Meet Newborn Care Specialist Clelie

This is a special day, we are interviewing our first Newborn Care Specialist, in the Meet Nanny Series. INA would define a Newborn Care Specialists as “a nanny who typically has specialized training and also has extensive experience in newborn care or nursing. Newborn care specialists often provide 24-hour child care for families with newborns during the first weeks of a child’s life.” Today we meet Clelie (pronounced “Clay-lee”) and get a closer look into her world.

Meet Newborn Care Specialist Clelie
By: Greta Schraer

1. What is your daily NCS life like?

As a Newborn Care Specialist, working mostly with newborn multiples, my day is guided by routine and consistency. The day begins somewhere between 6:00AM and 7:30AM.  I either wake up the babies or answer their cries that tell me they are ready to get up.  After changing diapers and dressing them, it is time to feed, a little play time if they stay awake and then back to bed.  Repeat every three hours until 6:30PM, and then it is all feed and sleep.

While the babies sleep I wash bottles, make formula, wash and fold laundry, empty the diaper pail, organize and straighten the nursery,

and try to stay current with what is going on in the world of newborns. I am also coach, teacher and counselor to mom, in her new role.  I sometimes help older siblings adjust to the new little one(s) in the house.  But not to worry, it is not all work.  My day is filled with cuddles, smiles, coos, grunts, squeaks and sighs, all of them precious.

2. What are 3 unique characteristics about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?

A Newborn Care Specialist’s job is as much about the mother as it is about the babies.  The same characteristics apply to both. Number one is nurturance,providing warm and affectionate physical and emotional support and care in everything I do as I go about the day.   Number two is being consistent, doing things the same way at approximately the same time everyday to build a habit.  Number three is love, even infants can sense the motives behinds the actions of those around them and I want to be the perfect combination of cheerleader, teacher, sounding board and moral support to the babies and their mothers.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a NCS?

It is most rewarding to know I have made the transition from two to three, four or more a little smoother, a little easier for the family; to know, in the words of former employers, I “have enabled the parents to feel rested, organized, and ready to take on the task” of caring for their children with confidence and joy and without the “first time mom jitters”; to know I have made a difference in the lives of everyone in the family, mom, dad and babies.

4. What is one thing that you wish you would have known your first day as a Nanny?

I wish I had known just how much fun and how fulfilling this work can be, because if I had, I would have started a whole lot sooner.  I have worked with kids in some way since I was a teenager, but when I became a nanny, and then a NCS, my life changed forever.  I have left a piece of my heart with every one of the children I have cared for and yet my heart grows bigger with each family.

5. What is something that others may be surprised to know about you?

I have a collection of turtles made of everything from cloth, wax, coal, and crushed pecan shells, to pottery, jade, pewter, silver, and Swarovski crystal.  The most unique is a pair made from hexagonal nuts, as in “nuts and bolts”.  It all began with a T-shirt.

Clelie has been assisting Moms and Dads, as The Temporary Nanny, since 1988 providing temporary and emergency childcare.  In 2003 she began concentrating on her passion, infants and toddlers.    After 13 weeks of around the clock care for a third set of twins, she knew she wanted to make a career of being a Newborn Care Specialist. She has cared for at least eight sets of triplets, nine sets of twins, 10-20 singletons and was part of the Baby Dream Team that cared for sextuplets.

She is a graduate of The University of the Cumberlands with a BS in Health.  Clelie served as a panelist on Nanny Careers at NannyPalooza in 2008 and her article, “Infant Sleep Schedule” was published in the Jan. 2008 NANC Gazette.

Meet Nanny Debra

Welcome back to another ‘Meet Nanny’, where we get a chance to meet a fabulous nanny and learn what makes her special, unique and an asset to the families she has cared for!

Meet Nanny Debra
By: Greta Schraer

1. What is your daily Nanny life like?
I just started a new position and (at the time of writing) I have only worked two days thus far. I work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I’m a mother’s helper for 12-14 hours those days.  The little girl is 6 months and the happiest little baby.  We are currently working on getting her onto a better nap schedule.  It seems like a time of transition for her as she is moving to the next level of infant-baby. The two year-old boy has a diagnosed swallowing problem.  It seems most of the day is spent around trying to get him to eat or drink.  The mother does the feedings at this point though. I am there to help her with the baby while she tries to get the toddler to eat, sometimes takes up to an hour and a half for him to eat a meal.  I am also there to teach the two year old some basic preschool lessons.  We have started with shapes and colors.  He is a fast learner.  He is fascinated with circles this week and we have been finding circles in everything around us.

2. What are 3 unique characteristics about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?
I would have to say affectionate, creative, and a teacher. I am an affectionate person.  I feel all children need to know that they are loved, and strive to provide that loving and caring environment for any child in my care. I love to do arts and craft projects with kids, even infants.  I come up with creative themes for each week depending on the age kids I’m working for.  I also try to take their everyday toys and make it into something fun, like buying and selling sister-brother’s toys at the store in the playroom. I love to teach children new skills and help them reach each milestone along the way.  I try to come up with creative ideas to teach them the things they need to learn at each age.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a nanny?
The most rewarding thing about my career is watching the children learn and grow.  Sometimes it can feel like forever that I have been trying to get a kid to do or understand a concept or new skill and that day that they finally get it is so rewarding to both the child and to me.  I love those moments when the child finally can do the new skill.  I will always remember helping one of my elementary-aged charges with fractions.  He was not getting it at all.  He wanted to help me cook supper one night and I made him use the fractions in the recipe, and we had to double the recipe.  It finally clicked and he started to get what we had been working on for weeks.  Those “aha” moments make it worth all the struggles whether it’s with an infant or older child.

It’s also rewarding knowing that I’m providing a loving and caring environment for them to learn and grow in.  I also volunteer at an elementary school and I see and hear some of the stories of the kids, and wish I could help them all, as many do not live in a very loving and caring environment.

4. What is one thing that you with you would have known your first day as a nanny?
I have learned a lot about myself and the nanny industry in the five years I have been a nanny.  One thing I wish I would have known is that there are so many other nannies out there that once you reach out you have friends and support that understand you and the unique struggles and challenges we go through as nannies.   They can also share in the all the rewards this career has to offer too.  I didn’t know there was this big “nanny world” out here.  I would have also liked to know how to better communicate with the parents.  I have learned this through out the years, but that first job was a learning experience. Also I’ve learned, how crazy working 13-hour days, 4 days a week with two sets of twins (newborns and 2 year olds) really is.

5. What is something that others maybe surprised to know about you?
I got married two months ago, January 8th.  I moved to Michigan after we got married in my hometown of Oshkosh, WI.  Life seems full of new stuff right now as I’m starting to get settled into married life, a new job, new city, new state, and new everything it seems.  I’m starting to get involved in the church Kevin and I attend. I volunteer at the daycare center at church on Tuesdays while the teachers have meetings and classes.  I go to an elementary school during their lunch hour on Thursdays and help the kids with some craft projects.  Many of the children live in environments that are not the best.  They love coming down and talking to adults that care and being able to put together crafts together.  Many will comment that they do not have crayons or glue in their homes to finish a project that they didn’t get done.  We gladly let them “borrow” a glue stick or a few crayons.

Debra Vander Silk is newly married, but is known to most of her nanny friends as Deb or Debbie Mathwig. Through her 5-year career as nanny she has cared for kids from hours old up through 10 years old.  Debra graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.  Debra has traveled to INA and Nannypalooza conferences, as well as, attended local conferences in Wisconsin. Recently she moved to Michigan, but lived most of my life her life Wisconsin. She truly misses her Milwaukee nanny friends.

Meet Nanny Marcia

It’s that time again… to meet another wonderful nanny! Do you know a nanny that we should meet and share on Regarding Nannies? We would love to hear from you. Let us know.

Meet Nanny Marcia

1. What is your daily nanny life like?
The first few minutes at 7 are spent waking everyone up.  After the typical morning routine we watch as Jake (8) gets on the bus.  2 mornings a week we pile in the car to get Jordyn (4) to school.  The other mornings we get to be at home for a little while.  Jordyn (Jojo – to my daughter) likes to play games.  Her favorite is Dora Candy Land.  Other favorites are play doh, art, crafts and stamps.  Tuesdays she has dance class.  Jordyn has a few special activities including story time at the library, the Milwaukee Public Museum, and hold the butterflies.

While the girls nap I do dishes, laundry and clean up.  Then it’s snack time while we wait for Jake to get home from school.  Jake does his homework and Jordyn enjoys doing her “homework’ too.  The day  usually ends with a rousing game of chase Nadia (my daughter).

2. What are 3 unique characteristics about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?

Because I bring my daughter with me to work, I am constantly stopping and checking myself for equality and fairness because I NEVER want the children in my care to think that Nadia comes before them nor do I want the fact that I bring my child to work with me to effect the level of care I give.

I want the kids in my care to be grateful for all they have and all they get.  I don’t force them to say thank you.  The best “thank you’s” are the ones that come 30 min later with a big hug and a smile.

I always want the children in my care to be able to tell me how they feel, even if they don’t know why.  I want to be a safe place for them to express their concerns and fears.  I try not to judge or fix everything, but just to listen and be there to hear.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a nanny?
Seeing them grow and become people of good character.  I cared for a family of 3 boys for 8 years.  They now live in Costa Rica and I still keep in touch with them.  I delight in seeing through pictures, Facebook and accounts from mom and dad  the men they are becoming.

4. What is one thing that you wish you would have known your first day as a nanny?
Not to be ashamed to make my needs known and met.  My first job as a nanny was not the right fit.  I do not regret taking the job and caring for them, I learned a lot from the experience and I learned a lot about myself.  It sounds cliché, but communication REALLY is the key to any situation.  If you are not comfortable enough with the people you work with to express your frustrations and needs then you are most likely not with the right family.

5. What is something that other maybe surprised to know about you?
I would say it is that I have a daughter that I bring to work with me but from my previous statements it is obvious that I do. Most people don’t know that I am not only a Certified Professional Nanny but I am also a Certified Minister and an ACPI Certified Coach for Families.

Marcia Hall is currently a Nanny for a family in Mequon, WI with a 4 year old girl and an 8 year old boy.  Marcia is also a mom of a 2 year old girl that joins her each day for work.  Marcia graduated from The English Nanny and Governess School in 1997 and over that next 13 years worked with a number of families in the Milwaukee, WI area.  In 2010 she graduated from The Academy of Coaching Parents International then started a family coaching practice called Strong Roots Family Coaching. Marcia was nominated 2 times for the INA Nanny of the Year and is active in Northshore Profesional Nanny Alliance.

Week End Round Up September 6-10

We had a busy week here at Regarding Nannies and we have lots of great info coming up for you this month.
Don’t forget that you have until this Thursday (9-16) to register for the
Deborah Diesen book give away.

In case you missed something this week on Regarding Nannies here are the links

Monday Moxie: Glenda shared with you the video interview tips from Westside Nannies owner, Katie Vaughn.

Tuesday Tips: September is National Preparedness Month, are you ready?

Creative Nanny Wednesday: Kellie shared a great idea for kids to create a restaurant setting for someone special. A perfect way to involve your kids  for  a special occassion.

Thursday Table Talk: Greta introduced us to Nanny Christy.

Financial Friday: Alice introduced us to Lunchskins and shared a coupon for 20% off your order.

Coming up next week on Regarding Nannies:

We have information on Celiac’s Disease, and Childhood Obesity.We also have an interview with a nanny whose new job was not what she expected and how she made the best of  the situation.


Table Talk Thursday: Meet Nanny Christy

Meet Nanny Christy
Introduction By: Greta Schraer

I have come to greatly value the community of nannies in my life – local and national. I realize that as much as some friends and family try to understand, they just can’t realize the uniqueness of my job. It has been such an honor to get to know some amazing nannies through our “Meet Nanny” series who share similar dreams and of course an absolute love for children.

Christy Ochs lives in Denver, Colorado and helps lead the Denver Area Nanny Association. She was the recipient of the 2007 INA Nanny of the Year Award, and I came across this quote from her INA bio:

When Christy turned 42, she decided her child rearing days were not easily left behind—even though she had already reared four children, one with Downs Syndrome, and two step children. “I chose to be a nanny because the idea of doing for the parents what I would have loved to have had done for me as a young parent was very appealing.  I loved the idea of not only providing a secure and loving environment for their children, but also taking some of the daily pressure off of their shoulders by doing their laundry, straightening up the house and helping the children with their school assignments.”

Without further ado, let’s Meet Nanny Christy!

What is your daily nanny life like?

I live in Colorado and am the lucky nanny of two boys, ages 8 and 5 and a 4 year old girl. I have been with this family for 8 years, since the oldest was 6 weeks.

On a typical day I work 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. My day is filled with preparing meals, wrangling kids, straightening up the house, doing laundry and driving, driving, driving! The 4 and 5 year olds go to school ½ days – 4 yr. old in the morning and 5 yr. old in the afternoon, so I am able to spend some one on one with each of them. I don’t see as much of my 8 yr. old during the school year, and we are both ready to spend time together during school breaks!

What are 3 unique characteristics that about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?

I am very easy going. It takes a lot to rattle me and the kids know it. This serves me well not only in situations where they may be trying to talk me into something they know I will not agree to, but also on the many occasions of bumps, falls and skinned knees. I’ve raised 6 kids and been a nanny for 10 years, so I’ve pretty much seen it all.

I also have a special, silly relationship with each of them that is unique to their personalities.

And last, I am reliable. If I say I am going to be there, I am. They know they can count on me and MB often tells me that I have been their rock during certain times of upheaval in their lives.

What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a nanny?

This job has evolved over the years, as the kids have grown older and many significant changes have taken place in the family.

Four years ago, the parents divorced. This change required MB and I to really tighten up the team work in order to ensure that the kids had all the love, security and attention they need. It has been both challenging and rewarding to work with a single parent. I’m lucky to work for such a great mom, who works full time as a Physician and yet is completely involved in every aspect of her children’s lives.

This whole job is rewarding. When I wake them in the morning and get a smile and a hug. When I’m lucky enough to watch them graduate from pre-school, sing in their school programs and wiggle their first loose tooth, and I never get tired of hearing “I love you Nana”.


What is one thing that you wish you would have known your first day as a nanny?

That communication with the parents would be so important. My first nanny job was really difficult, and I also wish that during the interview I had seen all of those little red flags that were flying around the room!

What is something that others maybe surprised to know about you?

Years ago I wanted to be a fingerprint expert! I studied and took the test locally, but when it came to going to D.C. for school, I couldn’t leave my kids, who were toddlers at the time. I don’t know why I ever thought I could. I’m so glad I didn’t – for my family, and because I may never have known the joy of working with children.

Thanks so much, Christy for sharing with us. Would you like to be a future “Meet Nanny”? Email at us, regardingnannies@gmail.com

Table Talk Thursday: Meet Nanny Becky

Welcome back to our new series, “Meet Nanny”! Through this series, we will get to know some amazing nannies from all over the country. While each of us have a different journey we share some similar passions. We hope that these stories will encourage you! You are part of a large community of wonderful professionals!

Meet Nanny Becky

1. What is your daily nanny life like?
As over 20 years as a nanny with the same family I have had an every changing “daily routine” and it’s run the gammit – newborn, infant, toddler, preschool, gradeschool, home schooling, middle school, high school, college and graduate school. Ok, I know what your are thinking . . . it must come to an end sometime, you can’t be a nanny to a 23 year old med student . . . I can tell you they keep coming back to you for advice, guidance and a special connection. I’ve transported children thousands of miles to school, home, activities, lessons, camp, events and their friends homes – it’s a good thing I love to drive. At one point I thought they would stop introducing me as their nanny, but it never happened. I also expected that at some point in grade school they wouldn’t come running with a big huggle and call my name out it that giddy voice they have, again it never happened. Oh by the way, a huggle is a cross between a hug and a cuddle – very nice, I recommend them. I think the most amazing thing happened a few years ago when I attended the final campfire at a camp they all go to each summer and now are on the staff. The oldest who was probably 20 or so was introducing me to another staff member by saying, “This is Becky, my nanny – she raised me.” All this with her dad standing right next to me . . . and nodding his head because he agreed. I’ve got a million of these little moments. Being a nanny is SO special!

