Meet our Your Happy Nanny Atlanta for June, Lesley Kalvelage-Thomas! Lesley was previously placed in a nanny position by Your Happy Nest, but she is now seeking a new full-time nanny position to begin this summer. Lesley has experience working with children of all ages, including experience working with twins and infant triplets! She loves building lasting relationships with the families when works with and is looking for a great new family to work with longterm. 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 Lesley! What part of Atlanta do you live in?
Technically my neighborhood is called Summerhill but not many people know where that is. So I typically say I live between Turner Field and Grant Park.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Lynchburg Virginia. It is a small college city very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway. My parents raised me and my four siblings there and then we all relocated to Atlanta upon my high school graduation. My parents grew up in Atlanta.
What language(s) do you speak?
I am currently only fluent in English, however took several years of French in high school and have been listening to discs on how to learn French in your car. I love the French language and have a strong desire to eventually both master the language and live in France someday. I also would love to learn Italian because my grandmother originated there. Both languages, in my opinion, are magnifique!
How long have you been a nanny?
My very first nanny position was in 1998, although I began taking care of children at a Gold’s Gym in Virginia in 1995. I have had the honor and privilege of being a childcare professional for almost 22 years. From 1998 to now I have primarily been a long-term, full time nanny. Besides nanny positions I have worked at 2 health clubs, a Montessori school and a Country Day School. I have had 3 nanny positions for families with twins and 1 position for a family with triplets. I have watched some of my earliest children start college educations and had my first set of twins I ever cared for as junior bridesmaids in my wedding several years ago.
Do you have a favorite age and why?
Honestly I believe there is something remarkable and beautiful about every age group. Each stage of a child’s existence, from infants to school age and beyond, there are aspects of development and growth that occur and are such an honor to witness and contribute to. I have learned as much about myself and how to be a childcare professional from some of my infant experiences as much as my toddler and school age positions. I guess if I had to specifically state a favorite it would be the toddler to preschool age group. There is just so much curiosity and intrigue at learning the simplest things during this stage of development.
Funniest nanny moment:
That is tough…. probably an experience with the triplets I cared for. They had the most energy of any group of children I had ever witnessed. Shortly after I stopped being their nanny I was over on a weekend night to babysit so their mom and dad could have a well-deserved date night. We were out in their front yard enjoying a warm summer evening of games and exerting energy before bath and bed time and they were having a blast! The next thing I know the boys have decided they needed to go potty and that doing so in their front yard was a brilliant idea. As I am hurrying over to assist in pulling up their pants and telling them that perhaps going potty inside was a better idea in the future I turn around to check on the little girl triplet. She wanted to be included in the fun and be “one of the boys” so decided to pull down her pants and stand up like her brothers and go potty. I was both surprised and entertained. I laughed so hard, tears came running down my face. It was such a shining example of one of those unpredictable and hilarious times in the life of a nanny and I still smirk when I think of how innocent the whole thing was.
Favorite thing about being a nanny:
Building unconditionally loving, strong bonds with the children and parents. I adore the fact that my field enables me to become like part of the family. This bond, in my experience, continues beyond the actual position and has taught me a tremendous amount about being a respectable, dependable individual and how to be a loving, patient, calm, fun parent to my own child.
What is your strongest quality as a nanny?
I would say my ability to be patient and accepting. I have worked with children with varying personalities, physical and emotional adversity/challenges and a multitude of different back grounds and upbringings. Each of my past experiences as a nanny has taught me how to be more patient, tolerant, accepting and loving towards children wherever they are in age or development. I have applied the qualities I’ve gained to nearly every relationship in my life and been more content and happy as a result.
Favorite place to bring children on an outing in Atlanta:
I really like all of the parks and playgrounds in Atlanta. I have utilized parks throughout Atlanta and its surrounding neighborhoods and enjoyed each of them for different reasons. I suppose my all-time favorite park is Piedmont Park. You can walk, ride bikes or scooters, feed the ducks, learn about different plants and trees, play on two very different playgrounds, watch dogs play in the dog park and sit on a blanket in a grassy field and relax and read stories. It is enjoyable all 4 seasons and inevitably allows children and adults the chance to be entertained and worn out…and all without costing a dime!
Favorite activities to do with kids on a rainy day:
Arts and crafts, reading, making up stories, board games, building forts, watching a show, science projects and little cooking projects. I also enjoy doing music and dance time during rainy days so that children can exert energy and have fun even when trapped inside.
What is your educational background?
I have been in college at several different times in my adult life and am currently on a brief hiatus from completing my degree while my husband attends Georgia Tech. I have primarily attended Georgia Perimeter College. I also attended The Art Institute of Atlanta for over a year and was going for a Graphic Design degree. I have yet to obtain a degree but have certainly learned a great deal and ultimately grown closer to knowing what it is I want to major in once it is possible for me to complete my college education. I want to be a speech therapist once I do go back to school.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with my husband, 2-and-a-half-year-old son and our 2 dogs Archie and Lyndsey. I love to read, draw, paint and listen to music. I enjoy running and doing yoga and going on hikes. I also love movies and going to concerts. I love being outside so whether at a pool or a neighborhood park, being outdoors is what makes me most content. I also enjoy going to art museums and attending local festivals and markets around Atlanta. One of my greatest passions is helping with dog rescues. I own 2 rescues and have been networking via flyers for several years to help find forever homes for dogs desperately in need. I love to write too and one day would love to get a children’s book published.
When are you available to start a new position?
I am available to begin a new position around the end of June. Ideally around June 27th but could also possibly start as soon as June 20th.