#nannylife- Infant Daily Logs

Hey friends! So today here’s a quick #nannylife guide to how I keep B and G’s schedule organized. I say ‘schedule’ but I really mean more of a daily routine. I love this method of keeping track of bottle feedings, solids, diapers, and naps because it allows everything to be spread out and read easier versus a simple time log.

I cannot stress enough how important I feel it is for nannies to have some sort of daily log on what happened that day. Maybe less so as children get older, but for children under a year old, there should definitely be some sort of log in place. As babies grow, their feeding habits change tremendously fast. If you’re aiming for 3 hours in between feedings, but notice that your little one only makes it about 2 and a half hours before getting fussy, you’ll know it’s time to up the bottles. If little one hasn’t had a bm since the night before, and doesn’t have one all day, the parents are aware, so they can keep an eye out for possible constipation (fairly common when babies first begin solids). Any medications given throughout the day should also be noted, with the time and dosage given. In addition, I like to keep an area at the bottom open for ‘what we did today’ where I can log fun activities, things B or G liked/disliked, and make extra notes about any supplies that might be needed. Continue reading

My First Goddess Circle Experience

IMG_0975

Hi friends!

So this past Thursday I attended my first Goddess Circle. What is a Goddess Circle, you ask? Well… essentially it’s a group of like-minded women to gather, talk, and support each other. A Goddess Circle is a place where no judgments are made, a place to be lifted up spiritually, a place for self-reflection and meditation. It is a place to make new friends, network, learn about others, and know you’re not alone in whatever your struggles may be. It is a place born of the innate sisterhood of women, and is a place where every woman’s voice is not only heard, but encouraged and empowered.

Okay, it sounds kind of hippie and hokey, I know. I was absolutely skeptical at first. But the idea of woman-empowered sisterhood sounded like it fit my ideals of woman-nurturing-woman that led me to become a postpartum doula. I found this group on Meetup.com, where I founded my Austin Nannies group. Again, I was skeptical, but very intrigued. The idea of being spiritual and connected with a higher power, without being religious, really appealed to me. And who doesn’t want to feel accepted, supported, and loved as a sister?

So, this past Thursday, I enlisted my best friend Tori (read her blog here) to come along with me on this new experience. We were greeted at a downtown apartment with snacks and drinks, and spent about 30 minutes semi-awkwardly mingling with the other 10 or so ladies. We all sat in a large circle among the couches and chairs of the beautifully decorated apartment, listening to quiet but uplifting music. It was obvious some had known each other before, but there were others who were also simply brought along by a friend. These girls sat quietly and listened in on conversations, while Tori and I mainly caught up with each other. The average age range was early twenties to early thirties. I had a feeling I would be among the younger end of the scale, but most girls were mid-twenties. Continue reading

#nannylife- A Day in the Life

 Hey friends! I thought it might be fun to give you an inside peak of what my days look like/silence all the people who ask, ‘what do you do all day?’ So here it is, a typical day in the life of the ever-elusive Alyssa Racquel. Just kidding. I get toothpaste on my clothes every morning just like the rest of the world.

7:15– Wake up, attempt to straighten hair and pick out a decent outfit. Give up on my hair. I always end up with the same crazy waves after going to bed with my hair wet after a shower. I don’t mind showering in the mornings, but lately its been way too hot to be blow-drying my hair in the mornings. Throw hair in a ponytail. Again. Pack lunch, fill up water bottle, pick an extra snack to bring to work that day.

8:00– Head to work, breakfast in tow (Strawberry toaster waffles w/peanut butter, and sliced strawberries if I somehow found the time) Try not to get peanut butter on any part of my car, bag, phone or shirt. This is a legitimate daily struggle. Continue reading

Another Day, Another Nanny Objectified by Society

Celebrity Nanny Scandals| AKA: How to Tarnish and Alienate and Entire Profession| alyssaracquel.com

Friends, I am enraged.

I know it may not seem like it just yet, but there are some seriously messed up things going on in the nanny world right now. As with any ‘organization’ I’ve been involved in, I’ve realized there are literally whole other worlds based on the hobby/sport/profession. I was a cheerleader for 9 years, and the other-worldliness of it all was all too real. There was competition between different teams (to be expected), the rise of ‘cheerlebrities’ like Peyton Mabry, and of course the entire subculture of cheer mom relationships.  Then there’s colorguard, which I participated in throughout high school and part of college. Regionally there are always the high schools with the better programs, and even beyond, there is such stress on auditioning and making the best Drum Corps International program. Well, friends, nannying is no different. There are dozens of nanny blogs, twitter accounts (#nannyprobs), and of course the ever-persistent problem of the general public having little to no clue about what a nanny really is.

So here’s the thing. I am a nanny. You know this. I am not a babysitter. By definition, a babysitter is someone who cares for children of multiple families on an occasional basis. Also, this conjures up images of the 15 year-old on your street who just needs some extra spending money, and can even be associated with ‘couch-sitting.’ A nanny, on the other hand, is a person who cares for children of one family (unless in the case of a nanny share), full-time, over an extended period of time (usually a few years). In short, being a nanny is a full-time job, while babysitting is not. I could write an entire new post on this subject alone, but I’m here about a very different unfairness. Continue reading

My New Friend, Ruby

IMG_0743

Hey friends! So, as I would hope that you’ve noticed by now, I’m super into being really open and honest about sex, and sexual health. Yes, friends, this is a period post. So… show of hands- who keep track of their periods? Whether it be on just a scrap of paper, an app on your phone, or a discreet place in your calendar, tracking your periods is not only practical (don’t get caught unprepared!), but is also great for understanding your entire ovulation and menstrual cycle.

For me, keeping track of my periods is pretty simple. My birth control pill, Lo Loestrin, runs on a 28-day schedule, with 24 days of estrogen and progestin pills, 2 days of just estrogen pills, and 2 placebos. I’m lucky enough to have an incredibly regular period, exactly every 28 days, usually lasting 2 days. My periods are usually very light, and it’s pretty common for myself and other women who have been on this pill for over a year to skip a period entirely every once in a while. BUT, if you’re not on the pill, are taking some other form of hormonal contraception, or are using a non-hormonal form of contraception, it can be super helpful to keep track of your menstrual cycle. There’s really no woman that couldn’t benefit from understanding more about their monthly cycle. Continue reading