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Is this thing on? Stay Tuned for an impending birth..

It;s been roughly 1 year since our last post! A great deal has transpired, when Melissa has time she’ll be updating you on the year of change. If your reading this on a tiny screen or have a nat’s attention span see below.

  • We moved back to Atlanta from Charleston and rented a house
  • Hart learned to walk, talk and express herself
  • Sudesh & Melissa changed jobs
  • We bought a home ( post to come on that)
  • Melissa got pregnant and is delivering on 11/8 @ around 11am

Stay tuned for new posts!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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

 

Let’s get structural!

As I mentioned in previous articles we are in the midst of a remodel. One of the biggest risks for a homeowner and a contractor in building a house is that it falls down. Click this link to see what that looks like: Residential Structural Failure

If you remember we narrowed down the house concept to a final (here) soon there will be a final draft released!

You may have picked up that our house one livable floor with about a 900 sqft attic. Ideally we would like to cut off the roof an make it a box, this is primarily because a box maximizes space and minimizes cost.

When you do this you should ask two questions:

  • What goes up top ? In our case 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a laundry room
  • Will the house foundation and walls support this weight? Call a structural engineer (Marc Sorenson), and have them take a look.

We were able to have Marc come by and take a look, prior to doing this we asked our architect to inspect the foundation footings and the structural layout of our ceiling. Things went great for us, our footers are deep enough for the added load, and our ceiling ‘as-is’ can hold another story. Of course this was informal and not official or binding but took a lot of risk out of our project.

This was also a great time to have a contractor and architect present which we did! I asked questions about different techniques would be most cost effective, who would prefer what, and how the project could be changed to cut costs. In the end we decided that Wood I beams or Structurally Engineered Trusses would be best. We also made some changes that would lower cost by decreasing the spans that would be required between rooms.

This just goes to show that doing planning and discussion up front pays great dividends.

Next up contractor down select and final bid …

 
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Posted by on February 13, 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

 

Late Birthday Dress

 

I may be a week late for Hart’s birthday, but I did finish it in 4 hours- cutting the pattern to final product.  That doesn’t include washing, drying and ironing the material.

Hart’s going to look so cute in it.  Pictures with her to follow!

By the way, the bow can tie in the front or back.  The pattern is from heidiandfinn on Etsy!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

1639 May Ave. Final Conceptual Design

It literally took 8 months to put together our home remodel project..

Here’s a picture of our house current day. It’s a great place with some serious negatives.

  • It the summer its cold in the winter it’s hot, it would cost about 15-20k to insulate (new doors, windows, insulation, siding)
  • The attic was built with expansion in mind, but won’t support the weight of people and furniture.
  • The house is a bunch of small compartments, the smallest of which is the bathroom (see floor plan below)
  • The kitchen is not suited for a family or entertainment
  • The fireplace is useable with 2 logs max
  • Plastic siding, no insulation or exterior encapsulation
  • Crawl space needing attention
  • 1000 sqft + 2 adults, 2 Dogs, 1 Toddler = No privacy lots of knocks on the bathroom door.

 

Backround:

    About 5 years ago we started with Joel Aviles of Topo International. Joel had built many “spec’ homes in the East Atlanta Village and on the surrounding streets. At that time we considered a very traditional look which is featured below.

This house was the perfect resale house and we thought about it that way.. the floor plan kept intact the fire place and most walls to achieve cost savings. The floor plan is below..

Above you see one of the major issues what a remodel of this nature. We lost about 800sqft due to roof lines.. We would be replacing the roof in this remodel. Finally this remodel would not make good use of the sun position our house faces west.

 

Current Concept

Having a kid changes your life, it also changes your floor plan, ask anyone who has tried to shoe horn a child seat into a Mustang or make counters to low for a booster seat. So we created the list below to help us understand what we wanted in our house.

