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Staci’s bio, owner, co-founder

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HI all! Welcome to Wholeness Nanny and you, we are so glad you found us. We look forward to getting to know you and your family. But, first, let’s help you get to know us! I am Staci. A single, homeschooling, doTERRA lovin mama. I have been a nanny for over 20 years and have such a heart for the work I have done. My passion for sharing natural solutions with essential oils has grown just like the kids I have nannied. When it came time to find the next family I opted to help other mom’s (and dad’s) wade through the hiring process to find that perfect fit rather than find a new family myself.  Thus was born our business.

When I am not working I can be found enjoying the beautiful islands of the PNW, savoring the perfect Americano at a local coffee shop or cooking up a feast for friends and family. I love being a mom and have enjoyed creating a career that allows me to use my experience and knowledge to support other families.

Laura’s bio, co-founder

 

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A morning all, I’m thrilled to begin my day with you! Yes, you read that correctly, “A morning” is the greeting my husband now gives me each day after his “good mornings” were often met with a grunt, glare, or snarky response. I thought it suitable to introduce myself in my true light, I’m not really a morning person and I don’t believe coffee is only for the start of the day- just saying, these may be the most important things to note about me.

However there is so much more to me and I did want to spend a quick moment sharing a bit about myself, I’ll try not to bore you. I am a happily married cat mom who has lived in the Seattle area for 10+ years. This June, I will be celebrating my wedding anniversary as well as the anniversary of being home owners. I work at a nonprofit as a paraprofessional, assisting young children and their families in behavior therapy and early intervention, it’s a challenging job but worth every minute of it! When the weekends hit, you’ll find me curled up on the couch with the cat and a good show/book, on the rooftop doing some gardening, or in the kitchen trying out a new recipe. I also enjoy volunteering at the zoo and in my local neighborhood.

My life is blessed and my heart is full of joy! It may be “a morning” but once we get through that, today will be amazing!

 

April showers bring May flowers…and so many fun FREE events!

May is here and as always, here are a couple fun and most free events happening in and around the Seattle area for you and your family! Enjoy!

As an animal love this event is an ongoing for the month of May…you can read with a kitty! Through the Humane Society you can sign up for 20 minute sessions if you are between the ages of 5-10 to practice reading and build your confidence and all while a little furball listens- I’m so jealous! If this is up your alley, check it out here.

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Or you could read with Rover…  Image result for reading with dogs

Looking for an activity for those who love the game of chess. How about joining this free chess club that meets on Tuesdays? Ages 7+ welcome! Detective Cookie’s Youth Chess Club  Image result for chess

 

Got an itty bitty who’s just starting to explore the world, Baby Gym on Wednesdays may be the answer you are looking for!  

Love nature and want to get outside. Toddler Time at ESC is an adventurers dream. Learn to love nature at a young age!

 

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Seahurst Park

Have a blast this May! Why not try out one of these fun activity and give yourself a little break this month?!

 

May Day Baskets to keep your cuties busy all day! Spread the love!

May is here and growing up in my house that meant May Day baskets! If you aren’t familiar with this tradition you may easily think “What?? Didn’t we just do the whole Easter basket thing?” but these baskets are just a little different…and way more fun in my opinion.Image result for may day baskets

I really didn’t know the reasons behind the baskets, I’m sure I was told when I was younger but I was too excited to make them to really stop and listen. So as I reminiscence on how much I loved this tradition as a kid, making baskets out of paper with handles stapled or taped on and filling them with flowers for the yard. Once they were filled we would sneak to a neighbor or friend who we cared about and try to hang them on the  door without being noticed. I remember the joy of every part of this silly tradition. I loved making the baskets “beautiful” by drawing on the paper before rolling it into a cone and taping it into a little basket. The adventure of finding the flowers could last for hours. The being super stealthy and doing detective work to find the perfect moment to hang the basket, what a rush! And all followed by this overwhelming pride for having put someone else first and with out reason or request. These are the memories I cherish from my Spring days growing up, a tradition lost in the wind to most.

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This May Day, I challenge you and your cutie to deliver a basket made with no cost but the love in your heart to someone you think could use a little extra TLC today…

When you are done, send us a shout out and tell us how it went! Maybe we can start spreading the love and choking out the hate!

Happy May Day everyone! Image result for may day baskets

To learn a little more about May Day, NPR did a great article about the Forgotten Tradition. learn more here

It’s Autism Awareness Month, what do you know?

I wanted to spend a quick minute and give a shout out to April and Autism Awareness Month, the day is technically April 2nd but thankfully we’ve started dedicating a whole month. I have been so blessed and honored to have spent the last 6 years getting to know and support children on the spectrum and thought it fitting to share a tiny bit of what I’ve learned with you this month.

I went into the field blindly when a friend of mine was in need of some help in her center and I was in need of a life change.  When I walked in the door on my first day it’s safe to say I knew the word Autism and I knew a puzzle piece was the symbol most often associated with “it.” I was clueless!

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Here’s a crash course for those looking for a little more insight:

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined by the Dictionary as “a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.”

Autism Speaks says “refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.”

Autism Society “refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences.”

But my FAVORITE is from the Autism Awareness Centre– Autism is a spectrum disorder. The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Although autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviors in any degree of severity.

There is a famous Quote:

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It is important to remember that those on the spectrum are each individuals, with different experiences- just like a snowflake, no two are the same.

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You might be surprised at what someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder faces but here’s a cool diagram to show you how complex this disorder can be…what if you had one of these? Or two? What if all of these affect your daily functions? aachart

Are you overwhelmed? Me too and I’m an outsider with just a visual to understand.

Autism presents itself in so many ways. I found this site that sums it up really well from The Help Guide.org

If you don’t have time to check it out yourself, here are the most common signs/symptoms as defined by them directly:

Social behavior and social understanding

Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:

  • Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions (e.g. avoiding eye contact or using facial expressions that don’t match what he or she is saying)
  • Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements (e.g. showing you a drawing, pointing to a bird)
  • Unlikely to approach others or to pursue social interaction; comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings, reactions, and nonverbal cues
  • Resistance to being touched
  • Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age

Speech and language

Many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with speech and language comprehension. Symptoms may include:

  • Delay in learning how to speak (after the age of two) or doesn’t talk at all
  • Speaking in an abnormal tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over without communicative intent
  • Trouble starting a conversation or keeping it going
  • Difficulty communicating needs or desires
  • Doesn’t understand simple statements or questions
  • Taking what is said too literally, missing humor, irony, and sarcasm

Restricted behavior and play

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Symptoms may include:

  • Repetitive body movements (hand flapping, rocking, spinning); moving constantly
  • Obsessive attachment to unusual objects (rubber bands, keys, light switches)
  • Preoccupation with a narrow topic of interest, sometimes involving numbers or symbols (maps, license plates, sports statistics)
  • A strong need for sameness, order, and routines (e.g. lines up toys, follows a rigid schedule). Gets upset by change in their routine or environment.
  • Clumsiness, abnormal posture, or odd ways of moving
  • Fascinated by spinning objects, moving pieces, or parts of toys (e.g. spinning the wheels on a race car, instead of playing with the whole car)
  • Hyper- or hypo-reactive to sensory input (e.g. reacts badly to certain sounds or textures, seeming indifference to temperature or pain)

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When you are graced with caring for those with ASD please remember:

Sensory issues are usually happening. Sounds, touches, smells, vision are all heightened. Be sensitive to what triggers your little one. A tickle or high five may be your thing but it may have the opposite affect if you hate touches.

Reinforcement is a must, and in my opinion positive is always best! Let them know what it is they are doing right…even if you can’t cheer loudly, a thumbs up and smile can go a long way.

Allow for think time. With so many things to take in around them, sometimes it takes a minute longer for them to speak their mind or answer a question. Let them have a chance.

