Family over everything.

Family over everything.

Title says it all.

Family over everything.

I recently have been trying to adapt to one of my families getting a divorce. It all happened so fast and to be honest, I didn’t see this one coming. This family has it all, big home, smart boys, great jobs, and a love connection like no other. They were my date night family to start that turned into part time throughout the week. I was completely taken back but that goes to show you, you can’t really see what’s behind closed doors. Even when you work in the home.
The boys told me actually, (oddly enough) on the way home from school. They asked me, “Which house are we going to today?” I was so confused. I thought they were messing with me the whole way home but surely enough once we got home, half their house was packed up and ready to go.
Over the weekend, the parents not only told the boys they were separating but one parent already bought a home and moved in that same weekend.
This was awkward.
I mean, the parents didn’t notify me. I didn’t know what to tell the boys when they had asked me details about the move and the transition and I wasn’t about to text the parents regarding this. Now that would be even more awkward like, “Hey are your guys splitting up because the boys told me you were.”
So no.
I kept my mouth shut for two weeks. Then they told me over text and notified me of all the new changes and rules in the old/new home. I played it off like I didn’t know (Kids have a sense, and they know what’s up. They confine in me and things I wish I didn’t hear them say, I do. Like Dad makes Mom cry a lot.) To be honest, I wanted to share this all with you because as caregivers it’s something you need to respect. Respect and support the family is ANY decision they make whether that be to split the household or little things like no technology till four years of age. At the end of the day you are working for them. May seem like family, and some are basically family to me but you need to separate work and feelings.
Instead, ask questions. Know your limits, support the family and always back up their decision. Those are their children, they know what they are doing. We are all human and can make choices on our own so let them do them.

I realize that todays post was little more straight forward than others but it’s something I really wanted to take time and share. It’s a gentle reminder to always make the children feel safe and loved throughout the day. That’s our job as babysitters, nannies, caregivers and parents. We should all stick together on this.

Easier said than done, but let’s give it a try.

September? Or is this a joke?

September? Or is this a joke?

I thought I had all summer to write.
All summer to catch up with you all on things to do and activities for your little ones but reality caught up with me in fact as now I am sure it has with you.
Some children have already started the school year, while a majority of your kids start tomorrow.

Can I get a hallelujah?!

Kids going back to school is bittersweet I think for most parents, the fact of the matter is we love them to death but that routine schedule that school gives us allows us to keep sane. Parents no longer need to find a summer program for them, push down a summer reading list that is unnecessary, or insist on play dates they know won’t follow through on.

It is not something we need to be asdmend in. We can go ahead and admit to ourselves and everyone else that summer was rough!

And tomorrow we finally settle in back to routine of packing lunches the night before, carpooling the kids to school, picking up in the traffic hour and preparing our dinner for the family in the spare time we have to breathe.

I just wanted to extend a helping hand for whatever its worth on how to prepare for tomorrow because the mornings can be just as serious as the hurricane right now. Things will hit the fan, your children will not want to get up and be rushed out the door and in theory you won’t either but here’s a few tips and tricks for you in order to survive the day.

Goodluck!

1. Prepare the kids lunches and water beforehand! I always think its better for parents to eat breakfast with their children before the day starts, or at least have time to get ready themselves while the children eat. Its important to be one step ahead in the morning so you don’t rush and forget things. (Picture day, share day or a sports game that night) those ideally I would put on the calendar so once again, the night before I can prepare for the next day. Throw in the lunch and water in the fridge overnight and tomorrow all you need to do is toss it in the lunch bag/box. Leave the backpack and your personal items near the door so nothing gets lost and you can head out the door in order.

2. Get some sleep! Easier said than done. Have your kids go to sleep at least 20 minutes earlier than usual tonight to get in routine of going to bed earlier (at least resting earlier) and waking up earlier. This will help you a lot as the crankiness will lower just a tad and moving in the morning won’t be too brutal!

3. I personally believe its good to give your children an option for breakfast (whether that be oatmeal, cereal or eggs) but don’t let it take up ten minutes of your morning because they couldn’t decide. Offer 1-2 meals and stick to it. Too much offering will lead to too much thinking and deciding, and children will most definitely take advantage of that morning time in a daze.

4. Have your children get a task done themselves in the morning (this goes without saying that age can conflict on this one) but have them try dressing themselves with clothes you laid out for them, or put their socks and shoes on before heading out the door and whoever helps out the most can get rewarded that night (dessert or choosing of a movie). Make the morning exciting and a game! Theres days were it will be harder than others of course, but when kids are having fun it usually will make things go smoother.

5. Always! I mean always explain to your child who will be picking them up from school. (Once again it goes without saying) but if there is a schedule change and a parent has a conference or etc. then the child knows to expect this change. Pick up might be easy for you, but when a child expects dad to pick him up and sees a sitter all hell can break loose if you didn’t explain anything.

Just a few ideas to throw out there before you start tomorrow! Should you have any more ideas please contact me so I can share with other moms!

May the force be with you tomorrow as we head into the school year!

What’s in there anyway?

What’s in there anyway?

I thought today I would take time to share with you, what is in my day to day bag. Caregiving and parenting is all about being prepared and of course there are times when you are flat out out of luck, (like forgetting to restock the diaper bag with diapers) but that instinct kicks into place like no ones business.

So here it goes, this is how I personally survive on a day to day with the kiddos.

Kate Spade Backpack

1) My Kate Spade backpack
This is my personal go to because Kate Spade bags are my favorite! You can use any type of backpack however, just make sure it has little pockets in it to help you out with storage. (Perhaps a stroller ring too to help you out!)

Lysol Wipes

2. Lysol Wipes
I always try and disinfect anything before the children touch it. I am only human and without a doubt can’t disinfect it all but if we are in a bathroom, or at Target, I try my best to wipe it down before making contact.

3. Diapers/Wipes/Changing Pad
Goes without saying. Must have. The second I end up leaving the house its my luck that the child will poop.

4. Snacks (At least two)
No one wants a hangry child you definitely need 1-2 snacks that won’t go bad over time in the bag. (Example : Goldfish, Crackers, Fruit Snacks) Don’t forget to put yours in there too!

5. A small water bottle
Again, a must need! With snacks come thirst. I always personally have water accessible to a child at all times. No one wants a thirsty kid. Don’t forget you need one too for yourself!

Boogie Wipes

6. Boogie Wipes
One thing that truly my pet peeve. Boogers. I can’t! I can deal with poop, might sound crazy but I just can’t stand wiping someone else boogers. These definitely come in handy for me! I also bring along 1-2 ziplock baggies (Doesn’t need to be large) and I use it as a “on the go trash bag” Just seal that boogie wipe in there, or the granola wrapper and be on your way to the next activity.

7. (If infant, or toddler) A small toy (1-2) Car rides can be tricky for children, whether or not you are going to a park out of your community or an appointment with the child, they will need to be entertained. Always bring along their favorite lovey or toy to play with. This saves lives!

Kleenex Germ Removal Wipes

8. Hand Sanitzer Wipes
(Different than the Lysol wipes!) These of course can be used for the disinfecting aspect of things but these are primarily for the childrens hands. Did the chocolate chip granola bar basically explode onto them in the car? Or did the yogurt get all over their hands and napkins flat out make it worse? I simply use the wipes to wipe down their hands to keep them clean and sticky free.

Sunscreen (To Go)

9. Sunscreen
Again, goes without saying. Children can burn easily, (I can personally as well). Bring sunscreen, even if it’s just a small one, it comes in handy.

10. Small Towel (If it doesn’t fit – Leave in the car)
May sound strange but again, this has always come in handy for me as well. I use a small towel mainly for the park days. This is a lifesaver when the child wants to go on the swing when it’s wet, or wants to go down a hot slide. Towel comes in handy for wiping off the water or using it for the child to sit on when the slide is too hot. (Wont burn their skin coming down!)

11. Extra Clothes and Swim Clothes/Shoes (Again, if it doesn’t fit – Leave in the car)
I find this important to have because if the child has an accident, or completely spills something onto his or her shirt they would be able to change immediately. I also find swim clothes is important to keep on hand as well because personally I would never want to say “no”. If there is an opportunity for the child to get wet at a mall fountain, or day to day activity and I didn’t come prepared for this I would let the guilt pile up. If there is something your child can do, that he or she wants to do and your reasoning is, “no I didn’t bring a change of clothes for you,” is my worse nightmare. Let kids be kids. Let them get wet and enjoy themselves. Alittle water never hurt anyone. (Of course there are exceptions to every rule)

As for you?! This is what I recommend

1. A notebook (planner) for whatever reason I always find the need for this. Whether it be writing down something random that the family needs from the store and I forgot to mention to the parents earlier, or to jot down ideas and tasks needed to be done for the week.

2. Pens (Goes without saying) you’ll need this to write with.

3. Back up Phone Charger (Last thing you need is your phone dying when you are out with someone else child) I personally take a lot of photos and videos of the children when we are out and about for the parents, and my phone battery quicks pretty quickly so a back up charger is really helpful to have.

4. Sunglasses (With living in Orange County it’s a must)

5. Wallet (Last thing you need is driving around or paying for the childrens activities without a wallet) Goodluck with that!

6. Chapstick (I use this product everyday, especially when I am searching in my bag, the sunscreen ones are super convient!)

There you have it! That’s how I survive outside the house!

I am more alive than ever!

I am more alive than ever!

WOW! Did I take a good nap or what?! Just kidding!

I mean its been so long I had to restart my password. If that isn’t a wake up call I don’t know what is.

Truly have been on a mission to find myself lately and while I don’t think I am quite there yet, I do believe I am on the right path this time go around!

A lot of life changes since I have been on, my sister got married, I gave notice to one of my dearest families, I started a new career path and got back into my fitness routines!
Honestly, all positive changes and I can’t wait to see where I go next!

Lets go ahead and start. My sister got married! As many of you don’t know my sister is in the Air Force stationed in Alaska. She had her ceremony however in Missouri, and while that was an adventure in its own, I was just blessed to be able to travel there to be apart of that whole weekend. My husband, dad and extended family came out to this celebration and it was so memorable. I mean, there’s just something about weddings that make you at awe. I almost feel as if you attend weddings to have fun of course, and drink and party but once you personally get married and then after attend a wedding, you are truly in awe with the couple and really appreciate the deeper meaning behind every little detail and thought. Once it was all over, I ask my husband if we can get married again because it just gets to me. I would love to do it all over again and again. We already started talking about a ten year anniversary and I can’t wait!

Then, after coming back from vacation I really was in a good mind set. I spent time with my wonderful family, I was all rested mentally and emotionally and I was ready to give my notice to one of my families. Now keep in mind, giving your notice to anyone is difficult but from a nanny perspective, but giving a notice to a family is very difficult. I personally saw this coming for a while and the absolute only reason why I stayed and pushed through those last months was because of the children. Now just alittle background, before I get too into it, was I took this job under the wrong pretenses. I fully admit to taking this job for the money aspect and nothing else. I worked for this family for two years and let me tell you, I dreaded every single day. This family was very toxic, negative and didn’t match my personality at all. I will honestly like for you to think about this right here and right now. Does your nanny match with you and your family? Does the family you nanny for match with you? Overall, do you get along with your family and nanny or is everyday a struggle? Now I am not saying they need to be fully match but in order to have a successful work environment, happy children and a positive household you NEED to except your family/nanny. I myself over thought that from the start. I knew that this family was little off, I knew that the cameras in the house were going to bother me, I knew that the amount of cleaning I needed to do before I watched the children was an insane amount BUT that payment on every other Friday night was worth it all (at least in the moment it was). I was uncomfortable from the start, I took care of the little girl as if she was my own but at the end of the day I cried driving home, I had dreams about this little girl never living life’s fullest potential. I was in this toxic bubble and I didn’t know how to get myself out. Honestly, for TWO years I tried and tried to see a way out but I couldn’t. I was venting about this position to all my friends and family. Everyone told me to quit and never look back but I couldn’t. I was in so deep that the paycheck didn’t matter anymore, it was the little girl. She was everything to me. I was there when she said her first words, I was there when she called me mama in front of her mother and crawled to me instead of her, I was there when she literally took her first steps and then again when I gave her her first foods. It wasn’t leaving that the problem, it was leaving her behind.
Leaving a family is always difficult and let me tell you personally that it isn’t easy for the family nor the nanny. The family and children had a connection with that nanny/babysitter and now they are gone, and the nanny/babysitter watched your child grow into the little minion they are today and nothing about that is easy.
I am forever grateful for the families that still send me birthday texts and pictures of the children meanwhile I am not 100 % their nanny anymore. It means the world to me to know that we are still connected and have that bond that will never fade.
I will forever remember my family but with that said, I know it’s best for me to move on and spread my wings. Another family needs me more, one that I can connect with from the start and I am determined to find you!

Until then, I shall write! I shall write more and more and fill in that time giving my best advice and tips I have in mind to the families out there that need it the most!

As for my other adventures, I am starting a new career path, and I hope to grow it more so this year! Until then, stay tuned! It will be endless!
And last but not least, my fitness routines! I am back and ready to push forward harder than ever before! I am going to get in the BEST shape as can be. I will be healthy. I will love my new lifestyle and I will succeed. I will not eat the kids leftover Mac and Cheese anymore! Trust me! Those days are over!

So let’s start this adventure together! Let’s get in routine, let’s start the day and week on a more positive note and start planning those kids spring break and summer plans! I am here with you! Let’s go!

The week is here! Your little ones maybe home for 1-2 weeks because of Christmas break and some of you even 3 weeks! Here’s some Christmas activities that you might want to try to help pass the time! (These make for GREAT gifts for grandparents coming to visit, the mailman, trash man or gardener for a Christmas thought from your little ones!) – they will love it!

If you have older ones at home check out the activities below for some added on fun!

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Christmas Tree Ornament

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Upcycled Oh-So-Pretty Christmas Tree

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Egg Carton Christmas Trees

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Mistletoe Plates

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DIY Cookie Ornaments

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Goodluck to all you parents and nannies!

Remember, we got this!!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

”Tis the season of baking! I have been in and out of the kitchen for what feels like days baking up a storm! Cookies for the fire station, brownies for the neighbors, pies for my families and the list goes on!

I wanted to share with you some cooking projects to perhaps include your little ones in on this year or just to make for when your family comes to town to visit!

First up, we have the Christmas Breakfast Casserole!

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Christmas Breakfast Sausage

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Crustless Spinach Quiche

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Cocktail Meatballs

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Stuffed Artichoke Casserole

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Christmas Punch

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Gin & Appletiser Cocktail

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Christmas Log Recipe

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Christmas Crack

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Chai Tea Eggnog Cookies

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Peppermint Bonbon Cookies

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Death by Caramel Bars

Happy Cooking!

tis-the-season-for-giving

With announcing the winner of this months giveaway I thought it would be wise to pass along some tips about giving this holiday season! For the past four years I have been taking pride in giving back. I have been making homemade cookies for the local fire station and making personalized cards for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Now they both take time in making so honestly props to you if you decide or do currently do this.

However is time isn’t on your side you may resort to other giving back ideas.
Some are listed below but not limited to.

1) Donating old/new toys to children in need. This is a GREAT way to make room this season for the new toys Santa is bringing and teach children the important gift of giving. This way you are cleaning out the toys your children don’t use and make room for the new ones coming in. Make a day out of this! Get a bin and explain to your children, some families cannot afford toys or have any toys and we should donate the ones we don’t play with. At the end, explain to your children that “Santa or your elf on the shelf” was probably watching and will definitely give a good report to Santa because they gave back to the community.

3) Make cards! Have your children engage in making cards for other children or people serving our country. Include this in your art time! Even 1 card makes a difference!

Make Cards For Hospitalized Children

Operation We Are Here

*Mailing cards may have a specific deadline. Please refer to the choosen site before making*

2) Make a donation. The internet makes it easier than ever to donate to the charity of your choice, just go to the organization’s website! Also, Facebook now has a tool that allows you to ask your Facebook friends for donations, which may encourage them to donate to your specified cause. Check it on out! Here is just one I personally donate to!

Make A Wish

3)Volunteer! If you would rather not spend money to give back, you can always volunteer at different organizations and non-profits! Some local groups may also be focused on Christmas. Find your organization online or find a local food bank that may need an extra pair of hands during Christmas week!

Volunteer In Orange County

4) Pay it forward! The easiest and best way to give back is to just spread kindness to those around you. Pay it forward and start a cycle of kind actions and giving. Being kind to one another takes little to no effort to do, but can make a huge impact on someone’s day. Challenge yourself with this chart of kindness and see how many you can do!

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Kindness Calendar 2018

With that said, I wanted to spread some holiday cheer and give away alittle something to my followers! With more giveaways to come stand by and keep reading for more!

As for the month of December, the winner of the $25.00 Starbucks Gift Card goes to….

Ashley Campbell

CONGRATULATIONS!