Wednesday

Monday

Stroller License Plates - Who Knew?

Many blogs and child care activist groups are now advocating stroller license plates - yet another big brother idea to watch the population. Has anyone encountered this? And if you were required to have a stroller license plate would you agree?



We have been talking with a journalist who has a question - Have you, as a Nanny, ever been falsely accused or misjudged by someone spying on you or by the MB or DB etc judging you unfairly? ( MY ex. is I put the child's red cap on instead of blue on a walk and got free coffee for me and orange juice for him and the mother ran 4 blocks with the blue cap to accuse me of not putting on his cap. Then saw the cups and accused me of giving him coffee until she saw the juice)

Tuesday

Uncle Cody Not Happy With Star Wars

I took my 5 year old nephew to the new Star Wars movie and 5 minutes into it there is a scene with blood/gore in the fighting which upset him. Also - there were plot points which made no sense such as a young girl learning to be a Jedi in one day. It { edited P-word} me off that these - who are they? - Market a movie like this to kids - the pajamas, toys, and all - but the movie itself is "rated" against the kids, I did not even think about what it was rated when I took him. I grew up with Star Wars and I understand Lucas sold it etc but I am unhappy I could not give my nephew the same experience I had at his age. I own a company which provides numerous different equipment options in re: child care.

Saturday

Nanny Kristen Reviews Zootopia. (Warning: R-rated Cartoon Description,j/k j/k )

I took my charges to see the movie "Zootopia". It was funny but yet again they managed to put something inappropriate in a kid's movie. The animals wear clothing throughout the movie but then there is a part where they have animals wearing no clothing because they are in a nudist colony. The animals with no clothing were doing yoga poses and stretches where their parts are. Granted you can't see the parts because they didn't actually make them on the animal but it is still obvious to a kid. If you watch the movie you will see what I mean. They could have left that part out. They put inappropriate stuff in kids movies more and more these days. They try to desensitize kids so that what is not ok becomes the norm and is not given a second thought. My family has very strong family values and we see through these garbage tactics - looking forward to my next nannies love kids treats.

From editor : We would love to hear some more movie reviews - things to be wary of and movies that hit the spot !

Thursday

This was posted on our Facebook Page... Bad Nanny, Beware!

Hello guys,
for 2 years I had a live-in nanny who last summer eloped with some money and possibly valuables, and leaving me a farewell note. it was rather unexpected considering she had great conditions, and in fact lived in my place June-July for free while working for someone else, while supposedly waiting for my kid to come back in September. What happened later, when my daughter came back from vacation and realized she wont see this woman again, she opened up with an avalanche of stories about how she was beaten, pushed, locked up in the bathroom, insulted, intimidated, and even left downstairs with the doorman many times. the whole story is long. I am posting her photo. her name is Lidiya Stetsko, she is Ukrainian, 62 years old, and is most likely hanging out somewhere on UES in Manhattan. Please let me know if someone sees her, or just inform the kid's parents! thank you!


JUST AN FYI and PLEASE BE VERY AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!

This happened on March 14th in Houston, TX at a Target Store.

I need to share this with whomever it will help. Today, I went to Target on Bay Area Blvd in Houston, Texas. As I was entering the checkout line, two women came up behind me. Both white females, one in her late 40's and one in her 20's. The younger woman had her hair shaved short and a speech impediment. The both stood entirely too close to me, one on each side so that my exit from the line was blocked. Both were so close, I could have put my arm around either of them. I was wearing my son and had my 2 year old daughter in the cart. The younger woman instantly asked me how old my children were and what their names were. When I didn't answer her about the names, she retorted "what, you don't know their names?" She asked my daughter her name, and when she didn't reply, she said "that's ok, she doesn't have to tell me right now." She continued to ask me about my children. I was incredibly uncomfortable. Every alarm in my body was going off that something wasn't right about this situation.

I asked them to back up so that I could turn my cart around. I made a rather big deal about turning my cart around in line - because NO WAY was I putting my kid out of arms reach while I unloaded my cart. I kept my daughter next to me and turned the backwards cart at an angle so that I could reach the items to place on the belt. This way, the cart was between me and the women and my child was next to me.

Again, the older woman asked my daughter's name. By now, this was the 4th time one of them had asked her name. I replied and said we were learning about stranger danger and she didn't have to reply. The younger woman answered this by saying "oh at some point, she will have to talk to strangers. What if she gets lost in this store? Try as we may, you'll take your eyes off of her at some point." She stared at me as she said this. WHO SAYS THIS? The older woman again asked my daughter her name, to which I loudly instructed my daughter not to answer her.

By now, I was acting so uncomfortable that the cashier was aware. Two other cashiers came over to help her. They scanned and loaded all of my items for me because I was not leaving my child one inch. I paid for my items and left. As I loaded my things and my kids into the car, I watched the door and parking lot. The two women never came out of target. This happened around lunch time. I am a prime candidate for being targeted. I have a child of the "right" age and am "distracted" shopping alone.

I am an ER nurse. Part of my skill set is that I can rapidly and accurately assess a situation - my patients lives depend on that skill. This situation and these women...there was no good intention in this situation. Whatever their goal, and I have my ideas, it was not for good. I called the manager as I left the store and am thankful she took my concerns seriously. She immediately sent her security team to find the women.

I am 100% convinced I encountered evil today. I am 100% that our God kept my children safe. This world we are living in today is full of scary and sick things. I am overwhelmingly thankful that there is a heaven. ONE DAY. One day, this world will pass and evil will lose. One day, our world will be safe and God will rule. One day, these worries will be erased. Until then, "I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Psalm 130:5

Nanny Advice Needed....

I need advice.

I have been working for this family for the last 3 1/2 months. At first, everything seemed great. I relocated from NY to FL just after Christmas and was lucky to have found a position so quickly. They are nice people and the baby is sweet as can be (he will be 9 months old in a few days). Like I said, everything was great. I specifically was looking for a position where no parents worked from home. This is because I've had experiences with this and they aren't for me as the parents hover a lot and make my job uncomfortable. This father is retired (they're older, used a surrogate to get baby boy O). The mother works out of the home, when she actually goes. The father kept busy and out of sight in the beginning. Now he sits on the couch most of the day in the same room I am with baby O. Very uncomfortable for me to have him just a few feet away for 8 hours watching my every move. The mother is a control freak helicopter mom at it's finest. When she's home she sits in all the same rooms as me and just watches. Or is on her laptop on facebook. During the interview I was told she worked outside the home. However, she's home at least twice per week.

At first, baby O was not on a schedule. I put him on one that would fit both mine and the parents needs when they have him on the weekends. He wakes up at 7am. I would put him down for 2 naps once in the morning at 10:30-12:00 and once in the afternoon from 2:45-4:15. This worked out beautifully for 2 1/2 months. Then they decided to change it up so I am not allowed to put him down until 12:00-1:30 and then again at 4 ( I leave at 5 and he is still sleeping, if he even sleeps). He goes 5 hours after he wakes up without a nap and he is miserable from 10:30-12:00 when I can finally put him down. This has gone on for a month now. This is not the right schedule for him. I have brought it up and they said its what works best for them (the parents) because after church on Sunday's they wanna be able to go shopping and stuff (clothes and wants..not necessity shopping. Mom is a shopping addict) and not have to come home first and give him a nap.

Today the dad tells me that after his baptism on Sunday, they might change his naps again to ONE nap per day for only one hour. Mind you..he is only 9 months old! I know how he is now if he doesn't get two naps. I can only imagine how its going to be after one nap and me waking him up an hour into it (I already have to wake him up after an hour and a half so he doesn't sleep too long).

Another thing that was brought up yesterday was his schedule notes. I am required to take note of diaper changes, feeding times and amounts daily. Usually in the morning I find out when his last feeding was, and I develop a schedule based on that and place it all on paper so I can visually see when his next bottles are and where to squeeze in solid foods at times where it won't disturb his appetite for a bottle. I've done this since day one. Mom notices yesterday and tells me to not do that. I tell her it is a way for me to visually keep track of when he needs to eat next. She tells me she wants things written down as they happen. I tell her that the amounts he eats and his diaper changes are written in as they happen, that this is just the schedule times. She tells me it doesn't matter and to stop doing that. I left it at that.

There's just so many other little things about this family that would take me forever to write down. These are just the things over the last couple of weeks that bothered me the most.

The parents are very quirky. Dad is totally checked out. Mom is really weird. She dresses her 9 month old on baggy huge 18 month clothes because she thinks 12 months is too small (12 months was also a little baggy on him).

I need advice. Do I need to run for the hills? I found out recently I am their 4th nanny and O is only 9 months in a week. Red flag right? When they told me of the stories of each nanny they never had anything nice to say about any of them. Summed pretty much all of them up as having mental issues.

I love baby O, but I cannot deal with the parents. While baby O and I are great matches, the parents and I aren't. Is this OK to say and to think?

I've been working as a nanny for the last 7 years. I've had both good and bad experiences with families.

What would you do in my position?

I am prepared to quit on the spot if they announce the schedule change to one nap a day for one hour only. This would only complicate my happiness and job performance. Baby O is not ready for this.

Thank you, and please be nice. This is my first time posting to this blog. This was my last ditch effort for advice

Nannies Love Kids Club Time -

We did not get our St Pat's day gift in time but we will get Easter crafts and stickers out monday! If you have not given us your address - email us by clicking the icon. Pictured - nanny Kristen's littles - Brayden and Eva creating a Valentines sticker scene.

Tuesday

Advice Needed Please.... Surviving Monster Grandma

I could use some advice. I work for a lovely family with three young children (all under the age of four). After more than two years with them, we have a great relationship. I am very bonded with the kids. MB and DB and I get along great. When I'm working, I'm treated like an extremely valued employee with all the accompanying benefits, when I'm off the clock I'm treated like family (and we do spend time together outside of work). We communicate and handle conflict well. I have no complaints... until Grandma comes to visit.

I get along fabulously with the grandma who lives nearby, but several times a year their other grandma comes to visit. They try to make it as easy for the nannies as they can - MB takes off as much time as possible from work while she's here, they limit the visits to one week long, etc - but frankly each time it has gotten more and more insane, and I find myself dreading each visit for weeks before it actually happens.

Grandma is mentally unstable. In fact, she was neglectful/abusive to MB and her siblings as children (eventually their father raised them) and while she's somewhat more stable now, she's still... what's the word... unpredictable? I am always concerned for the kid's emotional well - being when she's around. She is extremely manipulative and falls apart quickly if she doesn't get her way. As the kids get older it becomes harder and harder to keep them unaware of her erratic behavior.

Case in point: during one visit she came downstairs late (around 10 AM) while the kids were playing. She asked the little boy (then two) for a snuggle. He was very engaged in playing with his trucks, but reluctantly left them, gave her a hug, and then wanted to return to playing, as he is an active little guy. She tried holding him for a few minutes while she said things like, "Don't you want to snuggle grandma? Grandma is never here and she wants to spend as much time with you as she can. You don't even know who I am, do you? I'm not a part of your life. If I died tomorrow, you wouldn't care..." before she let him go play. The whole visit was like that. She made the kids extremely uncomfortable and clingy (to me) and I was at my wits end trying to keep everything calm for them. On another day during the visit she worked herself into a hysterical crying fit, and basically sat across from me telling me her life story for hours - how ex husbands abused her, she was scarred by finding her dad dead as as child, etc - I'm talking about 2+ hours of crying. Luckily the kids mostly stayed in the other room playing, but I wasn't able to interact with them like I normally did as I was too busy trying to keep them separated.

In the past, I've made plans and then made sure to leave while grandma is still sleeping, but the past few times she's gotten up early and gone with us. Once she asked if we could stop at Target so she could run in to get a box of tampons on the way to a playdate. The kids and I sat in the car waiting. Forty minutes later she emerged, exclaiming how she never got a chance to do her Christmas shopping, and we had such a better selection in our state.

I could go on and on - basically she is so unhinged that I just can't stay one step ahead of her by anticipating what crazy thing she might do next. Also, she's always prying into MB and DB's life, and it's harder and harder to come up with vague answers.

MB is extremely supportive and sympathetic towards us (She knows exactly how crazy grandma is) so any good coping mechanisms or strategies I could suggest, she would be supportive of. I'm just not sure what to do. Grandma is coming to visit soon and I am dreading it already. :(

Questions for Nannies and Moms

My question is...what is the standard for when a nanny wants to bring her own child to care for while they care for yours? I have had 2 candidates with lots of experience who seemed lovely who want to bring their own child (in both cases the child is a toddler). Neither one of them has offered any kind of discount for bringing her own child which I find a little odd and in fact one asked higher rate than we are offering. I'm not opposed to a nanny who wants to bring her child but I think there has to be something in it for me...like a reduced rate of pay. As wonderful as they might be, their attention will be divided, much like a nanny share would be.

We were looking to pay around $18/hr. for about 35 hours/week. I kind of expected these nannies to knock ~$5/hr off their rate to bring their child (a full time toddler daycare starts at around $1500 per month where we live so if she were paying for care herself that's what she'd pay....so I feel like we both come out ahead). Trying to decide if I should just remove these nannies from the running or offer them a lower rate of pay? What have others done? (note: these are basically strangers to me...I might feel differently with a nanny who had been with our family for a while who then had a baby...)

Thank you in advance,




Sunday

Goodbye gifts, appropriate or not?

I was informed yesterday by MB that I am being let go at the end of this month. It is nothing against me she said, but more of a cost/situation thing. They moved last weekend to a different part of town, and given the cost of childcare tuition for two, soon to be three children and being on a wait list for a center, I can see why they made their decision. I work full time at a center during the week, and my center has a wait list until June/July and not to mention that my state (WI) is one of the highest in terms of childcare tuition. I'm bummed, as it took me awhile to find this family, and I love my babies.

Would giving the family and children a parting gift be appropriate? I have been with them for ten months, and even though I worked every other weekend, it was part of my life. I am going to miss the kids and this family.It's going to be weird not getting up on weekends to go to work-I will have my weekends back, but let's be honest, I got ahead on my bills with the extra money I was making. I understand being a nanny can be risky, as you never know when you can lose a job due to a parent losing their job or like in my situation. This family was very fair with my hourly pay, and very generous as well. I'm hoping to find another family like them who needs weekend care in a similar situation.


Tuesday

There Will Be Blood

I am having a question/issue with the main family I work for who isn't cheap as well and pretty much totally disgraceful.

So I am currently dealing with an extremely curious 3rd grader who is determined to find out where babies come from and what periods are.
I went to school for women's studies so I am not necessarily against children knowing these things, but I am not sure the parents are on the same page, plus I don't really think I am the person who should be having these conversations with her anyhow.

I think it started because of those Thinx period ads on the subway. I personally both like the ads and the underwear, they work miracles, but now I've got an 8 year old asking me what menstrual cups are and sea sponges are used for...lol
I keep telling her its something normal that happens to women, its not dirty or bad, and that its not something she really has to worry about right now, that her health teacher and parents will all be talking to her about thing when its a more pressing matter.

But then she just blurts out. "ITS BLOOD ISN'T?"

And I just stared at her and was like "Yes, its blood, but seriously this isn't something you need to worry about."

"AND THE BABIES, DO THEY EAT THE BLOOD?"

At this point I really don't know what to do. She obviously knows enough to be getting freaked out about this stuff, but I don't know its my place to explain it. (She definitely doesn't know where babies come from yet, just that periods have something to do with it.

I don't really know what to do. I don't think I should necessarily explaining this stuff to her, but when an eight year old is staring at me horrified asking it periods are made of blood, I feel inclined to answer her and calm her down, explaining that this isn;t something that she needs to worry about right now. I feel like refusing to answer at all, would just make her want to know even more right?

She's a kid and she can't help but be curious, but should I be telling the parents? It seems kind of awkward and unnecesarry right? They must already know? Plus I am sure the health nurses go to the classrooms to explain this to the pretty soon.

I am try to keep this little girl innocent, but she won't stop asking about periods and how babies are made. lol

Westchester NY Moms looking for Nannies

In search for nannies to add them into our system on westchesternymoms.com. This is a marketplace for westchester moms to come and post tier need for nannies and babysitters. The nannies that are signed up, then get an email and/or text of the moms request and can reply directly to the mom. If the nannies that visit your blog are interested, it'll be great to get them signed up.

Todays Giggle sent in by Rebecca

I saw this on my Facebook, personally I cannot relate but since there have been so many stories of parents not paying enough I would like to share this to everyone!

Jaxx sent in this Free Webinar info

For all people who take care of children!
You can watch free webinars related to early childhood from Kaplan Early Learning
Simply go to:
Edweb.net and sign up
They will email you when they have a webinar coming up, and the topic, usually a few per week. You can also watch past ones that interest you.
After you watch it you answer a few questions and print off a certificate. I think it is worth one hour of continuing Ed.
Even if you are not a student or do not work in a child care center, as a nanny you can show your boss/ nanny family that you are keeping up on education and learning new things.
And if nothing else you can just do it for self satisfaction.

Thursday

Advice please!

I work for a family in the Pleasantville/Chappaqua NY area, they are now having their third child. My charges are 3 and 5 (lovely boys I might add). I'm scheduled to work 52 hours crammed into 4 days, most times I'm done early so I work a bit less. I get paid $750 on the books and $225 cash for my OT. It was under what I would ask for two children and a dog as well as chores and driving my own car, but I needed the FT position. Now fast forward 10 months and adding another child I know this is too low (they provided me with a car 2 months ago). Would asking for double my on the books salary ($1500/wk) be an absurd amount to ask for? This would cover my OT and the new baby breaking down to $30/hr.

I don't want to scare my bosses away but they will be asking way more of me and I receive no healthcare, 2 weeks paid vacation (1 that I pick) and zero sick/personal days.

Any input is greatly appreciated and welcomed.

Thank you for taking the time to read/respond!

Wednesday

Potty Training For First Time Parents

Hi!

Potty training question here. Very sweet family, older, first time parents expecting number two in mid-May. Their eldest now is a mid June birthday, having arrived two months early as a surprise.

R is in Pull Ups and stays dry all day, even during nap. It's the pooping issue that I'm seeing as a roadblock for her. Not to be gross, but her poop is often soft and sometimes a blowout, meaning it leaks out of the Pull Up and gets all over her clothes. She won't tell us when she needs to poop, and most recently her poops have been funky in color, alternating between soft and mushy to a water balloon consistency. (Picture filling a balloon with water) Yesterday she had four blowouts: two at home and two at school. Today she had a water balloon poop and another one similar in consistency this afternoon. I'm wondering if her being pre-term is the reason for the blowouts, as if her digestive system isn't mature? She has no known allergies, yet I'm wondering if there could be an allergy of some sort. R does great with peeing on the potty, and she will say whether or not she has to go when asked. We always tell her to tell someone when she has to poop, or when she feels like she has to. Nothing happens. When she poops, we clean her up and she dresses her self.

Has anyone had experience with pre-term and potty training? Could not be ready for underwear due to the pooping issue, and/or could she have a digestive issue or allergy? M has been sick and she is thinking that R has what she has, just a different version. I want to make this easy for M and D with the new baby coming, yet I also know only R knows what she needs when she needs it in reference to potty training.

Any advice would be great!

Tips For Overnight Assignment

I have my 1st night nanny job coming up. I will be working for one particular family 8pm-8am with a newborn. Any tips on how to keep up my stamina during those hours. I will be sleeping during the day not while the baby sleeps. It's also 3-4 days a week so I will get some regular sleep on my days off.

Looking for tips or advice for anyone who has done a similar shift. So far I have planned healthy snacks and Starbucks to go packets. TU!!!

Tuesday

A Saving Hand - by Marie Marrow (author of Tears of Gold)

There are some experiences that simply cannot be explained with logic or reason. Some stories that can only be told as divine intervention. This is the simple story of my encounter with IMO a miracle.
My daughter Chalsey was saved by this Hand twice. The first time was when we were living in Taiwan. The parking lot for our apartment complex was under ground. The staircase leading down to it was nearly two stories long of solid concrete. I was very cautions with my little ones, especially Chalsey who was still a wobbly toddler. A fall from that height could be deadly.

One day while I was helping another child with her shoes, Chalsey took off running ahead of me. As I rushed after her I could see that I would not get to her in time. At the speed she was running I knew that she would not be able to stop herself when she came to the stairs. Just beyond my reach I watched in slow motion as she tried to stop herself, lost her balance and fell forward. She was heading head first down two stories of concrete stairs. My heart nearly stopped beating. I screamed a split second prayer.

What happened next could only be described as a miracle. I saw her fall over those steps; her balance was totally forward and her head heading down. Then before she hit the first step an invisible hand lifted her back up and sat her down at the top of the stars. There was no way she could have defied gravity and gone back up. By the way it happened I could tell that an invisible hand had caught her by the front, pushed her back up, and landed her seated on the top step. I was grateful beyond words as I held her in my arms and said a heartfelt prayer of thanks.

About one year later we were enjoying a pleasant afternoon swim at a friend’s pool. Chalsey could not swim yet. She didn’t want to be in the water any more so she had taken off her water wings (floatation device) and was playing by the pool. I had gotten distracted with the older children at the far end of the pool. No one saw her get back in the water.

I heard a choke and cough behind me, and turned to see Chalsey struggling up the pool steps. She was traumatized choking and vomiting. I was in shock, realizing what a close call it was. I had no idea how close it had been. I held and comforted her for an hour until she recovered enough to tell me what happened.

She told me that she wanted to swim again but she had forgotten her water wings. She described how she sank, and was laying face down, on the bottom of the pool. Then she said, a hand lifted her up from under her belly, and put her on the top step. There was no one else at the pool besides us and she had not seen anyone. This invisible hand had saved her once again.

What a great HAND!!