2. What are 3 unique characteristics that about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?
To be Kind and Trustworthy.  EVERYONE needs plenty of Loving (which also includes not jumping to conclusions about others).  There is always room for FUN!

3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a nanny?
Making a difference in the lives of children who grow into amazing adults!

4. What is one thing that you wish you would have known your first day as a nanny?
How deeply I’d love this family. It’s simply incredible!

5. What is something that others maybe surprised to know about you?
Some of you know this but it is a little unusual . . . I can whistle like a bird, especially a baby bird, through my teeth. Freaks out little kids and a great party trick!

Thanks so much to Becky Kavanagh of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Becky has received awards for her exemplary work including the 1998 Parents Magazine Childcare Award,  2006 INA Nanny of the Year Award , and the INA Service Award for 20 years!  She is also a Placement Counselor for Nannies of the Heartland, and enjoys writing their blog. She is has served on the INA Board over the years (about 9 in total),  filling many roles including Vice President, President and for the last four years, Secretary. A true veteran in the industry!

Meet Nanny Cindy

We are excited to share a new series of posts!  This is something we do over on the CincyNanny Blog to introduce and connect our local nannies and I hope to do the same with our Regarding Nannies readers on a large level. I have found attending national conferences that I have so much in common with this group of professionals. There is an instant appreciation, respect and understanding that nannies have with each other. That being said, we are all so unique and extraordinary in different ways. I know that the stories and experiences shared in the “Meet Nanny” series will inspire. Let’s meet our first…

Meet Nanny Cindy!

Currently working as a full-time nanny in Denver, CO she is a nanny all-star! At the 2010 INA Conference she was the only nanny to receive a service award pin in recognition of 30 years of service! She is an incredibly experienced  and creative nanny. She carries herself with grace and has a passion to share music with children!

1. What is your daily nanny life like?

I am a full-time, live-out nanny caring for two young girls ages 3yrs and 4 months. My morning is spent entertaining my youngest charge while her sister attends preschool. The baby loves fingerplays, bouncing games, playing with her colored rings, and any time we spend outdoors. Following lunchtime with my older charge, we enjoy storytime before her daily nap. She often prefers listening to stories I have custom-made for her about her own life, family, and friends,especially if they contain any adventures of my two dogs Jasmine and Grace (whom my older charge adores!) Post naptime hours include art projects, bubble time, andplaying with the water table or inflated swimming pool. Both girls LOVE music! My oldest charge can often be seen dancing in her tutu or heard singing songs from a Disney soundtrack. And her sister is sure to follow!

2. What are 3 unique characteristics that you strive to live for children in your care?
First, I believe that by treating my employers, charges, and others we encounter with respect, my charges will learn to respect others as well. Secondly, I am truly passionate about the things important to me such as participating in the arts or spending time with nature. This is a quality I also hope to instill in my charges. Finally, I am enthusiastic about life and look at each day as a new adventure. Hopefully, my charges will find great excitement in their everyday adventures as they grow into the adults they will one day become.

3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a nanny?
As a young nanny, I often wondered what would become of these dear children whom I cared for. Would they grow to be happy? Would they find fulfillment in their lives? Would they follow their dreams? It brings me such satisfaction and great joy to see what wonderful accomplishments these children, some who are now in their 30’s, have experienced. They have indeed followed their dreams and have created lives in which their efforts will have a great impact on others. Some have gone into education, some work with non-profits, and yet another is pursuing a career as a film-maker. I look forward to the day that my youngest charges reach adulthood and I can see what great things are in store for them in their lives as well!

4. What is something you wish  you had know your first day as a nanny?
My greatest challenge in my first nanny position was not so much anything involved in the “day to day” of my job. I had a wonderful employer who taught me the importance of commanding respect in my important role as a caregiver to her children. This first nanny experience was a good one and hence, is a great part of why I am still a nanny today. But, back in 1977, there were very few nannies or governesses, and there were only two whom I knew personally in the Denver area. I had no peer group and sought the camaraderie of others in my profession. If I had one wish, it was to have had access to a network of other sin my field as I do today, within organizations such as the INA and Denver Area Nanny Association.