  • Master Suite – Bathroom, stand-up shower, claw-foot tub & Walk In Closet
  • 3 Bedrooms / Large nook for closet space thinking maybe 12×14
  • Office away from main living area with door
  • Great room to combine living, dinning and kitchen- located in rear of house next to outdoor entertaining space
  • Kitchen remodel (walk in pantry), Island, Side by side refrigerator and freezer
  • 3 full Bathrooms 1 powder room
  • Laundry room & Mud Room combo near rear of house bottom floor
  • Energy Efficient room placement- high sun areas energy star approved Doors and Windows
  • Detached 3 car garage w/ in-law suite close to house
  • Rear Porch and Entertainment Areas
  • upstairs porch on back
  • Central Equipment Closet size

After several revisions we came up with a concept we like below are a sample of the concepts we reviewed..

 

Original Concept with “Green Suggestions”


 

Second Pass concept with “Max out the usable space suggestions”

Rear                                                                Front


 

Third Pass with “Economy Class Option”


 

And the winner is the Second Option..

We liked the open floor plan and the most useable space

1st Floor                              2nd Floor 3rd Floor (deck)




 

It includes a garage (Front)                                    and a fireplace (rear)


 

Next is the selecting a contractor phase come back to see more about that!

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Remodel Reading Material…

The remodel reading material when considering a large or small remodel project in Atlanta, GA or anywhere for that matter…

When we started our remodel we created a list of things we wanted in and out of our house.

There were a couple of books that came in especially helpful list here:

  • THE Survival Guide: Home Remodeling by Plesset, Diane
    • A room by room review of what you should consider
  • Designing Your Dream Home: Every Question to Ask, Every Detail to Consider, and Everything to Know Before You Build or Remodel by Susan Lang
    • Literally the next level checklist this book has a review for everything you should consider.
  • The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling, 3rd Edition by Charlie Wing
    • Control Freaks, raise your hand this book is a contractors nightmare, it takes a visual look at how your house should be built
  • What Your Contractor Can’t Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating by Amy Johnston
    • This book is the catchall for your questions you should iron out prior to construction starting.. It covers topics from finances, to project management, and includes tips on where to cut corners and where to spend a little extra..
 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Choosing a Remodel

It’s been about 8 months since we moved back to Atlanta, from Charleston. Although we found a wonderful rental with Atlanta Intown Real Estate. We are looking forward to moving into our house after the remodel is complete. It

How did we decide to remodel our house?

We own a 1949 Cape Cod on May Avenue, and it has lot of charm, but is about 1000sqft. It’s a tight squeeze for a family we are planning to expand the family and with more kids, potential for guests and a general willingness to have a place to entertain our friends and family. There is also the potential for our parents to live with us…

We started by asking the question “Could we purchase our dream house in a desirable In-town Atlanta area?” the answer is yes.. We could find a great house in Decatur, Oakhurst, Inman, Candler, Old 4th and Cabbagetown. This helped us to set our budget, typically these houses would cost about 300-400k. We based our budget on understanding the values of the homes we liked.

Then we faced a reality, Melissa and I have always wanted to build a community. It was important that we choose a place that was open to change, and willing to grow with us. That place is East Atlanta Village and we continue to become more involved.

So here’s how we made the decision..

Buy a new house:

  • New community
  • Re-establish social network
  • Diversity – (more on this in a later blog)
  • Not getting exactly what we want, sure it’s a new house but not what we want
  • Schools –(more on this in a later blog)

     

Re-build:

  • Choose our house from top to bottom
  • Retain existing social network
  • Further community involvement
  • Raise property values 😉
  • Walk Hart to school! Walk to the PTA meetings..
  • Easy access to I-20 when we need to get of town
  • 15 mins to the airport…

 

Etc. etc.. you get the idea..

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Remember Me?

You may have forgotten, but I’m Hart!  I, of course, have gotten bigger, have added two more teeth, mastered crawling, love to munch on solids rather than drink from the bottle, prefer standing to sitting and up next… walking. I’m on the move and if you don’t snap the picture quickly I probably won’t be in focus.  Tootles!

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized