Thursday, December 23, 2010


Can you believe it?
Tomorrow is CHRISTMAS EVE!!!
You know what? I can believe it, there is no other excuse for how busy I've been. What a busy& beautiful time of year. Thankfully, I did get a chance to do lots of fun things with my 19 favorite kiddos.

Like this:
It's unfortunate that this happened (to the other teachers house that is ;):

I also received a few gifts from my students and their parents. It got me thinking about giving tips this time of year. The rule you ask? Nannies are to receive at least a weeks salary as a bonus. My father heard on the radio that a live-in nanny (which I was this time last year) should receive a full MONTHS salary. I honestly don't remember what the family who must not be named gave me last year. They did give me some amount of a bonus but let me tell you, it was certainly not a weeks salary (yet alone a whole months).
What do ya'll think?

Whatever the case, this time of year is certainly about people more than things or bonus'. It's time to celebrate our blessings. So enjoy the holidays, we'll get back to business in a few days.
I'm off to see 'A Christmas Carol' this evening, spend time with family, pet sit for the family who must not be named, and then I'm headed to Haiti on the 26th!
Can't wait to meet you again in the new year.

To you and yours, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


P.S. In reference to my last post on snow, there is SNOW expected in our sweet southern city on Christmas day. Blissful.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


There's snow in Atlanta. It's just barely here...but it is here. The first bit of snow for the season (and before Christmas, a bonus). If it's anything like last winter it won't be our last. This teacher is prayyyinggg that there's enough for icy roads and canceled school. Just one day. Pllleaaasseee.

As a nanny, a snow day can be a hit or a miss. It can mean more work. If the kiddos are out of school someone has to entertain them! Last year I had the privilege of spending one glorious snow day with the family who must not be named (or pictured). It reminded me why I loved being a {live in} nanny. These precious kids were the perfect reason to PLAY!!

Exact quote from one of my FAVORITE little ones EVER: "April, it's too snowy!!!"

This is quit a snow-person. He/She even lasted a few days.

What reason to play in the glorious snow. I think we topped off the day with hot coca and a movie :)!

Enjoy the weather wherever you are!!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

the fabulous lives of nannies

This weekend (which was fabulous) I got to spend a lot of time with this sweet Georgia belle.
She told me about a nanny position she saw posted. Said position was in New York City. The salary was something like $95,000 a year (+ your own apartment). Another requirement? Having a valid passport so you can travel with the family at any point. I will take it. That's how to not lose a nanny in 10 days (or ever).

Oh wait...they wanted an ivy league graduate. WHO goes to an IVY league school to nanny??

If you happen to know anyone throwing this kind of deal out who doesn't require a degree from Yale, let me know.


Friday, December 3, 2010

The Rainy Day Basket

I'm writing during the kids nap time today to distract myself from the pain in my mouth (dentist yesterday) and the painful truth that I do not have Taylor Swift/Needtobreath tickets for July.

Most of the little monsters are sleeping...yes, they deserve to be called monsters today.
With the holidays around the corner many of us find ourselves surrounded with children, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite nanny secrets/tips with you!

The Rainy Day Basket!
I'll share a photo of mine at some point, promise!

When: For a nanny the rainy day basket/box/tote is not solely for rainy days. It's for any bored, rainy, restless, fill in the blank kind of day.
** I keep my basket hidden, so the kids never know whats there!**

What: It should contain a variety of things. Sometimes I keep actual gifts in it. A little book I can give a child to add to their collection. The chance to pick something independently is so valuable to children. I also recommend games- cards, puzzles small board games. Having at least a couple arts and crafts projects is ideal. In the past I've had beads for key chain making, make your own picture frame kits, etc. New crayons/color pencils and coloring pages are always a hit too.

Where: The dollar spot at target is a gold mine (& the seasonal themed items are fabulous). Also check places like hobby lobby for crafts. Finally, a trip through the dollar store will likely get you all the essentials. The most important thing to remember is to match the things you buy with the childrens interests.

Who: My nanny basket has transformed into a teacher basket with some minor modifications. I recommend everyone have a rainy day basket. Nanny or not! It's great for family gatherings with kids or the lat minute gift you want to give to a child you know.

Happy shopping!


P.S. You could decorate your basket/box with your favorite children as one of your projects!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

חנו כ"ה

Mazel Tov!!

It's the first night of Chanukah or
חנו כ"ה
if you prefer the Hebrew. Or just Hanukkah or the festival of lights.
Take your pick. Let's not discuss the 18 million different spellings either (turns out it's not actually mentioned in the Torah so I don't know if there is an official spelling).
It begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev (& you should know it's one of the less significant Jewish holidays).

If you know me well, you know I love Judaism. It might even be true that I wish I were Jewish. Except, I deeply believe in Jesus and his redeeming it would never work.
I just love the traditions of the Jewish. Their views of family, observation of holy times & rituals is so beautiful. This book will make you love it too. It's a memoir of a womans journey from Judiasm to Jesus. She writes it in concurrence with the Jewish calendar, it's an incredible story.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm writing about Chanukah on my little nanny blog. Let me reveal another tidbit about "the-family-who-must-not-be-named" (formerly known as "the family who sucked my life away" but in an ode to harry potter, I find the new name more appropriate + I'm never going to name them, because that would be inappropriate).
The family who must not be named, is Jewish.
I love this.
Now, they weren't (could be now, you never know) the temple going type, who kept the Sabbath, ate kosher, or wore yalmukes.
I did get to participate in the menorah lighting each night last year though. I also had the chance to participate in a few shabbat activities through the year (I even know a little song I sing to the 1 Jewish kid in our class).

I'm thankful I was able to experience new things with 'tfwmnbn' - I truly did enjoy some of my time with them. Promise.

So, light a candle (or 8), play dreidel (don't forget the gelt), bake some challah and enjoy the next 8 days!

Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah/ Festival of lights!!

P.S. In other news, I cannot for the life of me, decide on a blog design. Ops!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

when it rains, it pours {and in my life, hails}

Rain, rain, go away!

I am a positive person. I really enjoy my life. I have been blessed in so many ways. Not everyday is rainbows and butterflies but I'm happy. I like where things are going and I have high hopes for the future. Sometimes though, life throws a lot at you...and it's hard to take.
My life is doing that right now but it's kind of in that "I can't believe this is happening, I'm almost amused..." kind of way. I guess that's the best way to experience a crappy week though, right?

To start with, I'm struggling in a couple different personal relationships so my heart, while not completely broken, is still a little sore.
Yesterday (Monday) I found out my great uncle Mac passed away. He's in a better place but the pain is no less real.
Today (Tuesday), my dad called to tell me about funeral arrangements. I couldn't talk, I was dealing with this:
I had a flat tire in the parking lot of our school. It was dark and there was a {freezing} torrential downpour. Oh wait, a TORNADO watch. I don't have triple a or a boyfriend(...who else do you call when you have a flat in the rain?).
I wandered around in the school like a soggy wet stray for a while, spoke to a variety of people and hoped my knight in shining armor would show up. I assume I would have been waiting all night until I saw one of my 3yr olds fathers. They are an incredibly nice family and I just needed to talk to someone I recognized. So I trudged my soggy self into the gym where he was coaching basketball, looking like a hot mess, and desperately asked for help.

He was a bit flustered, but after pulling himself together, he let me use his triple a. Just called them up, said he'd check on me when they were done with practice. Easy peasy. Angel.

I ended up having to call him to come over to the parking lot I was in and wait with his id becasue the aaa people on the phone were being difficult (since, well I don't have aaa)- so he waited in the car with his children while I sat embarrassed in my car.
AAA came, changed my tire, I signed something and we were off.
I am forever indebted to this INCREDIBLE family. I'd obviously LOVE to be their nanny. I said "thank you" about 8 million times and he said "You take care of my baby, of course." That almost caused tears. I have no idea how I'll be able to thank them but I'm going to spend a long time trying. I will be SURE to express my gratitude.

When I finally got home, I did some dishes...
CUT my finger with e KNIFE (small nic, I'm 100% fine).
But really??

This is laughable really. I haven't even cried. I'm not that upset. I'm too confused, it's all too bizarre.
But- I am terrified to see what Wednesday has in store for me. Thursday I have a dentists appointment to get 2 cavities filled. Friday will likely be capped off with a space rock falling from the sky and hitting me on the head. Saturday? A drive to Tennessee for a funeral.

So positive thoughts, prayers, karma- whatever suits your fancy- I'd LOVE some sent my way. I have no doubt that when the literal rain goes away and a new day begins, I'll start new and things will be brighter. This week is just a little bump in God's big plan. He has truly poured infinite blessings on my life.
Here's to not losing a nanny or teacher this week!


P.S. I also tripped the breaker in my house this morning.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I owe who?

Today at church, the subject was gratitude.
Perfect on the heels of Thanksgiving.
Being grateful gets one a long way.

I think I say "thank you" more than anything else.
I just want people to know they're important.
It's incredibly powerful.
Seriously, I think part of my purpose on Earth is to make sure people feel appreciated.
It's that important to me.

However, it's not important to everyone- people just don't realize it should be. It's easy to think you're being appreciative- or showing it.
Example? Parents think their nannies know. They don't though.
Andy Stanley put it best today, "Unexpressed gratitude communicates ingratitude" & "has the same effect as rejection," amen. When you do not express gratitude you "drive the other persons heart out of the relationship".
[Now, I could go on & on about this in regards to many of my personal relationships, but I'll refrain...] You want your nannies heart to be in the relationship. It makes the relationship.

Say thank you; to your friends, your family, your roommate, your husband or wife, your co worker. You are not entitled to any of it. None of us are. Show gratitude. [Warning: cheesy statement ahead] I think gratitude is the absolute best gift we can give this holiday seasons.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am so thankful...

There are 15 minutes left if thanksgiving, so I'm jumping on the thankful bandwagon (plus, we've already established that I love lists).

- I'm thankful for my mother, father, and grandmother. So thankful.

- Friends who support me at my best and worst.

- A new home and wonderful roommate to experience this season with.

- The simple joy Christmas music brings, no matter how I feel.

- The holidays = lots of call from old nanny families....and plenty of stories to pass to you lovely readers. Thank YOU for reading this little blog that can :)!

- I'm thankful for THIS I seriously cannot believe I get to go back to Haiti in just ONE month from tomorrow. Praise the Lord for his blessings!!!

- I am thankful for my health, not everyone is so lucky...I say that with a heavy heart, as my great uncle Mac is in the hospital with a failing liver and lungs. Things look bleak, and losing Mac would be so difficult for so many of us. Please keep him and our whole family in your prayers. May the Lord send us comfort in His plan.

Happy Thanksgiving (and in 9 minutes we can start saying MERRY CHRISTMAS)!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Don't forget about the arts&crafts this holiday season!
Make a turkey hand with your favorite kiddos.

There are plenty of options (please note how tiny this hand is).

Of course, a turkey crown is also a necessity...

Turkey cookies. Need I say more?

Whatever you make & whatever you eat, be thankful!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

call merry maids

I am not a maid.
I love maids.
My momma's one.
I am not.
I am in the "pick the cheerios off the floor-oh no, you spilled your milk" kind of way.
[ In reference to teaching, I'm a "wipe the tables after snacks/meals- how did you get paint on EVERYTHING" kind of way]

Sometimes, nannies are asked to do some cleaning. Ever popularly phrased as "light housekeeping". Which often means, 'I hate doing dishes', as in 'while you take care of my children also take take care of my dishes' (because sometimes, having 2 dishwashers in your kitchen is so overwhelming {true story}).
Now, don't get me wrong, "light housekeeping" is perfectly acceptable. As long as it stays just that. I do not need to spend more time on dishes than with the children. Even more importantly, nannies shouldn't be doing very much picking up/straightening up for 2 key reasons:
1) Adults should pick up after themselves. None of us live in a castle (or are engaged to Prince William). Take your own shoes to your own walk-in closet.
2) Parents should teach children to clean up after themselves. Finish what you start. Put it back where you got it. Put your dirty socks in the hamper. Close the lid. Take it back to your room.
Get. It. Together.

Cinderella was a princess and she still cleaned.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a lovely love list, just beacsue

I wasn't planning on writing a love midnight...on a Monday...when I should be preparing for small group tomorrow/sleeping. It has just about nothing to do with nannies(even though I love nanny things too)...but when you feel as blessed as I do at this moment, you just have to share!

A nannies non-nannying love list:

1) A special visit to Birmingham (& co-workers willing to switch shifts so I can make it on time for this next one...)
2) Celebrating the birthday of the one and only Lindsey Vaughan (aka: fun bags and/or S)
3) Celebrating with couples/families on their wedding day
4) Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday with equally fabulous friends
5) Thanksgiving and Christmas (I could go on & on)
6) Christmas parties and concerts with friends who are finally moving back to the peach state :)
7) Reading Beth Moore with my small group
8) 2 hour phone conversations with people who you can be 100% candid with
9) Emails from hundreds of miles away that encourage you right to the soul
10) Renewed friendships that have been on your heart for ages
{ 11) Coffee...I'm going to need it tomorrow after staying up this late}

That's all for now, thanks for indulging me blog world. I owe you one.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

they notice

That's what I love about kids. They pay attention. When they want to. When you least expect it.
I have countless examples, but one happened today.

One of our quieter children, who we have to pull things out of and who acts as if they can't hear us (selective hearing obviously) was standing alone in the other 3yr old classroom- just the other teacher was there. The room is similar to our but still fairly different.

The child stood, still, quiet, hands in pockets and said, "You have small groups in here?" after noticing a small group chart similar to the one in our room. The teacher replied yes. Then the student said "...and centers?" The teacher replied yes.
The child just nodded and kept looking around the room.
Observing. Noticing. Taking it in. Paying attention to something outside their own world.

We could all learn something from that.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

just think about it...

Ok, so being a nanny for the Duggars would obviously be an insane task (see previous post). They'd have to have at least 3...right?


It can get a little more bizarre...

How about those crazies over on "Sister Wives". I mean clearly, there are enough sister wives to care for the, like the Duggars, the number of children means a huge age gap; therefore they take care of ( & raise) each other.
If ALL FOUR WIVES decided to work or go on a book tour simultaneously, they'd need a nanny. Weird, right?

Would they advertise that their seeking a nanny for a polygamist family...?
Who would answer that...?
It's true that I find the whole thing fascinating but I don't want to get in the middle of that mess.

What if the nanny became the 5th wife.

Ok, I'm grossed out now...

Monday, November 1, 2010

nanny of 19 kids and counting...?

Sometimes I wish I was a full time nanny again.
Not the same full time nanny I was this time last year. Please no. I do miss those kids though.
Just a regular full time nanny. The hours are better. You only have one ( or 2) sets of parents to deal with as opposed to 19 and definitely less than 19 children...unless of course you nanny for the Duggars.
You know what...I think I'd like that job...

How can I contact tlc?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

happy halloween

I'm writing this at 11:50, so by the time it's posted I can safely say...

Happy Halloween!!!

I've been a busy bee lately so I haven't been able to post- I have about a million things I want to write about but of course the obvious subject is Halloween.

It's been a rough week with our students parents- and a busy week at the school. We're counting the days to Thanksgiving. I also just moved into a new place today. I feel grown up...I think. Anyway, I feel all jumbled up so I'm going to list my Halloween high points for you. I like lists. They make me calm.

1) In the last family I nannied for the 2 youngest both hated costumes. Isn't that weird? The 3yr old went as himself, his parents tried for bob the builder (can we do it? yes we can! [he didn't though]). The 6 yr old doesn't hate them, but is just now fully embracing the concept.

2) At school Friday we celebrated "FestiFall". No costumes no big parties. Just icing some cookies and using candy to make faces. OH MY GOODNESS. It was the most spectacular activity ever. My 3yr olds just sat quietly and iced their cookies. They didn't even make a mess. We're icing cookies more often in room 118.

3) We did some dancing on the carpet after cookies, to work off the sugar of course. We were gettin' our grove on to 'twist and shout' when one of our kids caught a cramp from twisting to hard. She said "my stomach hurts" but was fine a couple of minutes later. It was hilarious. I told her that happens all the time when you're such a great dancer.

Alright folks, have a happy (& safe) halloween, wear a costume, ice a cookie, and dance the night away!


P.S. It's 12:07 as I'm posting this so you can go ahead and start trick or treating!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

isn't this inappropriate

This Sunday when I babysat for desperate dad and crew I got the privilege to see all three children (for now that is- mom's due with number 4 in a few months).
The oldest (the gem I take some credit for) made yet another uniquely fabulous comment this weekend. We were coloring some pictures, she picked up this one

...and said, "Isn't this is inappropriate?".

That's right. She's 9. She followed with "She doesn't have any clothes on." I had to remind her that Ariel is wearing the purple bathing suit top and you can't see it because of the water. Her 4 year old sister sister said, "Yeah, the bra.".

Little girls: 1 Disney:0

xoxo, April

P.S. Turns out I'm not babysitting for one of my students just yet. When I do though, I'll be sure to share the experience! :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

sugar, sugar

This weekend I made these:

and these:

Courtesy of this gem's recipes. Baking is one of my favorite things to do. Ever. Baking with children is even better. It's definitely on my short list of favorite nanny activities. Sometimes it might be better to go with the box mix for the kids- but if you're feeling particularly adventurous go ahead and try a recipe from scratch. They mostly enjoy the opportunity to use frosting and sprinkles...what they put it on never really matters.

I also babysat for desperate dad and family on Sunday. There's a couple of good stories to tell and I'll do just that on tomorrow's post! Until then, sleep tight readers!



Saturday, October 16, 2010

the hits just keep coming. a good way of course...and in the form of babysitting jobs.
One of the three year olds I teach needs a babysitter in a couple of weekends. I obviously said yes.
This is a new experience (babysitting a student I teach) for yours truly and I am sure it will generate some material, so keep your eyes peeled faithful readers.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

coming through in a pinch

I got a phone call from one of my favorites a few minutes ago. Let's call him "desperate dad". Desperate dad and I go way back, in fact he gave me my first long term nanny job. I was maybe 13 or 14 and his sweet baby was around 6 months old. I spent the summer rocking her to sleep (and cleaning up the bottles they left lying around for days).
Come to think of it, desperate dad and his clan are probably why I love nannying. His first is beyond adorable. One of my favorite children ever, seriously, the stories I have could fill a book. Such a personality & the easiest of his children [I give myself a sound amount of credit there- this little one and I spent some serious time together].


Let me confirm, desperate dad does have a wife, but she has one of those fancy suit wearing really demanding jobs. She and desperate dad are both great parents, just a little flaky sometimes. Since I was in high school and then off at college they hired a full time nanny. I think they might have gone through a couple....don't know for sure. They're in a group of families where those details get fuzzy. You never know what's going on. I learned a lot about flexibility.

Anyway my point IS that desperate dad called me tonight for the first time in months. He said he knew I was available for weekends (i.e. he went through the list of high schoolers who usually come through). He asked for me on Sunday...for 2.5 mid morning. I said yes, because I'm soft. He just needs me for the youngest...who loved me once...but last summer hated me. So we'll see how this goes. I'll report back. I confirmed babysitting locations with desperate dad (because you can never assumes it's the house) and he said "Thanks for always coming through in a pinch April". I said goodbye, hung up the phone, and laughed.

Isn't that what a good nanny does?
Come through in a pinch?
I think for those families who mean a lot to you it is.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

no weeks notice

I've had something brewing for a while now and it's time I address it...

Last year, when I worked for "the family who sucked my life away" (affectionate, I know) I also had a part time nanny job, to supplement the income [and restore my faith in humanity].

When I gave full-time family the ax, I continued working for part-time family for a while.
Then when I DID get another job, I gave part-time family a 4 week (-ish) notice. Completely respectable, correct?
I sent the notice right before I left town for a week. I came back, checked my email, and the mom graciously let me know they had found a replacement...who "needed" to start right away. So, I was out of a job. I had NO INCOME for more than a month.

Now, let me give a bit of background. Part-time mom knew what a hard time I had with full-time family and had always been a gem to work for (maybe that was just in comparison though). She also knew I was looking for a more permanent job & they could loose me soon. I promised I would give proper notice. I expected the same in return. Too much to ask I suppose.

I was so annoyed (ok, I was pissed) and stressed out that I actually never emailed back.

So now my dilemma I send an email months later to let her know I felt disrespected and she put me in a tight financial spot? Or do I let it go and just move on?

All I know for sure is that they sure didn't need a whole 10 days to lose a nanny...

Let me know what you think :)


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

goin' to the chapel

This weekend one of my most cherished friends, became a Mrs. She was stunning (as usual).

This isn't a blog about weddings though (although it feels like I have enough material for one)...of course the weekend came with a good nanny story. Attending the beautiful North Carolina wedding weekend was Rachel's family babysitter. I've heard Rachel talk about her before, she just loves her to pieces, they're friends {I think she was more of a sitter for Rachel's younger brothers and cousins} - but the point is that it's clear she's a former babysitter and a friend. She attended as a dear family friend and from all accounts I heard, she was also incredibly helpful this weekend. The family was thrilled to have her there. She IS part of the family (who am I kidding though, these wonderful people make everyone feel like family). I unfortunately did not get much of a chance to speak to her but it was clear she wouldn't have traded anything to be there.
So instead of how to lose a nanny in 10 days let's talk about how to get a nanny to your wedding. There are definetly a few weddings I hope to attend one day.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

heart(s) of service

There were moments in this past year of nannying I was sure I wouldn't make it. Unhappiness engulfed me. Then, through a variety of different channels I was reminded how beautiful it is to serve. To give ourselves to others. I personally have a hard time thinking of living with a heart of service when I'm not volunteering or doing missions in a foreign country, but we do it every day. We serve in our work.
I remember one specific morning I had ushered the kids off to school and their mother left for work. It was a Monday and their dad had taken care of them for most of the weekend while mom was out of town. She asked me to pick up the playroom before the cleaners arrived. I was technically off the clock but I trudged into the basement like a good nanny to pick up a few toys. I looked up and before me lay a tornado. Missing couch cushions, playing cards EVERYWHERE and more matchbox cars than I could count. I was livid. Then I remembered I wasn't just doing this because it was my job, I was to serve this family. They might drive me crazy but out of a heart of service I am obligated to serve them- and we all have to believe that in the end it's worth it.

My lessons in service did not end there. I spend my days with three year olds. My patience is being tested on a new level, I'm struggling. Every day is a battle. A good battle though. I appreciate growing pains.
I'm also thankful to have people who remind me what serving can do for the soul. My darling friend Becky sent me this text message this morning:

"Good morning! Hope your weekend is off to a good start. If its not going so great ask God for a way you can serve someone else today. Helping others brings joy :)!"

Becky was right (per usual). After a haircut I took my grandmother mattress shopping (another exercise in patience). It did bring me joy (and the cracker barrel afterward didn't hurt, I am Southern to the core).

It's easy to lose a nanny when they don't take their profession as an act of service that brings them joy. It's easy to lose any employee that way. So find JOY in what do by finding JOY in serving others. It's not easy, but it's worth it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

they learn from the best...

I believe I've mentioned before that my parents work for many of the families I have/still babysit for. There is one family I ADORE (we all have favorites).
Seriously though, I adore these parents and their three children. I've been around each one of them since birth- & the oldest is now 15. Really, they're more like family.
Family #1 has a neighbor with younger kids whom I've watched before and whom my parents also work for. Apparently family #2 has a new babysitter...the eldest son of family #1 :-). Mom #2 just raved about how sweet he was and how much her kids loved him...


I am not in the least offended (I have a full time job, {praise the Lord} remember)...

I'm beaming with pride. I am well aware that his fabulous parents are 99% of the reason he's such a catch in the realm of male teenage babysitters...but this nanny is hoping that I taught him a lesson or 2 along the way.

Here's to teaching them all we know!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

cry me a river

So occasionally, I poke around the internet and read blogs or forums about nannies- to unblock writers block and such. It's always parents who are complaining, never the nannies. These people are ridiculous.

Some of the subjects I've found recently:
- Nannies eating habits (I struggle with this enough myself, back off).
- The social life of your nanny (see above).
- Nanny cams (do NOT get me started, a different topic for a different day).
- How to keep your nanny happy. I was very pleased to see this :)!

I have a suggestion, instead of using online forums to whine about your nanny, try taking care of your children yourself...

(call me harsh, but know that I DO believe in nannies and what they do. I love nannies, I just think individuals who abuse the privilege simply shouldn't have it).

...I also offer the less harsh alternative of having an actual conversation with your nanny about your concerns. Your nanny is an employee, if there is a legitimate problem that affects your child(ren) address it like an adult. If your just being nosy, grow up.

My second suggestion; if there is a laundry list of problems with your nanny you might have one (or both) of 2 issues. You have some major control issues you need to let go of. As a {recovering} control freak myself, I understand fully but also expect you to let go (it can be done). Second possible issue? If your this uncomfortable with your nanny you did not do enough research before going into this. Read the blogs prior to hiring, check references, run a background check or even try taking a candidate out to dinner (business' take job candidates to lunches and dinners all the time). Get to know your potential employee and that list of anxieties will shrink considerably.

Don't fret mom&dad, a mutually happy nanny-family relationship is possible. For now, let me answer our question (how to lose a nanny in 10 days?) like this: blog about her ;).


P.S. Or him. I'll address the subject of mannies (a male nanny, duh) another day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

how to make a nanny happy in 10 days


The arrival of fall, pumpkin spice lattes, (georgia) FOOTBALL, and for my Atlanta Braves a race for the pennant (my mom also turns 50, shhhh).

(for a nanny cooler temperatures mean kids can frolic outside and get that energy out for much longer, coffee is even better than before and Saturdays now have a whole new meaning).

It's also labor day weekend. I hope you nannies out there are not traveling with your employers. I hope you have a very adult weekend filled with intellectual conversation. If you are working take full advantage of this "last weekend of summer" with the kids. Squeeze in a tan while keeping the boogers from drowning, feed them all the ice cream they want, and if you're really bold ask for a raise (I LOVE FALL, can you tell how happy it makes me??).
I'm off to the white beaches of Destin for my first and only vacation of the summer (I will be with the kiddos I teach until 6pm tomorrow night though {dedication}). Counting the hours until I can soak up these last moments of summer & then fully welcome autumn.

Here's to the changing of seasons {in every way}.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So my {sweet and supportive} parents work in positions where they interact with a lot of people on the...ahem, wealthier side Tonight over dinner (spaghetti) the name of an individual was brought up, a grandparent...who helps the nanny with their grandchildren.

Hold. The. Phone.

If your nanny needs help you clearly have some parenting issues. The exception being if you have more than 4-ish children (adjust accordingly).
Three children? No.
A nanny can handle it (I did, & they were not easy children).
If you're 3 children are so out of hand grandparent frequently TRAVELS (long distances) to HELP the nanny, then they are out of hand.

** I happen to know this nanny is completely competent and as a former sitter of these children also know they are out of hand.**

How to lose a nanny in 10 days? Well, when she has to call in for reinforcements (regularly) expect a 2 week notice in your future.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

green with envy

I should be sleeping...but I'm blogging, because I owe my blog some attention. So here it goes...

My dear friend over here sent me a link to this CNN article a few weeks ago and I new instantly I had to blog about it! Mostly becasue of this quote from parenting expert Michelle LaRowe "The reality is that many nannies do have more parenting skills than parents". Enough said.

In the very beginning of this article a mom says she's sad she doesn't get to do the fun stuff with the kids but instead has to do the veggie eating, bath time, teeth brushing, and off to bed routine. Funny thing is, some nannies do that part (I did). It wasn't my favorite...but maybe the family I worked for was going in the right direction. Jury's still out, but I'll give them some credit.

Parents also worry because often nannies can control/discipline children better than parents. The truth is nannies (& teachers) often DO have better control over kids than parents. This is hard to understand for so many parents but so basic. The articel cites that nannies are less emotionally attached, very true. This is a job and we have a task to finish, this isn't our sweet baby boy/girl. Another reason children tend to push less with nannies is because most people are most venerable with family, they always love you. If you're going to push boundaries, it's going to be with family. It's not going to be with your nanny, who uses the words "time" and "out" more than any other human being.

As far as a child loving a nanny more than its parents. Not possible. The article makes this clear enough. We might call them 'our kids' and love them fiercely but there is no bond like the one between parent and child. (If you're really that worried, don't have a nanny).

So parents you go ahead check the worry off your list- nannies, enjoy the fact that your employer might be a tad jealous if you- and we'll all go to bed happy.
Sweet dreams!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

under lock&key

First of all, let me apologize for my absence. My new schedule is kicking me in the rear. I'm going to be better (pinky promise).

Today is a very good day to mark my first post back after an absence. WHY, you ask? Today I dropped off the keys and garage door opener of my former nanny family. I was roped into (i.e. I have trouble saying no) pet/house sitting for them a few times over the summer so I still had said items in my possession. Not anymore. I have let go.
I left a short note on the kitchen counter and didn't look back...

It wasn't until I was driving down the street that I realized how significant this was. I thought I had let go long before today. It's true that I had in some ways- but I was still connected- I had keys, a garage door opener, and until they change it I still have an alarm code. This made me think about how when you're nannying (or in any job really) the physical items you have really mean so much. As a nanny, having that kind of access kept me locked into that family. Not only was I responsible for these items, they needed to stay in contact with me (people don't just let their house keys float around). So, it made me think about all the ways we end up tied to the kids we take care of. I carried lactaids around for weeks after I ended this last nanny job (the youngest was lactose intolerant), I'll probably continue to find hot wheels lodged in every possible crevice of my car, and who knows where all their artwork made "just for me" ended up. That's it though, {now} there are no more ties. Maybe now that I'm truly cut loose I'll get into the real nitty gritty about how to loose a nanny in 10 days ;)

Today's answer: take away her keys.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Get her sick.

That's how you lose a nanny/teacher in 10 days. Or 4. I made it 4 days with those GERMY (but adorable) little 3 yr olds before I called in for a sick day on Friday. It's been thoroughly miserable. Finally though, I feel partially normal and I'm looking forward to a healthy week ahead- with much more blogging. Just wanted to let you all know I'm still here and have tons of posts coming your way. Thanks for sticking with me. Love you lots.


Friday, July 30, 2010

how to lose a teacher in 10 days...?

This week began my adventure in teaching.

(Before you all get a frenzy about how I'm going to loose all my material now that I am no longer a nanny maybe you should take a seat in the cozy corner like we'll tell our three year olds to. I have enough of a back log to keep this blog going for years friends. Don't worry, more nanny posts are coming!)

Today was teacher meet and greet, the real adventure begins Monday. For two hours wide eyed parents of even more wide eyed 3 year olds wandered in and out of our perfectly decorated classroom (i.e. cozy but not over stimulating, I'm proud, so sue me). We had talkers, criers, jumpers, a few shriekers...and I'm talking about parents here. The things they say. It amazes me. I'm going to refrain from giving to much detail but it definitely made me think of this blog. In teaching, like nannying, it is most often the parents that drive you crazy. Children run from table to table, exploring new toys, meeting new friends while grandma ask if she can sit in on a few classes (because that'll make the separation anxiety better, right?) or mom gets mad that we prefer she not bring in ice cream on brithdays.

After meet and greet was over we had a school wide teacher meeting (our three old program is a collaboration project and we are housed in a local charter school, neat huh?) and tensions felt kind of high. You know why? We're teachers, we have no patients for adults. I speak three year old, I don't sit for long periods of time (& at 5'2"I prefer things to be at eye level). Catch my drift?
Oh, parents. Can't live with them, can't live without 'em ;-).

Here's to the best parent- teacher/nanny relationships we can create!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

if the crown fits.

So sometimes (ok always) the best part of being a nanny is the kids. They really do say the darndest things. I was babysitting one of my favorite little ones a few weeks ago and she informed me of something very important. "I've been to Cinderella's house!" She stated matter of factly while we played a Disney Princess Wii game. I said, "really, where does she live?" Her reply? "Disney World".

(Of course, I should've known.)

Then came the real kit and kaboodle. Without a thought to it, she said "I'm really good friends with all the princess'!" I guess that makes me a pretty lucky nanny then ;-)!


Sunday, July 18, 2010


Ok, blog world, lets get this post over with. Today's subject: Money.
It has to be addressed. We're talking about a job here not a hobby.
First I would LOVE for ya'll to comment and maybe leave what you think should be the going hourly rate these days (my first try at an interactive blog, ya like?). Honestly it varies so much I'm going to try and get some feed back before that specific area is covered. Have no fear though, there are plenty of other issues concurrent with the subject of money.

Let's begin with a fairly simple concept. Allow for regular bonuses (and the occasional {deserved} raise). That's all. Don't you want the same at work?

Now onto our main subject: nanny expenses. I'm talking about two things specifically here, gas and "activity expenses". Make sure you consider gas expenses for your nanny. Obviously you should cover gas when your children are be transported (some families even offer to pay car insurance which is such a dream :-). You can do this by giving the nanny a credit card for gas, which I've had (and it was SO wonderful). Consider making it a credit card you get rewards on (points, frequent flier miles, etc.) and then you get a bonus! If you have a nanny who gets a basic salary and no other benefits consider paying for ALL gas. It's the least you can do when considering how many personal expenses nannies have.

Now onto my real soap box here. I loathe the family who says "If you just pay for it, we'll reimburse you later." WHAT??? I'm a NANNY and I most certainly don't have a disposable income. I live on a budget (try it, you might like it). I can't afford to use $50 to buy movie tickets, snacks, museum tickets, dinner, lunch, and anything else your little angels want. Just have a nanny credit card. It's so much easier (but please have one that is widely accepted, I can't count how many times I've had to call a place to see if they accept the specific credit card I was given). It can be a little complicated to work out but since you have a nanny chances have the time to work this out. Now, I know there are families out there grumbling saying "Well I don't have a regular nanny/babysitter so having a card is difficult, blah, blah, blah..." Solution: go the atm and get CASH. It's this paper form of money that is still accepted EVERYWHERE. Crazy I know.

Bottom line? Respect the salary/hourly rate your nanny receives. You know how much it is- we know how much it is- and we both know it's purpose is for personal expenses.

Here's to less nannies being "reimbursed" ;)!


P.S. Any specific topics you think should be covered?? Please let me know!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

liar, liar, pants on fire

Lying. It's wrong. We shouldn't do it. This is a lesson parents and caretakers alike drive into children daily. Unfortunately it's usually a "do as I say not as I do" moment.
I expect the kids to lie to me...but their parents...