5. What is something about you, other may find surprising?
I have always secretly dreamed of being a great dancer. Andsince I was not blessed with the long and lean physical traits of a dancer’s body, my parents encouraged me to pursue other interests such as playing a variety ofmusical instruments and singing, which I greatly love. The closest things I have experienced to my aspirations of a dance career were being an active participant in the disco scene in the late ‘70’s, once taking a series of ballroom classes at the Fred Astaire School of Dance, and learning all there is to know about Appalachian clogging (I AM a dulcimer player, you know!) So, if they are ever looking for a nanny celebrity to join the cast of “Dancing with the Stars”… well, I can dream!!

Thanks so much to Cindy Wilkinson for letting us get to know you! To read more about her passions, check out her blog: Jumpin with Cindy .

Looking to connect with the Denver Area Nanny Association or another nanny support group, check out this list.

Monday Moxie: Meet Regarding Nanny Greta

Last week, Glenda, Alice and Kellie shared a little more about themselves and their hopes for the year. Today on Monday Moxie let’s get to know Greta!

When you aren’t Nannying or writing, how do you spend your time?

I enjoy spending quality time with my husband, Doug, and our great family and friends. We spend a lot of time eating good food, as that is expected in the Schraer family. On the weekends you might find us playing cornhole, chess or risk, going to church together, book shopping, or exploring a new part of the city.

Doug and I bought our first house last year and we have been making updates, painting and decorating. After living in rentals, it is so nice to be able to put color on the walls and decorate as we please.

I absolutely love to Dance! I have been dancing since I was 4. I manage a weekly venue in Cincinnati called the SwinGallery with 5 others. I DJ and teach Lindy Hop, East Coast, Charleston, Balboa styles of Swing. This is a night of the week to let loose, be creative and release tension! It is impossible for me to be unhappy after the first song; it’s totally my escape!

How have your relationships with children changed you as a person?

Children have pushed me to be less selfish and more giving. Patience is always challenged. Kids are just wonderful and innocent, and deserve the best I have to give. They motivate me to be a better person for them and to look beyond myself to give them better than I have to offer.

Working with multiples I have acquired the desire to REALLY see each as an individual, and respond accordingly (easier said than done with 3 at a time). Discipline, tangible expressed love, and communication are a few ways that I try to specify for each child. I hope that I will validate their emotions, their gifts, and allow them to see the value they each bring to the world.

Children bring such joy and love to my life. Everyday I try to give to kids, but I end up the one who is blessed. Pure laughter and simple jokes are simply the best. They are little sponges and drain me some days, but within seconds they give back priceless moments.

What do you hope to be remembered for by your charges and those close to you?

I hope that kids remember that they were loved and accepted unconditionally.  While they probably won’t remember the details of teaching and discipline, I hope they remember that they had a blast while doing it!

I hope that people close to me would remember me as faithful, real, passionate and positive. That I was a person who loved God and served him by giving and loving on people.

Since starting CincyNanny, how have you been affected or influenced?

I have felt the challenge to grow, so that I have fresh things to share and give. I’ve done much more research and connecting. I personally feel like I am in a completely different place this year as compared to last… which is a little crazy! I definitely have many more friendships with Nannies in Cincinnati and all over the country and professional opportunities like Regarding Nannies that have come along.

What are you excited about this coming year?

I am always excited to see new levels and challenges with the kids in my care. This year brings preschool! With Regarding Nannies I am anxious to collaborate, research and write with the team. Currently as the Membership Committee Chair of the INA Board, I hope to welcome new members as well as share my creativity and ideas. Locally, continue the growth of our CincyNanny community, and host our first ever one-day conference during National Nanny Recognition Week.

Doug and I will be celebrating our 5 year Anniversary in August, and that to me will stand out as my greatest achievement to date. We are hoping to plan a little beach vacation to celebrate! (Sounds amazing, right?)

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