Give choice when they are available and make statements when not. Sometimes we can choice what to do with our time, do we want to go to the park or play a game? Other times we have a list to follow, we need to clean our room and finish our homework. Make sure it’s clear, don’t ask a question if you aren’t willing to accept the answer. Do you want to clean your room? No! Now what?

Use the “first, then” method. First we do homework, then we go to the park. First we finish our dinner, then we get dessert. Knowing what is happening, and in what order is an effect tool for planning and calming anxiety.

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This poster seems to sum up all the most important lessons I’ve learned!

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Go Blue for Autism!

 

Are you a tax paying nanny? Didn’t know you were supposed to? Think that “under the table” is the way to go? You aren’t only cheating “the Man,” but you are cheating yourself. Knowledge is power, let Wholeness-Nanny and You help you out, for FREE!

I’ve been putting off taxes about as long as I’ve been putting off writing this post. I mean seriously!? Who gets their taxes, or even hears about “tax season” and doesn’t instantly put their heads in the sand?

In recent years, I’ve been doing the 9-5 thing complete with payroll and taxes that are mailed to my home each year promptly at the end of celebrating the holidays. Those specially marked little envelopes may be one of the last important pieces of snail mail I receive via the USPS. With the delivery of those also comes the slow rising anxiety, the worrying about the unknown, the panic, the dread, the absolute fear of what all those numbers mean for my bank account. The one nice thing I can count on is that my employer has already done most of the hard work (or paid some one to do it). All I need to do is enter in some numbers into boxes and my taxes are done! Regardless of whether I pay or get paid, I’ve completed my duty as a tax paying citizen and gotten another year under my belt. The ease of my current tax paying situation wasn’t always the case for me, or many other nanny/child care providers.

When I started off as a nanny I was young and naive. I was also broke and learning to live on my own and without parental financial support. I wasn’t savvy on the employment laws and whether taxes were required. I didn’t really care to know, if I am honest. I worked full time with one family who used a payroll service, covered my taxes and allowed my ignorance to continue all while ensuring I was following the law. This was obviously something I was not aware of at the time but am so grateful for now.

I moved on to new families, began doing nanny shares, working fewer hours in one home but many hours in many homes. Not all my employers were so eager to follow suit. There was “confusion” as to what made a person a “taxable employee” verses a “self employed” care giver, was “babysitting” for so few hours really worth the effort to find out? To a few employers the answer was no. In my young eyes, the answer was clearly “no,” why “pay the man” when I can barely pay the rent? Who had time to figure out taxes? Who wanted to remember to record hours and supply the government with quarterly filings? And so I didn’t push the issue and some paid taxes and some didn’t and some pretended to know nothing and some truly didn’t care and I just went along with it.

Ultimately, it wasn’t my best decision or wisest moments but you live and learn, right? I grew up and realized I have a duty as an American citizen. I want nice roads, public transportation, and amazing education for the future children. I want to fund parks and programs to enhance life for all. I want to contribute to the good around me and stop passing the buck to my neighbor.

I’m here to help you live and learn and hopefully with a lot fewer growing pains!

I’ll be straight forward and direct…

As a nanny in Washington state, you are required to pay taxes. Your employer is required to have you fill out W-2 and I-9s upon starting your job. It is clear and simple and with the internet, very easy to find.

Here is a quick run down on what I found:

-A nanny is a person hired by a family to work within their home. The job of the nanny is to complete tasks and duties as given by the family.

-This person is considered a “household employee.”

-Nannies are not self-employed or an “independent contractors,” using these classifications can be consider tax evasion!! Do not use or accept 1099 unless you have further looked into the laws. There are specifications around these and under most circumstances nannies do not fall under them.

-Employers of a “household employee” must withhold taxes once a nanny makes $2,100 which has increased just this year.

– Employers are responsible for withholding Federal taxes and paying sick leave (also new this year for Washington State).

-Social Security and Medicare are also employers responsiblity to withhold.

So simple and so clear! If you want to double check any of these findings or get yourself more educated here are a few of the links I found useful:

http://pixeltheoryinc.com/nanny-tax-how-to.html

http://www.francis-company.com/le-nannytax.php

https://www.care.com/homepay/resource-center/requirements-by-state/washington

https://nannyparentconnection.com/blog/payquestions/

https://www.sapling.com/8467457/washington-state-taxes-nannies

Look for more tips on taxes in the upcoming days: things like where to get the proper paper work, when and where to get help filing, how to prepare better for next year, and more!

Spring is almost here, how are you going to celebrate?

March! One of my favorites months because it’s when my favorite season arrives of course.

Hello Spring, I can’t wait to see what you bring us!

But, in case you are like me and March 20th just can’t come soon enough, here are a few ideas for you and your family to do while you pass the time.

-First off, if you missed this last month I’m here to shout it from the roof tops as an amazing way to spend a rain day in Seattle (with a few nearby cities listed as well), FREE FIRST THURSDAY. This link will take you to ParentMap which also has some awesome resources for local families and those who care for them. If you haven’t picked up one of their free magazines or found them online, I highly recommend checking it out.parentmap

THIS THURSDAY  (March 1st) IS THE 1ST OF THE MONTH!!!!! Don’t miss out on this offer, what is better than free when it comes to a day out and about?

March 2nd (This Friday) is Read across America day , better known as Dr Suess’s Birthday! Check out this link from the National Education Association for a little background on Dr. Suess and learn about having your own reading party! Image result for dr seuss birthday

-St Patrick’s Day is Saturday March 17th.

How great is that, it falls on a weekend? There are fun runs in Tacoma, Seattle, and Kirkland to get the whole family outside and active.

parade  in downtown Seattle to follow and keep the celebrating going. Don’t forget to wear your green!

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SPRING arrives March 20th, 2018! Find any reason to get out and enjoy, and no matter the weather you can be assured bright and sunny days are ahead! I’m a big fan of these urban hikes/walking trails: Lincoln ParkWeowna Park, Marymoor Park, Magnuson Park.

And when spring is in the air, so is baseball! Welcome home the Mariners vs. the Cleveland Indians for home opener March 29th, or for a Cano bobblehead March 30th!

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Hey, with all the fun plans…I dope you didn’t forget to Spring Ahead on March 11th! Change those clocks and stay keep the adventures rolling- on time!

Have a most Marvelous March!

 

 

Boost the power of your Interview Questions!

One of the questions I am often asked about when it comes to the services Wholeness Nanny and You provides has to be about our Interview questions. Sure, most families that are hiring a Nanny have at least one parent that has experience hiring or firing employees. What makes it so different when it comes to hiring a nanny? Well, for starters we must get beyond the typical first question.

” DO you have experience working with kids?” Sure, we want to know what experience someone has before we hire them. But, does that question actually provide any value? Does it tell you anything about the potential nanny? Does it set them apart from EVERY other prospective nanny that is at the interview? No, not really. As parents our first thoughts when it comes to hiring a nanny often is Do you like kids? Do you have experience working with kids? But the answer to that question is often exactly the same. Our personalized interview questions go deep. We have used our experiences and knowledge in behavioral analysis to create questions that will tell you more about your prospective nanny then any list you find online. We tailor the questions based on your families needs to help you hone in on the heart of your prospect rather than the standardized answers they are accustomed to giving.

For example, do you have a specific discipline style you prefer to use in your home? If you ask a potential nanny if they are familiar with that style, chances are they will say yes. They may even be able to give you examples of what that would look like for them. However, if you change that question to ask how a specific situation should be handled, you will hear from the prospect the method they are most comfortable using in their position. This is exactly why we spend months creating our interview question template and can personalize them for our clients. You will understand who you are hiring in a much more intimate and personal way then had you stuck to the basic questions nannies often hear. Trust me, after 20 years in the industry, I know most nannies can answer ANY of those questions in a way that will impress the family whether or not that is truly a representation of who that nanny is.

Why we offer a “boutique” experience?

I am not sure about you but when I am a customer I want to have a personalized, and quality experience. No one does that better than small boutiques. They have no interest in competing with larger chain brands or offering an abundance of products. They carefully choose what items have the highest value and what services they can provide better than anyone else. A boutique owner understands the value she provides and makes no excuses for limiting her inventory to suit a specific clientele.

At Wholeness Nanny and You we offer you the “boutique experience” of the Nanny industry. We will not waste your time or resources on  offering services you can get elsewhere. Instead, we have narrowed in on exactly who we want to work with and created the tools and opportunities to help our families in a unique service. We are NOT an agency and have no interest in competing with what is being done there. Instead, we focus on meeting our families where they are at, and helping them navigate the path of finding that ideal nanny for their own children. We can be as involved as our clients need or be available to give support in just one specific area.

We believe that bringing a nanny into your home is more than just offering a job. You are offering a space in the lives of your family and we want to help you create a relationship that lasts. This can best be accomplished when we take the time to first get to the core of who your family is and what is going to serve you best. From there we can determine what is the priority in your home and how hiring the right nanny will help you protect the culture and traditions unique to you. This is a truly “boutique” experience in the nanny world and we are excited to share it with you!

-Staci

 

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Introducing our awesome new Referral Rewards program for you

Who loves a great gift? Help us find our next VIP client and we will thank you with a gift personalized for your home. We appreciate our friends, past clients, and blog followers and trust that you know people that would be the perfect fit for us. Together we decided to create a referral program to show our appreciation for your support.

To participate in the referral program simply tell your friends and family members that are looking to hire a nanny about us. If they contact us and become one of our VIP clients we will send your gift ($100 value minimum) to you. To help you find the best fit here are a few things that our VIP clients have in common

  • They are Executive families
  • They are looking to hire a nanny without an agency
  • They tend to be busy enough to appreciate help and support, but hands on enough to want to be involved in the process.
  • They are good communicators.
  • They plan to hire within 4 months of contacting us.

Do you know someone like this?  Send them our way today!

Email – Staci@wholeness-nannyandu.com

Laura@wholeness-nannyandu.com

Call – (425)269-9287

Are you our next VIP?

VIP IMAGE       Wholeness Nanny and You is looking for their next VIP.  Are you looking to hire a nanny to begin with your family in 2-3 months? Do you enjoy calling the shots for your family and making the decisions that are best for you rather than handing your families needs off to an agency to fill? Would you like to have your next nanny stay for years with your kids? Well, if this sounds like you then you may be exactly who we are looking for.

As you may have seen we have plenty of options to help our clients with small problems like providing contracts, helping a family get clear on what type of person will be the best nanny for them, and guidance through background checks and obtaining driving records. However, we will only take on 2-3 families at a time to be our VIP clients. We believe in giving ALL of our clients a personalized boutique experience with any service they purchase. To be sure our VIP clients are given the consultations, guidance and time they are trusting us to provide we will only work with a small number at a time. Could you be our next VIP?

 

How are you showing your love?

Valentine’s Day is almost here! How are you going to celebrate this day with your family? Still trying to come up with a plan? Here a couple fun ideas to get you started but be sure to check out Family Fun‘s Facebook page for many more ways to show and spread the love this year!

-Cut out paper hearts in different colors. Write little love notes and words of encouragement/motivation to each of your family members (have everyone do the same) between now and Valentines (next week!). During your Valentine’s dinner, pass out the notes and take turns reading them out loud together.

-Do a Valentine’s Day telephone relay. Call up a family member or friend with all the members of your family. Each member takes a turn telling the person on the other end one reason they are loved. The last person asks them to pass it on! Maybe your phone will ring by the end of the night!

-Valentine’s Day falls mid week this year, why not pick out a favorite feel good movie and enjoy some cuddles? No need to work to hard, just enjoy the gift of time.

-Make a coupon book for free back rub, night off of dishes, extra 5 minutes of story time…what ever it is that makes the receiver smile and relax is sure to be a fabulously accepted gift!