One of the MAJOR perks of being a college professor is the incredible babysitting pool I have access to! I have 6,000 Lehigh students to choose from -- most of whom would be great babysitters for my kids. Last spring, after an extensive search and interviewing process (!!!), I hand-chose one- in my opinion, the most superb of the bunch, to be Kyle and Owen's babysitter. Alex has come to hold a very special place in our family. She babysat for the boys 20 hours a week this summer so that we could cut down to part-time daycare for the summer. K & O had the time of thir life! Alex is perfect for us. She is a cool, calming, creative presence in the boys' lives. She off-sets me & Braydon's frenetic craziness with an entirely different type of energy. And she has a dog, Cypress, something that Braydon and I will probably NEVER provide for the boys!!! On top of it all, she's utterly ridiculously dependable and reliable - which makes the entire scenario almost too-good-to-be-true for Braydon and I. Once the fall semester began, the boys went back to daycare full-time, Alex started her senior year of classes at Lehigh, and we began a new babysitting routine. Now Alex picks the boys up early from daycare every Wednesday and spends that afternoon with them each week. This gets them out of daycare early once a week, and it keeps their relationship with Alex steady. She also stays late every-other-Wednesday night so that Braydon and I can have a regular date night together. Which makes EVERYONE'S life better! ;) I think Alex might be the only Lehigh student with two carseats in her car! She's definately the only Lehigh student who regularly eats dinner at our house and gets a glimpse into Professor Johnson's inner world! Eeks! As for Kyle and Owen, well, they just think Alex is the best. Braydon and I agree. Alex does such fun stuff with the boys. She takes them to parks, they go on walks with Cypress, she introduces them to her cool college friends when the boys hang out with her on campus or at her apartment. She takes them through the car wash, she runs errands with them, she gives them cookies and ice cream and lolipops. She brought them to softball games all summer, she brought them to the Crayola Factory once, she took them to see The Lehigh Women's Center one day this fall. She also just lets them chill and do their own thing at home a lot. Yesterday afternoon she and some other Lehigh students took them to a Halloween Party at an After School Program where K & O got to play and eat chips and candy with some big kids ages 6-15... How cool is THAT?! My dad says Alex is his "hero" because she does all of this alone with them. He has direct experience, he knows how incredibly amazing all this is!-- Like, for example, she gives them a bath and puts them to bed solo, which is (believe us!), truly worthy of some sort of medal of honor. I am already dreading the day Alex graduates. I've never had her as a student in class. Believe me, if I had her in class I'd do everything in my power to fail her... just so that she couldn't graduate on time.
Kyle and Owen this summer, at home, at the end of a rainy day, playing in the puddles. Photo taken by Alex, with her cell phone.