Friday, January 31, 2014

The Friday Fives 1/31

Does the snow throw anybody else off? I thought Wednesday was Sunday and Thursday was Friday and now that it's actually Friday I just want to walk around with a boombox and dance everywhere I go. Now that you officially think I'm a weirdo, let's get on with business:


That Clay finally got to experience his first snow! Last year he was too little and sick to go out so I'm glad this happened- and especially on a day where I could take a snow day!
I had completely forgotten that my sweet friend Erin had gifted me with some Starbucks. Luckily I remembered on Tuesday when my body was trying to adjust to the cold after the 62 degree weather on Monday.
Target clearance for the win! I paid $1.87 for that hat and it made Clay's day!
P.S. The Cartwheel app says it excludes clearance but most of the time it still works :)
Woooohooo! I'm pretty dang excited about this!
It's Fridayyyyy! Which means that it's less than 60 hours til the Super Bowl! Gooooooooo Peyton!
Siiiike! I only wrote two this week... but here they are:

And here's a little giveaway just to make Friday sweeter!

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Linking up with H54F, InstaFriday, and Five on Friday!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow Baby Clay!

I know, I know, I'm late to the linkup party. But I promise I have a really, really good excuse. His name starts with Clay and ends with Lucas.


See, I told you it was a good excuse :)


I had this great plan to blog right after we went outside to play in snow.


About that... Haha. Anyway, here I am, showing up late, but I come bearing cute photos of snow baby Clay so it's okay :)



He absolutely loved it. So much so that I had to carry him inside screaming. Sorry, Clay, mama loves you but she has a twenty minute limit with the cold.


I quickly got back on his good side with a doughnut and hot (warm) chocolate :)


It's all about the little things, right?


Linking up with Ashley and Jess for the first It's the Little Things Linkup!



P.S. Go visit one of the girls for a chance to win a print of the logo for the linkup!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to Find a Babysitting Job

Hey, guys! I'm excited to continue The Babysitter Files series this week! Last week I looked at How to Find a Good Babysitter. This week I'll be looking at it from the opposite viewpoint with How to Find a Babysitting Job.



Why babysit?

I babysat on the side before I had Clay and have continued since Clay has been born for a few reasons:

  • I really like the families I babysit for.
  • It gives me something to do on nights when Clay is at Mike's.
  • It's a great way to supplement my income so I can stay home two mornings a week with Clay.
  • After the kids go to bed I have "me" time. I get to blog. Paint my nails. Watch tv. All without feeling guilty about all the things that need to be done at home.

Where to look

That being said, I haven't started babysitting for new families lately but I remember when I first started that it was difficult knowing where to start. Here are few ideas of places to look:

  • Sittercity. It's free to join as a sitter and you can search through listings and apply for jobs. For $10 Sittercity will run a background check on you that lasts a year and "certify" you. (Also, but I personally never used it but I imagine it is similar to Sittercity.)
  • If you already babysit, let the family know that you're okay with them passing along your info to friends.
  • If you're a college student, ask around and see if the college keeps a list of babysitters for professors and others who inquire.
  • Make a flyer. Hang it up at your apartment complex, church, wherever!

Tips for getting the job

After you find a family, then what? If you don't know the family, more than likely they will invite you over for an interview/get to know the family. A few things to remember:

  • Dress accordingly. I usually wear nice jeans and a nice top. Look nice but dress comfortably if you end up playing on the floor with the kids.
  • Bring any certification cards in case the parents want to see them (CPR, First Aid) and bring a list of references (if they haven't already asked).
  • Bring your planner. I've had a mom book me for five different dates at the end of an interview before.
  • Be on time. Duh.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. If the parents don't supply the info, ask about allergies or if there's anything you need to know about the child(ren).
  • Have a rate that you charge. Most parents will ask. I'm not going to discuss rates because it honestly depends on where you live. However, I will say that the more kids, the more I charge. I usually do a scale: 1-2 kids= $X, 3+kids= $X + $1 for each additional child.

Chances are if you make a good impression and are an awesome babysitter, you'll become that family's go-to babysitter and they will happily give you referrals!


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Friday!

I'll be back next Friday with the Friday Fives but we're taking a break today due to lack of sleep and the sickies. For now, Clay and I wanted to stop by and say Happy Friday and that we hope your weekend looks a lot like this picture (well, you know, minus the cold and dry skin). post signature

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Story of Us, Part Four

If you need to catch up, here are parts one, two, and three.


This story, our story, has been hard to put into words. This last part is a bit rambling because I just didn't know how to out it any other way.

When I left off, Clay had just made his grand debut into the world.

Those first few months were hard. My mom stayed with us for the first week, then Clay and I were alone. Mike would come over every day after work and spend a few hours with Clay, which I admire him for. I know it wasn't easy to work all day, come spend time with Clay, then have to go home and eat dinner, etc. But guys, for 21ish hours a day, it was me and Clay.

I'm convinced that my brain blocked out moments from this time because I just don't remember much. I was exhausted to say the least. That old saying, "sleep when the baby sleeps?" Yeah, that doesn't apply when you're a single mom. Stuff still had to get done and Clay hardly slept at all anyway. From the minute Mike walked in the door til the moment he left, I didn't stop moving. I had a precious 2-3 hours to get everything done.

Eventually, it got better. I went back to work and got my sanity back. Clay was diagnosed with acid reflux and we knew how to treat it. Mike's mom started watching Clay for a few hours on the weekends to give me a break.

And now? It's not perfect, but what we have just works.

As far as holidays go, we haven't had any issues. Mike and his mom are the only ones in his family who live in a Charlotte so he's fine with us going to Tennessee for Thanksgving. As far as Christmas goes, we just kind of wing it. Clay's first Christmas we left for Tennessee on Christmas Eve. The plan this past Christmas was to leave for Tennessee Christmas Day afternoon but because of Clay's ears I ended up spending the day with Mike's family so Clay got us both on Christmas.

I keep Clay every night through the week and Mike usually keeps him on Friday or Saturday night. Mike comes over after work every day through the week and helps with dinner, bathtime, and bedtime.

Most days, Clay gets to spend time with both of his parents and sees us pleasantly interacting. I know this isn't always the case when parents aren't together and I'm so glad that we can give this to Clay. In general, we both avoid arguing like the plague and the few times we have had a disagreement it has been over text and (obviously) not in front of Clay.

I know that eventually things will change. Mike or I will get married and that will add another element to our life. I can't say that I'm prepared for that change, but I know we will find a way to make it work.


And that's the story of us.

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments as I've shared this story!


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Clay Tells All

When I let Clay guest post a couple of weeks ago, he got hooked on blogging. He's been impatiently waiting for the next time I let him take over so I'll keep this short and hand it over to Clay Lucas!

Thanks for the sawheet graphic, mama. I am sooo glad you didn't use that up the nose shot again and who doesn't love a toddler (stop saying "baby," mom) in a scarf?? B-t-dubs, mom, when can I have my own blog? I'm pretty sure the ladies at daycare would love that.

Anyway, where was I? Moooom, I need a refill on my drink, please. Oooooh yeah, the point of this post. In my almost 17 months of life, I've picked up some tips for flirting and I wanted to share a few with you.

  1. If you take a bite of something, and you really like it, you should offer it to your crush.
  2. Learn how to blow a kiss. This blows them away.
  3. Always carry around a stuffed animal. This shows the ladies your sweet and sensitive side.
  4. Share your push car on the playground. Girls love it when you let them drive.
  5. Now I probably shouldn't share this one, but girls absolutely love it when you know how to take your dishes to the sink. Gets them everytime.

Let me know how these work out for you! Mom says I have to go to bed now, buuuuut she said I can come back soon. Just let mom know if you have any requests for future posts.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Find a Good Babysitter

I've been working on this series for awhile in my head and I'm excited to finally start it! After spending time as the babysitter and the mom, I've collected lots of tidbits that I want to share with you! Every Tuesday for the next three weeks, I'll be posting an installment in the series.

First up is:

Some people are lucky enough to live near family and have built in babysitters. For everyone else, where do you begin to look for a reliable babysitter that you will actually trust with your kids?

  • Sites like Sittercity or Care. I've personally only used Sittercity as a babysitter, but the families that have found me through the site have had nothing but good things to say. I know there is a fee for joining but most sitters pay to have Sittercity run a background check on them and you can leave reviews on sitters so it's worth it in my opinion. You can either post a job opening or you can search through sitters in your area with the availability you need.
  • Ask your friends. I know several moms who don't like to share their babysitter because they think it will decrease their availability. However, more than likely, their sitter has a friend who they will recommend.
  • Check with your daycare. I know that most of Clay's daycare teachers babysit on the side. Usually the daycare has a policy that it's okay but sometimes you have to sign a waiver saying the daycare isn't liable, etc. The advantage to this is that you know they're CPR/First Aid certified.
  • Check with the local college. Some colleges keep list of students who are looking for babysitting jobs.


If you find a babysitter that you've either never met or don't know that well, I would recommend interviewing them and letting them get to know your kid(s). The sitter may seem perfect on paper, but what if they just don't mesh well with your family?

A few questions to ask and things to go over:

  • Experience/references?
  • Availability
  • CPR/First Aid certified?
  • Pay
  • Tell them about your child(ren). Allergies, quirks, illnesses, etc.
  • Expectations (cleaning, etc)
  • Show them around the house and go over "house rules" (TV, sweets, etc) and routines
  • Have the sitter spend time playing with the kids


And if all goes well, you're all set!


Next week I'll look at it from the babysitter's perspective with "How to Find a Babysitting Job."


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Linking up with Time for Mom and Baby Talk.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Ingredients for a Nice Relaxing Weekend

  • Friday morning playtime on mom's bed.
  • A fun night of babysitting while the bebe was at Dada's. One that included a four course meal with filet mignon and my favorite kiddos.


  • A trip to Trader Joe's with the most nosy child ever. At one point he was leaning completely over the side trying to stare at someone.


  • Snuggles in the nest chair.


  • A new friend found on the aisles of Target.


  • Finally taking down the Christmas tree. I'll miss you!


  • Crazy post bath hair.


  • A mug from the 80s. Also, no makeup.


  • Wanting to put our new friend Peyton in the crib with the other nine friends Clay has in there...


  • Monday morning bye hugs and kisses for Peyton (so maybe we I got a little excited about the win and named Clay's new friend Peyton).


And there you have it. All the ingredients for a nice relaxing weekend.


What was your favorite part about this weekend?


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Friday, January 17, 2014

The Friday Fives

Umm, I thought I was exhausted at the end of last week, but this week? It's 8:30 on Thursday night and this girl will be out by 9. Anyway, it's Friday (wait, didn't I just say it was Thursday...) and we don't have one thing planned this weekend except some pancake making and football watching. Ahhhhhh.

This kid. We worked on cheering on Sunday and even though the Panthers lost, he's still been cheering all week! Go Peyton!!!!
On Saturday we went over to watch football with some of Mike's friends and Clay got his first taste at playing Madden. He's actually not too bad...
We also went to Ikea and Target on Saturday with our friend Mindy. And ate there... Best day ever. I might be slightly obsessed with their meatballs.
Why is it so much more fun to dress Clay than myself?? Also, baby cowls will be available in my etsy shop starting in February for $15...but if you want one before then just send me an email :)
This is how text messages go between my mom and me. Enough said.
Oh, this is number 6. Oopsie... Anyway, if you haven't heard The Band Perry, go check them out now! I got this cd last spring and I'm still stuck on it!

What was your favorite post you read this week?

Who are you cheering for- Peyton or Brady (if it's Brady don't even comment...)?

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Linking up with H54F, InstaFriday, and Five on Friday!