Your Happy Nanny March Atlanta -- Latonjia Smith

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Your Happy Nest is pleased to announce that our Your Happy Nanny for the month of March is Latonjia Smith.  Latonjia has over 20 years of experience working as a professional nanny (including long term work with two sets of twins!) and has also worked as a nurse, infant care specialist, and home health care provider.   She loves working with children of all ages and is currently looking for a new family to work with long term in the Atlanta area.  Contact us today to set up an interview with Latonjia!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?

Marietta Georgia with my wonderful family.

‪Where are you from originally? 

I'm from Northwest Atlanta. I was born and raised here so I'm an original.

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been a professional nanny for over 20 years.  I have worked for 6 families who I have left a really positive impact on.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

I can't say that I have a favorite age. I have raised children from newborns to teens. Three of the children that I raised have now graduated from college.

Funniest nanny moment:

One of my funny and memorable moments happened when one of my families got pregnant with a set of twins.  The parents sat me and their little girl down to give us the awesome news.  The then-5-year-old looked at her parents and said: " That's awesome! Because Shasha(me) and you will have your babies at the same time. Both of you ladies have humpie tummies." Soooo funny!

Favorite thing about being a nanny:

I love being a nanny, because I love children. I also enjoy watching them grow and being a part of the reason they blossom. Plus the strong connection and bonds I build with my families are forever.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?

I am a very organized person who believes in good communication. I also provide the children with bottomless love.

‪Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:

There are so many things I love to do.  Some of my favorites are: the children's museum, picnics in the park, aquarium. Anything that would make the children happy.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day: 

Sing, dance, arts and crafts. I have played with dolls and doll houses. Race cars and race tracks. I always give the children options.

What is your educational background?

I am a CNA. Graduated from Rutledge  College School of Nursing.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy being outside in nature. I'm an organizer for a girls leisure group and we enjoy getting together to try new restaurants.

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny?

Organization, safety, love, education, and great communication.

When are you available to start a new position?

I am available to start in the month of April 2017 with a wonderful family.

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Your Happy Nanny Atlanta February 2017 - Kathleen Burke

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Our Your Happy Nanny for the month of February is Kathleen (Katy) Burke.  Katy recently moved to Atlanta from North Carolina and is seeking a full-time nanny position to begin as soon as the right family is found.  Katy has worked as a full-time live in nanny and has extensive experience working with both children and adults who have special needs.  Her most recent nanny position involved working with a child who has autism, and she wrote a children's book about her experience.  Katy is bright, happy, and ready for a new family to work with!  Check out Katy below, and let us know if you'd like to schedule an interview with her.

What part of Atlanta do you live in? 

I just got an apartment in walking distance from downtown Decatur. 

Where are you from originally?  

I was born in Denver, Colorado and lived there until I went to Emerson College in Boston.

What language(s) do you speak?

I took a few years of French in high school and wish I could have taken more!  Sometimes I play French games on my phone to practice. 

How long have you been a nanny? 

I’ve been a babysitter and mother’s helper since I was ten years old. At one point, my sister and I were the primary babysitters for at least eight different families in the neighborhood!  I began working as a live in nanny three and a half years ago.

Do you have a favorite age and why?  

I love people of all ages but babies and toddlers have a special place in my heart. I feel really lucky when I can watch those years of development first hand.

Funniest nanny moment:

In my most recent job, I watched a 5 year old with autism. He absolutely loved cats - he would meow sometimes instead of answering questions. We used to ask him all the time “Are you a cat?” and of course he would reply, “Yes.” For Halloween that year, I asked his mom if he and I could dress up together as cats and go trick or treating. We made a big show of putting on the ears, drawing whiskers and a pink nose and even putting on mittens that looked like paws. When he was finally ready we all stepped back and said, “Look, now you’re a cat!” to which he immediately replied, “Woof.” 

Favorite thing about being a nanny:  

I feel that nannying, that being a part of helping a child learn, grow and think is a very important job and I feel proud to go to work. But as much as I can give kids, they always have so much to give back to me too. Whether it be a reminder that there is nothing in the world that could beat a chocolate chip cookie or how amazing it is that the sky is blue every single day, working with kids helps me stay grounded and thankful for ordinary miracles.

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  

I have been babysitting for about twelve years and in that time I have worked for many different families, each with their own unique lifestyles. I have come to appreciate a variety of parenting styles habits, and traditions. I think this makes me flexible in new jobs. I can easily adapt my work to fit the needs of different parents and children. 

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:  

I recently visited the Atlanta Aquarium for the first time and WOW- what a fun and beautiful place! I also love walks around the neighborhood and taking kids to playgrounds and libraries. My parents took me camping in the Rocky Mountains all the time, and I treasure my memories out in the sunshine. I love when I can go out to play with kids so they can run free,  breathefresh air and to explore the natural world around them.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:  

I am a passionate crafter. Anywhere with paints, glue, glitter or ribbon is where I want to be. I also love to bake, and on rainy days there’s nothing better than warming up the house with fresh bread or muffins.

What is your educational background? 

I attended an arts middle and high school from 2006 to 2012 where I majored in theater. I then attended Emerson College in Boston, MA. for Theater Education. My major taught me how to teach children a variety of different subjects while getting kids out of their seats and emotionally involved in the material. I feel lucky that I’ve had such a strong presence of arts in my life because school did not always come easy to me and finding creative ways to learn the material was essential to my learning process. I love that now I have the tools to help kids achieve the same success. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I love to craft- most recently I’ve been working on flower garlands to decorate my new apartment. I also love exploring the city and trying new restaurants. I have friends who are starting a production company here in Atlanta- so helping with their projects (by acting, cooking, running errands, etc) has been an awesome way to meet people andhave fun since I’ve been here. 

What special skills do you bring to a family as their nanny?

I am patient and creative when dealing with difficult situations. 

What's something that a family might be interested to know about you?

Last Spring I self published a children’s book titled Z is for Zip. It is a learning tool for children who have questions about their peers and siblings with autism. The illustrator and I met while volunteering at Rocky Mountain Village (an Easter Seals camp for people with disabilities in Colorado). We both volunteered several years in a row and fell in love with the campers - and in awe of all they had to teach us. The book is meant to show children that different does not mean wrong, and to treasure the wisdom of people who think differently.

When are you available to start a new position?

I’m ready and excited to start work now! 

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Your Happy Nanny Cincinnati November 2016- Christiane Sears

We have a fantastic new candidate for November's nanny of the month!  Christiane is a seasoned nanny who has experience caring for children of all ages.  She enjoys spending quality time with children, doing arts & crafts, creative play, reading books, trips to museums, parks and the library.  Christiane is a humanitarian at heart.  She has a passion for helping the less fortunate and assisting with nonprofit organizations.  Christiane resides in the Cincinnati area and is a seeking a long term full time or part time position.  Schedule an interview with her asap through Your Happy Nest before another family snatches her up!

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Where are you from originally? 

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, although I haven’t lived in Cincinnati my whole life. As an adult, I’ve had the opportunity to live in several states around the country, as well as, overseas in Africa and Europe.

How long have you been a nanny?

I have been a nanny for eighteen years.

When did you know that working with children was your calling?

As a teenager, I volunteered at the YMCA. Several of us were there looking after the children, although most of the kids wanted to play with me. That’s when I realized kids were drawn to me and it was something I was naturally good at. Also during that time I realized how rewarding and fun it was to work with kids.

Do you have a favorite age and why? 

I love four year olds! They love learning and have lots of curiosity! It’s exciting to see them grow in independence and I appreciate their excitement in trying new things.

Funniest nanny moment:

I’m not sure if it was the funniest or the most embarrassing moment. A parent came home unexpectedly to find me and the kids dressed up in costume, dancing and singing to music. We had the music up pretty loud so I didn’t hear them come in. I was completely startled when I noticed them and screamed out loud, then, of course, laughed at the fact that they caught me acting so silly.

Favorite thing about being a nanny: 

I enjoy spending quality time with children: doing arts & crafts, creative play, dancing, giving hugs and high-fives, telling stories, reading books, riding bikes, skating, swimming, hiking, taking trips to museums, parks and the library. None of that sounds like work, does it?

What is your strongest quality as a nanny? 

