I also like Lands’End cashmere, but they totally gave my a sweater to try first.

    Sandy Vag. t-shirt t-shirt!!

  18. Christina on June 8th, 2009 5:37 am

    I think we can all create our village even far from family. We work on that regularly. It is hard and scary because it seems like everyone else around us has family close by and are constantly telling us how little Janie or Johnny has NEVER EVER stayed with anyone but their family and how horrid it would be to have to leave them with someone else besides family, or a close family friend and the horror that we must encounter on a regular basis to not have family near by… la la la la… I hate that is all I am saying here.

    Also, I had no idea people were so suspicious of blogs talking about stuff that is good to use?! I mean I totally plug nannies4hire.com all the time and I paid out the butt for that service but we found the best nanny EVER from that service. Now I did find out about from (OMG I am admitting this on the Internet) Jon and Kate plus 8 a few years back before I think they were cheating on one another and the subject of People, Us Weekly and every other rag mag out there! Whatevs. That is lame. Even if you were given that service for free as a promo you have always been honest about what you like and do not like. Additionally I take things with a grain of salt – what one person loves another will hate. Just because you say something rocks does not mean that is true. Personal preferences people!

    Oy I am chatty & full of BS this morning. SORRY!!!

  19. Swistle on June 8th, 2009 5:44 am

    Oh, I’ve been doing the blog disclaimer thingies too. It’s because of BlogHer’s new policy for content on blogs with BlogHer ads, which is basically “If you used a coupon to buy it, you can’t review it.” (Just kidding, BlogHer! I love you! Kisses!) (It’s actually just that you can’t review it or do a giveaway if a company sent it to you for free.) (That second parenthetical comment is a little aside to the non-BlogHer-ad peeps. I know YOU know, because you have BlogHer ads.) (Okay, that’s PLENTY of parentheses now.)

  20. Melissa D. on June 8th, 2009 5:52 am

    Have been thinking of using SitterCity myself so I’m glad to hear that it has been working for you. Hilarious **footnotes**.
    I personally love that Diane wasn’t sure if cat was yours but rolled with it. Sounds like a keeper.

  21. Lori on June 8th, 2009 6:05 am

    Funny funny funny post as always. The image of the sitter and the suddenly appearing cat is hilarious.

    Also: how does one start to get this free stuff the internet has its collective panties in a twist about? I like free stuff. I might even write about it on my (not very frequently updated) blog. oh. wait. I see the problem.

    (seriously though: your blog is your blog. Why do people act like they own the blogs they follow? I don’t get mad when there are ads in the paper, or magazines or on TV. And those things are not nearly as funny sometimes. And I pay for at least one of them.)

  22. Amanda on June 8th, 2009 6:54 am

    Aaaahh, #94. What a treasure he was. (She was?) Dude needs to take some prozak and get a nap in or something. I, too, have been a little confused about why people are all “DID YOU GET IT FOR FREE?! YOU MUST NOT REALLY LIKE IT!” deal… Who cares where it came from. Do we not trust each other to be honest? Because that’s sad. Or maybe it’s not, I don’t know — I’m 16 weeks pregnant and I have a cold and a fever, so seriously, I don’t even know if I can find the door out of the room I’m in at this point, let alone a well-phrased opinion. Also: Sandy vag is fun to say. It made me laugh while I was sneezing, which, uh, just FYI: FAIL.

  23. Cookie on June 8th, 2009 9:20 am

    I know you like both Dragonflies and Old Navy, so I thought of you when I saw this shirt – http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=14295&vid=1&pid=634315&scid=634315102

    Bonus – It’s on sale!

  24. lumpyheadsmom on June 8th, 2009 11:07 am

    I too found an awesome sitter on SitterCity – along with a few over-eager applicants who frightened me – then I canceled my membership and, well, I guess I’m not the best customer SitterCity has ever had. But I like them, even if they don’t like me.

    Sometimes I wonder if all the savvy babysitters tell you how “well-behaved” and “adorable” and “sweet” your children are the first time they sit for you, because if the full truth is disclosed (i.e. “the larger little bastard tried to throw bleach in my eye and I think the smaller one ate a cat turd”) you would never leave the house again, much less hire them when you do. But you know what? Even if it is a hoax, I’M OKAY WITH IT.

  25. aimee on June 8th, 2009 11:54 am

    So I actually won a year membership to sittercity through a contest on another blog but have only posted a job once. I got so overwhelmed by the number of responses. How did you choose? Did you meet/interview them first? Thx and way to go on all the kid-free dates!!

  26. Dawn on June 8th, 2009 11:59 am

    another great site I use to find childcare is tippleBox (www.tippleBox.com). It has lots of babysitters and nannies and you can even post a job if you don’t see anyone you like at first. Unlike sittercity, it’s actually free to use

  27. Jessica on June 9th, 2009 8:02 pm

    crap. Sittercity didn’t work for us. I spent 6 months looking for a sitter.
    How do *I* get a suckadick vaccuum?

  28. Maria on June 13th, 2009 9:10 pm

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read on the Internet in a long time.

    Thank you.

    (Up totally made me cry. When I wasn’t the ONLY PERSON LAUGHING over Doug’s dead squirrel joke which then set my three-year-old off fake laughing so we both sounded like sociopaths.)

    I like your style, lady.

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