Picture sitting in a interview for a nanny job. You're one of a few people the family is interviewing. You're resume is solid and you know your references check out- this is probably true for each interviewee. So, what makes a family pick one nanny over another? It's hard to know. As a result, usually the interview ends up turning into the family selling the nanny on the family. They want to convince you that working with them will be blissful. A blissful nanny heaven full of obedient children, long naps, and peaceful carpool lines ( I am convinced the latter does not exist).
I understand that no parent is going to make their family/children sound anything less than upstanding...but do me a favor and be honest. Little Johnny has not grown out of that temper tantrum stage. Mom, you're not home by 4pm everyday. Dad, you don't turn off your cell phone. Ever. While we're at it, please stop trying to convince me that "the kids practically take care of themselves". Why in the world are you hiring a nanny then? Spare me.

The most recent lie parents I worked for were caught red handed with is not a pretty one. I remember leaving this specific interview full of hope. They sold me. I drank the kool aid. The line that did it went something like this, "We understand that you work hard and we won't always need you, you'll have time off- if we see you've been working hard with the kids one afternoon, we'll give a day off here and there." Liars. Nine months and this never happened once. There was the occasional weekend out of town when all I had to do was pet-sit. That doesn't count though.
Oh, wait, there was the time I had the afternoon off...because I had strep throat, which I got from THEIR children.
Nope, doesn't count either.

Just be honest about WHO you are and WHAT you need. Everyone wins when we all know what we're getting ourselves into (this might be true of most things in life). Next time you interview a babysitter, stick to the truth, and you're adorable {no tantrums, long nap taking, healthy eating, polite} children will learn by example.

Here's to honesty!


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Happy Birthday America!!!
I post this photo not to display its artistic excellence...but lack thereof. It was taken last 4th July from a condo balcony...where I was nannying. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I spent our country's last independence day driving to Florida in a packed suv. Upon arrival my only form of celebration was watching these fireworks way off in the distance. So it goes without saying that this year I am particularly thankful for freedom.
This is the perfect opportunity to address the nanny holiday/vacation topic. I have no actual evidence but I would guess that about half of nannies have holidays like the 4th, labor day, and memorial day off. The other half don't. If you're being compensated, working a holiday or two is fine. I think the key (ok, this is the key to ALL nanny/family issues) is communication. Don't assume your nanny is going to work labor day weekend because you planned to go out of town. It's called labor day for a reason (clearly, I had to work last labor day weekend). Nannies, make sure the family you work for gives you a chance to celebrate holidays on your own terms. Families, when you're gracious, we'll return the favor...besides, what's better than being surrounded by kids on a summer holiday?

Now, vacations are a whole different ballgame- and this last one I went on takes the cake. Ok, wait, before I start let me insert that going on vacation with a family as their nanny can be really incredible-given the right situation (it just so happens I've never had one of those). Now, onto to my experience(s). I compare above the 4ht of July vacation to foreign language immersion. You see, I had only babysat for this family a time or two before we spent a week at the beach. I was just out of college, unemployed, and I thought, why not? "WHY?" Is all I can think now. I was going to continue working with the family after vacation, but I nipped that in the bud real quick. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to learn everything about this family; eating habits, discipline (or lack thereof), sleeping patterns, television rules, relationship dynamics, all in a very short period of time and in a very small space. I learned two important lessons. First, sometimes you just know when you are not a fit for a family. Trust your instinct there. Second, I learned a vital piece of information for families. Please read this carefully- give your nanny space on vacation. For example, her own bed. True story, I slept on the couch and then shared a bed with mom (yeah, it was awkward). Goodness gracious, if you are taking your nanny on vacation, make room for her!! I'm not saying a nanny needs her own room (that would be nice though) or a couple days off (also nice)- but for the person taking care of your children all week (or longer) there has to be down time. This is non negotiable. You take a nanny on vacation to take a bit of stress off of yourself, don't pile it all onto your nanny. Share the load. A nanny should be an additional partner for parents not a replacement for...but that's another topic for another day.
I hope all you nannies out there are experiencing a relaxing holiday and if you go on vacation with your little munchkins this summer, I hope it's everything you dreamed of.

Here's to freedom and the soldiers who fought for it! God bless!


Friday, July 2, 2010


I thought I would title this premier blog post "Bonjour" as an ode to the more sophisticated French title for a nanny, "au pair". We all need to glam up our life a little, right?
Merriam-Webster online defines the above terms for us; they write an au pair is "a usually young foreign person who cares for children and does domestic work for a family in return for room and board and the opportunity to learn the family's language". A nanny is defined as "a child's nurse or caregiver".
I am young, I am not foreign (to my current residence that is), I've done my fair share of domestic work, I received room&board for a short time, I learned what felt like a foreign language (i.e. binky, snuggie, etc...), I was often a nurse (sans nursing school), and I was most certainly a caregiver. So I think it's safe to describe myself as either.
With that cleared up, let me describe what this blog is about. It's a place for me to express, from personal experience, what NOT to do (or say) to your nannies. There is nothing better than a great nanny position, but more often than not nannies go through a few sour experiences before finding the right family- or they simply give up. I gave up. More accurately, I decided it was time to move on (to teaching).
However, I think it's appropriate to share my experiences (good & bad). I hope that you, as my (adoring?) readers, enjoy my stories, rants, and lightly given advice (for you parents with nannies, might I recommend that you read, think, and cautiously apply).

Here's to less nannies giving up...