Some of my strengths would be that I am patient, kind, calm and consistent. I believe it's important to instill morals and good values into a child's life. I do my best to help them learn to make good choices, treat others with respect, and be compassionate. Also I would say that I am very responsible and can be counted on. I follow through and stay true to my word. I am dependable.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing: 

There are so many fun places around our city. It’s hard to pick a favorite! I love taking the kids to Union Terminal. The Natural History & Science Museum, Cincinnati History Museum and the Children’s Museum are all located there. There are unlimited options for educational activities to do and the kids love going. Hiking at any of our Cincinnati Parks and going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival are great outings too!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a humanitarian at heart and have spent most of my life volunteering my time to help the less fortunate and assist nonprofits. I’ve spent time overseas as an International Humanitarian Aid Worker. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the country and around the world. I also enjoy the arts, adventure, and accomplishments. I was a supernumerary for the Cincinnati Opera. I once was a competitive bodyboarder and played a semi-professional sport for the Cincinnati Rollergirls. I am a photographer, avid ballroom dancer, artist and entrepreneur. I like to be creative and enjoy interior design. I love organization, cleaning out people's closets and making their home more functional. Animals and children have always been a big part of my life. I read daily and enjoy being outdoors.

Who is your hero?

First and foremost Jesus Christ is my hero and then I’d have to say Corrie Ten Boom.

If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

A dry aged NY strip; lobster mac-n-cheese; salad with Asian pears, spiced walnuts, and gorgonzola; and cheesecake for dessert from the Capital Grille.

When are you available to start a new position?

Next week!

 

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Atlanta Picnic & Playdate to celebrate Nanny Recognition Week!

picnic-playdateDid you know that September 18 through 24 is National Nanny Recognition Week?  Your Happy Nest is thrilled to celebrate the nannies that we work with and the fabulous work that they do for families by hosting a Nanny Picnic & Playdate.  Atlanta area nannies are invited to join us at the Mayor's Grove Playground in Piedmont Park on Friday, September 23 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Please bring a picnic blanket and picnic.  Children of all ages are invited to attend (along with their nannies).  We will have sweet treats, bubbles, and stickers for the children.  We hope to see you there!  (Cancelled in the event of rain.)

Let's Get Moving, Baby!

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Spring has officially sprung, and it is time to shake off the winter blues!

April is a great time to get everyone out of the house and start moving in the great outdoors.

Instead of just driving to the closest playground and standing around while your children play, lets get creative this spring and try some new activities!

We have compiled a great Pinterest board "Let's Get Moving, Baby!"  with tons of ideas on how to get your little ones outside and moving through nature.

Click here to check it out, and have a great spring!

Annual Babysitting Membership- Use at any location!

ABM Four locationsNow that we have expanded and service four cities (Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston and Cincinnati), we are allowing existing and new Annual Babysitting Membership families to utilize their membership at any of our locations for no extra cost! You will register with the placement provider in your area but if you travel to any of our other cities, you can get a sitter while on vacation. Click HERE to sign up for an Annual Babysitting Membership today!

Your Happy Nanny- Joleigh Sonnenberg

Joleigh Your Happy Nanny pic Meet our Your Happy Nanny for October 2015, Joleigh Sonnenberg! Joleigh was previously placed with a family by our agency but is now available and looking for her next nanny family! Joleigh loves exploring all Atlanta has to offer and bringing her creative nature to her positions as a nanny. Take a look at her profile below and if she seems like the perfect nanny for your family, contact us to set up an interview to meet Joleigh!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?
I currently own a home right on the Atlanta Beltline in Reynoldstown with my awesome husband and 5 year old daughter. I've lived in  several intown neighborhoods since moving from San Francisco to Atlanta in 2007. Reynoldstown (tided with  Cabbagetown, since I technically live a block away) is by far my favorite neighborhood. It's a really great community rich in Art, history and some of the best neighbors and people I've had the pleasure of meeting. Not to mention I recently found out Elle from Your Happy Nest is my across the street neighbor! Small world right?
Where are you from originally?  
I was born in Nürnburg, Germany. I deeply identify with my European roots and sensibility when it comes to day to day life, family and children. As a military brat my family moved a lot. Most of my younger years outside of living in Germany have been spent in Texas, Florida and California.
What language(s) do you speak?
I'm only fluent in English currently. I do know some basic German and Spanish words, phrases and songs I like to share with kids. I also have learned a few Hebrew words from my husband and his family as they are Israeli. I am super interested in learning other languages and am actively learning German. I hope to one day be conversational and return to Germany for a long over due visit.
How long have you been a nanny? 
I've been a professional nanny since 2009 but have 20 years in total experience. From babysitting to my most invaluable and hands on experience as a mother and parent. My experience goes way back as many of the women in my family are natural born caregivers and care professionals. I grew up with their great example, sage advice and resounding passion for children. My mother has hands down been my biggest  influence. My childhood was filled with her love and nurturing ways. My mother's loving example extended to include her "other babies". She ran a daycare from our home while growing up and has been a teacher, teacher's aid, preschool teacher, nanny and foster parent. It's only natural I would fall in love with and become a career nanny!
Do you have a favorite age and why?  
Oh man that's a tough one. I can honestly say there is something about every age and stage that I truly love. I am however a total sucker and ball of goo for newborns and infants. It's such a magical and surreal time in a family's life. Caring for an infant is such a honor. You really get to experience the wonder of life through their eyes over and over again. It never gets old. It's also bittersweet as it's the shortest stage. In a blink your squishy newborn is all of a sudden a mobile, world and milestone mastering little person.
Funniest nanny moment:
One of my funniest nanny moments actually happened with my most recent charge. It's kinda a double whammy as the grossest too. Being a nanny your days can be filled with equal parts magic, funny and gross. My charge Z and I had just returned home from our adventuring for the day. We were both "pooped". Being a kid of routine and I, a nanny who's a firm believer in one too, we naturally went into our nap time routine. While I settled in putting our bags away Z went about her merry way getting ready while I followed behind to snuggle, sing our sleepy song and tuck her in. Not 2 minutes later Z screams with great fright "Nannnnnnnnyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!". My heart racing I instantly think... snake?Intruder?Boogieman? Ready to karate chop someone or something I ran into her room. Flipping the light switch on I find Z pointing in terror to a large coil of something now illuminated and clearly doggy doo on her toddler bed! Z and I simultaneously erupt in "EEEWWWW"s. Jumping up and down and totally grossed out. We found ourselves in full gleeful giggle mode, with tears in our eyes from our belly laughs. The surprise compliments of Z's big teddy bear of a dog, who unbeknownst to us had sneaked the kitty cats food earlier that morning. Poor pup. Imagine my relief that I didn't have to get all Chuck Norris! POOP!! That I can handle. I still giggle thinking of the two of us jumping up and down, loosing it over poop.
Favorite thing about being a nanny:  
I whole heartedly love developing deep and meaningful bonds with all my charges. Being welcomed into a family as a trusted care giver, co-parent and honorary family member is tremendously fulfilling. One of my favorite quotes that really embodies for me the joy of being a nanny is;
"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments — tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."— Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist
What is your strongest quality as a nanny?  
I believe my strongest quality as a nanny is my mindfulness. I make myself very aware of my nanny family's needs, lifestyle, philosophy and home all while paying close attention to detail. But beyond this I am extremely mindful of my connectedness to my nanny kiddos. Their personalities, emotional and physical needs. Natural rhythm. Likes/dislikes and interests. Engaging them in daily activities that foster cognitive skills and inspire creativity, independence, confidence, manners and awareness of others. My goal always is to help my nanny family have the happiest, healthiest, well adjusted and mindful child so it starts with my own approach and what I bring to the table.
Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:  
Atlanta is a city full of amazing kid friendly parks, hiking trails,museums and hidden gems. One of my favorite year round places to take children on an outing to is Historic Fourth Ward Park located right off the Atlanta Beltline. It has an awesome mulch free play park featuring 2 playgrounds for  big and little kids. A large splash pad perfect for cooling down on a Hotlanta summer day. My favorite part of the park is the often over looked portion across from the playground. With its amphitheater perfect for counting and climbing stairs, fountain, waterfalls, walking trails, ducks, turtles and fish to feed its the perfect city oasis making for endless dialog with kids.
Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:  
On a rainy day I love nothing more than a visit to the High Museum of Art or the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. I also enjoy curating hands on art projects and educational activities perfect for indoor play on a rainy day.
What is your educational background? 
Although I currently do not hold a college degree I consider myself highly competent, educated through self study and hands on experience. I am an avid book worm. Being very passionate about early childhood education, different cultural norms regarding child rearing and general caregiving I tend to read all I can get my hands on. As a current and proud member of the International Nanny Association I am interested in becoming an INA Credentialed Nanny. I am always looking for training opportunities to continue to expand upon my nanny knowledge.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my little family exploring Atlanta and all it has to offer. We are a very musical minded family. I enjoy seeing live music and listening to records at home from our large record collection. I am a super creative person and enjoy all things esthetic. I love seeing art, making art and talking art. Often my favorite "me" time is getting lost in a good book. Nothing like being cuddled in bed with my fur baby Chicken (my BoShih rescue pup) at my side, a quiet house and book in hand.
When are you available to start a new position?
I am available to start immediately and as soon as I find my perfect nanny family fit. From experience I have found this to be crucial in achieving a happy charge, happy nanny family and being the best nanny possible! I'm very hopeful with the help of Your Happy Nest that  I will find my next nanny family and I can't wait to start!

 

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Your Happy Nanny- Ashley Alves

Ashley Alves- Your Happy Nanny for April 2015! Meet Ashley Alves, Your Happy Nanny for April 2015! Ashley has multiple degrees in Fashion and Design from Savannah College of Art and Design and Georgia Southern. She currently has a job in design early in the day and is looking for an after school position. She is hoping to find a family centrally located in the Buckhead or surrounding areas. Ashley is available starting at 2pm every day. Please take a look at Ashley's profile and let us know if you'd like to schedule an interview with her. She is available to start a new position ASAP!

What part of Atlanta do you live in?

Ansley Park, Midtown Atlanta Area

Where are you from originally?

East Providence, Rhode Island

What language(s) do you speak?

English | Family Speaks Portuguese & French

How long have you been a nanny?

5 Years Not On a consistent basis

Do you have a favorite age and why?

Toddlers 3 Years Of Age : A child’s personality is usually fully developed by three. In fact, that is when the are at their rarest form of exploration and self identity. It is truly an eventful time to be a part of.

Funniest nanny moment:

On a day trip, I stopped at a upscale lunch for a quick lunch time bite with my assigned child. During the usually bathroom visit, he noticed that the toilet was black as is most modern upscale restaurants are doing as a trend. To sum it up, he was completely horrified! He thought it was one big black hole and absolutely refused to go potty. It was completely overwhelmed with laughs while reassuring him of his safety while going to the bathroom.

Favorite thing about being a nanny:

My favorite thing about being a nanny is the hearing the originality and humor of the child’s day to day activities. I am all about the laughs!

What is your strongest quality as a nanny?

My strongest quality as a nanny is being able to keep children inspired yet motivated to maintain and conduct themselves in a proper manner while having a ball! Its all about making every activity fun yet productive.

Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:

I love to accompany children to the aquarium. I myself am very interested in marine life; in fact I majored in Oceanography for a short time during undergrad.

Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:

The best activity on a rainy day is a creative project. Painting is one of my favorites. I allows the children to embrace feeling, mood, and creativity all at the same time.

What is your educational background?

B.S. in Apparel Design & merchandising | Georgia Southern University

M.F.A. in Fashion | Savannah College of Art and Design

M.A. in Illustration | Savannah College of Art and Design

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am a artist of all trades. I am a designer, painter, illustrator, and entrepreneur. I enjoy building my brand Ashley Alves Collection | BOLSA VERDE, an innovative green living reusable bag line. I am the sole owner all duties such as sketching, sewing, merchandising, and sales and events. Also, on the weekends, I instruct art courses, art camp for children ages 5-9, and special Girl Scout Art events. When I am not creating, I enjoy yoga, hiking, and playing outdoors. As a former athlete I find intramural sports such as football, soccer, kickball, and softball to be my go-to activity to recharge.

When are you available to start a new position?

I am actually currently looking for an after-school position 2pm-7pm.

Here is Ashley with one of her nanny kids!