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Author Archives: mhugh

About mhugh

I spent 9 years in the classroom, 8 teaching middle school special education and 1 year teaching general education 3rd grade. I am currently a Instructional Coordinator focusing on Literacy. My passions include implementing learning technology in the classroom, consistently learning and sharing what I know and learn.

Playing Defense, Time to Share

So I am on my laptop this morning and my adorable daughter comes over and attempts to push the buttons, I guide her hand away and she tells me, “Mommy, you need to share”.  Seems all the repetition has paid off.

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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Ding… “Do you have to go to the potty?”

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Hart is successfully potty trained.

But that did not come without some challenges.  I started out with a firm, “I will not reward her with candy or a treat to use the potty”. But that caved shortly after a few clean-ups, “Okay, you get an M&M when you use the potty”.  With a little bribery came greater success.  I also did the typical charting of times “hitting” the potty.  They say after 12 hits it starts to become automatic for kids.  That’s also common sense that if you do something long enough it becomes routine, a habit.  Every once in a while she will still ask for an M&M but we only give it to her if she asks.  That will soon be phased out.

Tapping into what I remember of my psychology classes, I decided to potty train Hart using a variety of behavioral theories…. B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning and Ivan Pavlov’s Law of conditioned reflex to behaviorally condition my child to use the toilet.  I also used techniques for potty training in three days from Julie Fellom’s Diaper Free Toddlers program.  A timer was used to remind Hart and myself that it was time to go.  I started with 20 minute increments only to move that to 15 then once we were accident free for a day, to 30 minutes and so on.  We are at an hour to two depending on the fluid intake.

It was a great feeling to clear the diaper bag of Hart’s diapers, but then loading the bag with more changes of clothes and underwear will still require me to haul crap around.  Not to mention the portable potty we now carry in the bag.

Well, it all paid off.  Hart is potty trained! And in 3 days!

You gotta love the graphing calculator, she uses it as her smart phone.  She was replying to an email.

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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Hart

 

Nanny Search 2.0

WE have sad news, our wonderful nanny is leaving us for a job opportunity.  I knew this day would come but was hoping latter rather than sooner.  The positive side to all of this is that she will continue to be part of the family and join us in celebrations and watching our two little girls grow.

With that said, we are looking for a full-time nanny, description below.

This is a posting for a nanny to provide full-time care to two children (a toddler of 2 years and an infant of 3 months) in the grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta Georgia.

Scope of responsibilities: The hours of this position are 8 AM to 5 PM, during the day the nanny receives an hour of break time and 2, 30 minute breaks. Given the nature of childcare these breaks are dependent on the children being asleep or at a scheduled activity. The primary goal of this position is to provide high quality care for two children. As a result an applicant should review their own individual background and be able to speak to their unique qualifications for this position. The position also includes requirements in light household cleaning, shuttling, grocery shopping, and laundry as needed. Finally any applicant should be able to take on other duties as assigned (per a discussion of responsibilities and compensation of course).

The family: This position is in the home of a family with two full-time working adults, 2 medium-sized dogs, and two children. Occasionally the family will have house guests, family, and friends, over. One adult works from home in a separate office area away from main living quarters. Dogs have a full run of the living quarters with children, and occasionally may require petting. Depending on schedules and/or unforeseen circumstances such as sickness adults may choose to be at home during nanny care.

The philosophy: Given the many backgrounds of possible applicants the family strongly emphasizes a focus on the complete child. This includes extensive dialogue about discipline, responsibility, ethical and moral decision-making and social skills building. A well-versed candidate will be able to provide an interdisciplinary approach that includes age-appropriate educational activities, crafts & skill building, entertainment and extracurricular activities, and general practical home economics. Applicants with a four-year degree, international experience, a history of volunteerism, a unique familiarity with the East Atlanta / Grant Park area, and a desire to interact with two great kids, will receive preference in the interview process.

What you should know: This position requires a personality-based interview, which includes questions about your childhood and upbringing, questions about your discipline style, questions about your background and stability. Applicants will have to pass a credit and background check in order to proceed to final selection. Documentation of stable living situation and reliable transport may be needed.

Why this job: You will get to work in a highly flexible work environment, with a management team that is open to new ideas and provides a supportive working environment. Compensation is commensurate with current market salaries. This is not an hourly based position it is salaried, there is no variance in weekly/monthly pay. At the end of each quarter (three-month period) you are eligible for a bonus. Five paid holidays are included with this position. Each month accrual of one day of sick or personal time is achieved. This position includes a purchase card for expenses related to the position, and access to a well-equipped vehicle for transporting the children.

If you are interested and would like to set up an interview contact us via email to info@increasinglymarried.com

Be sure to include a letter of introduction and in the subject line write “Nanny Search 2.0”

Thanks!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Hart Meet Sol, Sol Meet Hart

While in the hospital we have been video chatting through Google Hangout, awesome, and Hart has gotten to see Baby Sol.  She hadn’t made the connection until she saw her in person.  Hart handled it well, not so much jealousy but I assume that will come, more of curiosity and exploration.  Sol was peaking out of one of her eyes checking out Hart.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Baby, Hart

 

The Crazies Come Out When You Post

Nothing like posting a nanny ad to spice up the storytelling in my life!

 Current Posting on Care.com and sittercity.com:

We aren’t rich but we need a nanny. One that speaks her mind because staying silent doesn’t help anyone, seriously.

I am not looking for super nanny, or anyone who wants this job because they will love my kid as if they are their own. We don’t want someone who has a lot of theories on the right way to raise kids, because in the end, we’re just a couple doing our best.

Introduce me to your daily workout, sing lyrics from the White Stripes, read Southern literature or tell me the best place to get a burger in the Village at 2 a.m., but do not tell me to that keeping my child in a car seat for an hour helps them learn to sit or that a diaper that doesn’t smell doesn’t need to be changed.

What do you want from us? Free food check, respect and dignity check, ability to tell us our kid is a brat, double check. Deal breaker passive aggressive behavior, financial issues, lack of understanding or knowledge of early childhood education, no desire to learn or have that all magical ambition (K West said it best. Keep on moving.)

You gotta be able to drive with a valid license. If you make it to summer, you may want to pop on over to the library, zoo, pool, or pick up the occasional item at the store. So be able to drive a minivan or car.

I need a team player. I need someone to back me up when it comes to remembering when the library books are due, and whether I have to RSVP to that birthday party yet. Hours are 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

Okay, if you’re still reading this ad, it means:

a) I am a halfway decent writer and maybe I really will get that book deal I’m yearning for;

b) you need a job desperately;

c) you think this just might be destiny, and that you could be one of the few, the proud, the potential nanny of our dreams;

d) you want all the information about job requirements.

Contact us if you want to be our nanny.

Posted by
Melissa H. from Atlanta, GA

So we have gotten a lot of responses, more from care.com than sittercity.  I wonder what that says about the sites? Yeah, the post may be a little in-your-face, but you know what, I don’t want the nanny’s who will love my kid like their own.  It’s time to be real!

Only three responders expressed their distaste for our ad.  Read below!

Response #1 (she orginially contacted us, we responded with interview questions to answer, she responded with answers and asked if your child could also be part of our share.  I responded that she wasn’t a good fit for us.  Below is her response back to us after being rejected. Ignored her response.)

Hello Mellisa,

I apologize for my previous abrupt response. I do agree with you that I am not a good fit for this position, seeing that I am overqualified and would surpass all of your expectations. As a well read, experienced, professional, and affable nanny it was a gross oversight on my part; I did not realize that applying through care.com for a nanny position I would encounter an ad for a puppet/clown or someone you could manipulate. Initially I had compassion for you and thought that you were a sensible mother, but it appears that I was mistaken. Unfortunately, this explains why your previous nanny(ies) ruffled your feathers. Being a nanny for more than a decade, I honestly don’t think that your child is a brat, he just needs a professional nanny (which you dont want) and a mother who thinks sensibly.

I guarantee that I will see your postings for HELP again, and again, and again.

Good Luck in your continued search!

 

Response #2: (spelling errors are from respondent)  Of course I just ignored this one.

Melissa,

You are unbelieveable… Do sane people really respond to your disgrantled run-ons? I have been a nanny for more than 16 years and I thought that I had seen it all. You are a poor excuse for a future employer and even worse for a mother. You should be ashamed of yourself. An educated and classy person can be upset about bad expereinecs without abusing their readers or potential nanny [you do not have a clue and can not afford a real nanny].

You have some nerve, woman. Perharps, if you compensated better you would get more qualified applicants to respond to your post and less undesirable childcare providers. If anyone of substance or dignity reponds to your posting, you can rest assured, that they are desparate and will leave you the second something better comes around.

STOP making a fool out of yourself. Know that there are bad people everywhere, but amongst them, there are decent hardworking individuals who respects others and truly loves children. Have you seen the movie “The HELP”, I sugest that you do. Be very careful, you are tredding on thin ice.

What kind of mother are you? Everything that you stated you do not want in a nanny is exactly what you need. Please review the definition of a nanny. I have been around for a long time… and based on you attitude you have big problems. I feel sorry for the people in your circle.

I could not just ingnore your disrespect…

 

Response #3: (again ignored this one too.)

Hello Melissa,

I have read your posting and have found it quite informative.I am elated that you are interested in a nanny that speaks her mind. Okay! Here goes!

You obviously had a negative experience with your previous nannies/babysitters,(based on your attitude, I’m assuming it’s more than one) but this not a forum for this! A mother’s group or a blog perhaps?

As a professional nanny, who holds absolutely no interest in your position I am utterly appalled at your audacity to not only air your dirty laundry, but to also disrespect the profession of a nanny! How dare you? And in such a public manner?

NEWS FLASH! You get what you pay for! You obviously cannot afford a nanny nor do you know or understand the definition and job description of one. A mother’s helper would be more suitable but in your case, you need a puppet! LOL! Or a Mexican with a drivers license! Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with Mexicans since my cleaner is one, but they are the only ones who would work for what you suggest, and because of the language barrier allow you to dictate their every move!

I’m sorry, but based on the way you speak and the content of your ad, I’d be rather suprised if you had memberships to the zoo, museums, aquarium etc

What kind of mother would not want a nanny to raise her children as their own? Are you out of your mind? The alternative is to have someone who would treat your child as ” just a job”; and trust me, YOU DO NOT WANT THAT!

In my 11yrs as a professional nanny working with upper middle class and affulent families, my expertise, thoughts and opinions on child-rearing are not only welcomed and appreciated, but highly valued. Professional nannies do not workwith theories but with empirical dataqand techniques that’s proven to be effective. What mother would stunt a child’s emotional and ssocial developmental. Nannies raise well adjusted, respectful, pleasant and well behaved children. (And may I add nannies would not refer to your children as BRATS however unbecoming their behavior.) Had you hired a nanny your child would not have been classified a brat!
Since you a seeking someone to “entertain” your child like Bozo would, do you by any chance do anything constructive with your child or do you play the interim role of Bozo on the days that “caregiver/high school kid/grandma/puppet” is not at work.

I hope my message resonates in your spirit and that you reconsider what you’re asking. Children are precious and deserve the best

 

Sudesh’s original post:

Wonder if this one would have elicited way more negative responses.  J  I love my hubby!

 We aren’t rich but we need a nanny. One that speaks her mind because staying silent doesn’t help anyone, seriously… Don’t like that we ask the dogs to clean up spilled milk, and that I won’t pick up our kid during the work day ( I work from home) or that my wife will ask you direct questions then look elsewhere . We know there are many more ad’s with families but, help me, our community and our family.
I am not looking for Super nanny, or anyone who wants this job because they will love my kid as if they are their own. You won’t. Really. She is infinitely lovable, but trust me, she’s mine and you will move on when your journey with us is over.  You’ll save some funny stories and a delightful email every now and again, but you won’t grieve. Nor will we. (Okay, we did grieve for a few of our past sitters.)

We don’t want someone who has a lot of theories on the right way to raise kids, because in the end, we’re just a couple doing our best. We are willing to learn from you, or anyone, but not so much about how we should parent our spawn, that’s what Amazon is for.  Teach my wife sewing techniques (she has recently picked up a new hobby), introduce me to your daily workout, sing lyrics from the White Stripes, read Southern literature or tell me the best place to get a burger in the Village at 2Am, but do not tell me to that keeping my child in a car seat for an hour helps them learn to sit and read…

More importantly if you cannot multi task or communicate without the assistance of a picture book, don’t even bother replying. If you are the type who doesn’t notice crap on the floor, skip to the next post, because dirty floors are a deal breaker. As you know kids what’s on the floor.  If you can cook, all the better.

Let’s talk money; we want a nanny SHARE, because honestly $x,xxx here a week is a house payment, so we have two kids in our share.  We are open to three only if you can multitask (see paragraph above) and have eyes in the back of your head. We know this makes it hard but nothing in this post should indicate it’s easy.  As we would be your employers, we would like to understand what terms would make the share attractive to you.  When you think of payment do you think about cash, because we don’t, taxes here we come!

What do you want from us? Free food check, respect and dignity check, ability to tell us our kid is a brat, double check… Deal breaker passive aggressive behavior, financial issues, lack of understanding or knowledge of early childhood education, no desire to learn or have that all magical ambition (K West said it best ) Keep on moving..

If you are fundamentally unhappy with your life, you will be unhappy if you take this job, so do us all a favor and do not apply for employment with us. Also, if you suspect all middle class families are frivolous, we are not for you. I do not want to hide my occasional frivolous purchase.

You gotta be able to drive with a valid license.  DUI, Vehicular Manslaughter, move to the next post.  You won’t have to drive in the City, but if you make it to the summer and still work for us, you may want to pop on over to the Library or Zoo, or pick up the occasional item at the store.  So be able to drive a minivan or car; gas money provided.  It’s your responsibility to get to work and back.  A trip to pick you up is not something that we want as a habit.

Still with us?  Can you swim? Swimming is good, my wife is a lifeguard, (former lifeguard , but seriously in her head she still is and although Atlanta is land locked) expect many pools and swim time. Are you uncomfortable getting in the pool keep on AD cursing.

If you do drugs or drink enough so that you’re grumpy in the morning and grumpier at night prior to that next cocktail seek help and leave us alone.

Now is the time for you to focus on you.  I need a team player. I need someone to back me up when it comes to remembering when the library books are due, and whether I have RSVPed to that birthday party yet. Help me dear G-d keep track of our organic whole milk supply and also, also, also, what should I make for dinner tomorrow night.

Hours are 8am in the morning until 5pm, think of it as a day of fun filled activities and play dates, snacks, lunches,naps, dinners and riveting conversations about global warming, Jello and tummy time.

When you do get to go home your time off will be respected. If I would like you to give extra hours, I’ll ask. If you say yes, you get paid extra. If you say no, I will not fire you or hate you. Except if it is a school holiday or if i have a sick kid, then I might ask, and unless you have a final exam worth 2/3 of your grade or tickets to The Lion King you may need to help out.

Okay, if you’re still reading this ad, it means:

a) I am a halfway decent writer and maybe I really will get that book deal I’m yearning for
b) you need a job desperately
c) you think this just might be destiny, and that you could be one of the few, the proud, the potential nanny of our dreams.
D) you want all the information about job requirements, so that you can write me emails about how I should stay home with my kids otherwise they are going to grow up to be sociopaths. (If my pen pal is out there, wassup?)

Best of luck to all of you in your search for a job. Seriously. Job searching sucks. No two ways about it.

Contact us if you want to be our nanny.

What have I learned?

  1. Gotta have a thick skin. It’s not personal.
  2. I really want a nanny who has a sense of humor.
  3. Money shouldn’t be the bottom line.
  4. Sugary and sweet are not who I am.
  5. You gotta put it out there, take the risk.

Will keep you posted on our search!

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Oh How I Miss You

I think of you day and night,

You’re all that I see,

Everyday without you make me want you more,

I’m waiting for your return.

You guide my way and help me see,

Without you, I’m lost…forgetful, late, careless, behind a step.

You make me feel like I’m the only one in the world.

You understand me.

You know how to keep organized as one of a kind.

I long for your return.

I miss you close to me,

I miss you, do you miss me?

Your glowing face,

Sleek style,

Dark features,

And the carefree way about you.

Come home soon,

Be with me again.

I miss you, do you miss me?

 

Nothing like having your little one grab and drop your cell phone.  Smash, the screen shattered.  Sent it away to get it fixed and long for its return.  What did we do 10 years ago when we didn’t carry around a phone.  Oh how I am lost without my trusty smartphone to keep me connected.  I hope your return is soon!

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Hart Turns 1!

I still can’t believe that she is already one; the time does go by fast.  She has been the new addition, toy, love of our lives.  Puppy and Human, well more Puppy, loves having her around too.

Her party was full of fun, family and friends, just the way we like it!

She smashed her cake, was pretty reserve about it, but still eat the pink frosting.

We look forward to the years to come.

By the way, I will post the book I wrote about her first year; I am going to give her one each year on her day capturing her adventures!

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized