lumberthoughts

02 January 2014

vest - Gap via eBay
tunic - Old Navy Maternity (favorite shirt of my life)
cardigan - Target
boots - Naturalizer via OnlineShoes
scarf - Jo-Ann Fabrics (thanks Janssen!)
denim - J.Brand Maternity (gift from the sweetest blogger ever)
diaper bag - c/o Lily Jade

No reviews or resolutions for you. Just some short stories and other heart racers.

I already threw this story on Instagram but then deleted it because I am the worst about gram-gret ... tell me I'm not alone. Anyway, I was at the store with the kids last week wearing this exact outfit and unloading our groceries from the cart in the checkout line (or rather ... helping the kids unload the groceries because they love to do that and the people behind us love it too ... really) when a lady walked up behind us and remarked that three children is just the absolute perfect number of children. And so I turned around. Bump ... there it was. Sorry, ladybird.

Have you seen this post floating around Facebook about what to pay the babysitter? I love the principle but ... never would I ever be able to put my awkward guard down long enough to have that terribly awkward conversation about how much (ahem .. little) I would be paying the sitter (partly because I know how much work our kids are - so maybe this would work when they are older?) but if it works for people ... that's great and makes a lot of sense. We've totally lucked out with some amazing sitters that have cleaned after the kids have gone to bed and now I'm ruined forever in the sitters-that-clean department (that seemed to be a given back in my dollar-an-hour-a-kid sitting days BUT ... I'm old and times be changing, I know).

Britt sent me these amazing maternity jeans and I'm still astounded by her generosity but she claims they would've gone in the Goodwill pile otherwise ... can you imagine that kind of Goodwill find? Anyway I feel like this type of maternity panel should be introduced at every initial OB visit because all the other kinds of panels are in a lesser league of their own. I will wear these for scores of postpartum months and beyond. And beyond that.

Have all you moms signed up for these (not annoying, not junkmail) daily emails yet? You should should should.

And still should.

Any other serial nail painting devotees out there? Good, good. Amy generously sent me some Jamberry wraps to try out lots (and lots!!!) of weeks ago and they are genius. My biggest complaint about nail polish is that it chips easily and Theodore Patton. He loves to scratch at my nails when they are nicely polished but the Jamberries were no match for his claws which was really a nice change of non-chipped pace. You can get two (mayyybe three but I wasn't smart with my cutting) different wears out of each sheet of strips and they come in infinite colors and patterns and .... try them. You won't regret it for a second. I think these are my favorite.

I know I've typed about this delightful little situation before but today at Target I was unloading our bags and the kids into the van and beginning to start the long and windy road that is buckling all of the kids into their car seats when I noticed something insane. A car was idling with her blinker on waiting impatiently for my spot. I took a second to look around at the 45 other empty spots surrounding the Odyssey and tried so hard not to look at her which wasn't too terribly difficult because my eyes .... they wouldn't .... nay! they couldn't stop rolling. Anyway, I hope she enjoyed her parking spot that she earned with the patience of a saint and the tenacity of a crazyhorse.

Say this isn't so. The blog is dead? I'll die right along with it. I will.

I think if you've stayed well and healthy these past few weeks you are in the very tiniest of minorities because isn't everyone getting crazy sick? I thought we were totally in the clear until Sunday ........ and of course I'll leave that hospitale for another time. Get excited.

And a super annoying PSA to let you know that there are a few ad spots open. Get on them. If you want.

41 comments:

  1. We try to pay our sitters just enough to keep them coming back... esp the ones that clean(!) and bring activities to do with the kids(!!). If it gets much more expensive, I'll seriously consider offering my services of a night to sit... I could always use a little coffee/makeup cash.

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    1. Oh, and what bump?? I still don't believe you're pregnant.

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  2. I did see that babysitting thing and I admit I was kind of flummoxed by it. Even if there's a certain logic to the idea, it doesn't seem very realistic. I made $5 an hour babysitting in the late '90's; it would never occur to me that I could get away with paying the same rate today. The going rate in these parts is $10. And it's hard enough for me to find an available sitter as it is -- I think if I paid $5, my sitters would be permanently unavailable!

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    1. I agree! ha. Maybe because our sitters are in college and drive - I would feel terrible paying so little! But I guess if they were younger? I still don't think I could go through with it!

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  3. I also saw the babysitter article and thought $5 an hour was WAY too little. I paid my high school sitters between $7 - $10 an hour depending on how many of my kids they were watching and what time of day it was (i.e. whether they had to feed them and really entertain them for long periods of time). The sitters that could drive themselves were paid a minimum of $10 an hour. On the flip side, all my best sitters (and the ones I called over and over) always cleaned up and straightened. I had one that would even fold laundry, without being asked. She was a keeper for sure! And if you blog is ever "dead", I will die along with it. Hope the illness is not too bad at your house!

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    1. wow. they ALL cleaned???? That's awesome. And I agree $5 seems kind of ridiculous. Maybe if the kids were in bed when they got there and I was serving them dinner or something? but still ......

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  4. So… I read that babysitting article and no way in HELL would high-school-me have babysat for someone who only paid $15 total for three hours for two kids. I started babysitting when I was 11/12, only afternoons and only a couple of families for whom my sister already babysat, so we all knew each other well. But by the time I was 18 I made $12+ an hour, depending on the family and how intoxicated the check-writer was ;)
    I know many of the families for whom I sat were well-off, but that lady's offer boils down to $2.50/hr/kid… and nope. My valuable adolescent time would have been spent fuming at my mom or watching movies at a friend's house.
    In more positive responding, I like your easy/cheap scarf idea and I need to go to the fabric store soon, so… SCARVES EVERYWHERE!

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    1. Oh, and I definitely played with the kids (only tv/movies if a kid was sick) and made a mean box of Kraft mac & cheese. I also ALWAYS cleaned up whatever mess the kids and I made, but usually I'd clean/sort the entire playroom because sorting is my happy place and sorting kids toys is particularly mindless which equals stress-relieving delight. And was an ideal way to avoid my homework.

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    2. I do this too, I'd be too embarrassed to have the parents come home to a messy house and me just sitting there watching tv!

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    3. Haha, Clio- I remember one time the parents got home earlier than expected (it was a family I sat for frequently) and I was only half done with sorting their games closet. I apologized and secretly wanted to stay and finish, but that would have just been awkward, of course! They just laughed, since they knew me well!

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  5. Oh my gosh, i"ve had the same parking lot experience before. One time, I had the door open while taking longer than ten seconds to get my small child out of the car and someone just couldn't wait five more seconds for the spot next to me (despite the million other ones around me). Of course, she yelled, "close your expletive door!" as she rolled off, and to this day, I wish I yelled, "choose another expletive spot" right back at her, but alas.

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  6. This { http://www.amazon.com/CND-VINYLUX-Creative-Manicure-Lacquer/dp/B00EA5B2VW } top coat is going to change your life. Same concept of Shellac but no salon, UV light or highly toxic acetone required. I've been using it over two coats of Sugar Daddy polish and look like a Kennedy for at least 10 days. Just in the hand department.

    While I would love, love, love to advertise I'm not sure nice Catholic men are utilizing the Camp as a dating site. Maybe in 2014. :)

    Cheers

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  7. As a babysitter I would be beyond offended if someone tried to pay me €5 (or $5) an hour to mind their very-important-very-big-responsibility children. You get what you pay for and I can't imagine why anyone would ask back a sitter who leaves a soggy nappy on the baby or dirty dishes in the sink!
    Happy new year Pattons!

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  8. Thanks a million for the shout-out. My blog has never seen so many hits, haha! You look amazing, as always!

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  9. A friend of mine gave me Jamberry nails and I loved the way they looked BUT I did not understand how to make the ends not peel up. They got caught on everything (the worst was when I would run my fingers through my hair! I need all the hair I can get!) and so I ripped them off shortly after. Do you have any secrets/tips for getting them to stay on well?

    Also, what does that quack know?! I do not believe that the blog is dead! I can't believe it.

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  10. Thought I would share my pointless opinion on the article from a teenage babysitters point of view!

    I am a high school babysitter (I am a senior) and I babysit for around 10 families. I get paid $10-$13 an hour regardless of number of kids or ages (however I have never asked for a certain amount...) I would never accept $5/hour because I have babysat for so long and so many different kids and no child ever wants to calmly sit and watch a movie for two hours especially when a babysitter is over. They always expect me to play games or run around outside. Also, I always clean the kitchen and living room areas because who wants to come home to a disaster?
    Not to be forgotten, no kids are easy enough for $5/hour. It is very emotionally draining when kids misbehave, won't listen, make messes and/or cry for their parents. Especially all while feeling the pressure of cleaning up the messes, making sure the kids have fun and like you, and keeping them entertained.

    On the other hand, I do love babysitting. Especially when toddlers light up when I walk in the door and babies get excited and point and smile at me when they see me. Or when little kids ask their moms when I will be over next.

    I will accept $5 an hour for babysitting when the experience is similar to going to a movie. I pick the movie.. The kids are calm and well behaved, and the parents arrive home when they say they will. All of which I have never had happen in my 5 years of babysitting.

    Lastly, I highly disagree with the fact that a "real job" is harder and prepares us for the real world more than babysitting. Try taking care of a 3 yr old and 2 one yr olds twice a week and tell me that's easier than blankly running a cash register.

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    1. thanks so much for weighing in, Sarah!! I totally agree with you - as does my former babysitting self :)

      I agree on that last point too!

      And I think $5 would have to be after the kids are in bed and guaranteed not to wake up which you can't :)

      People on facebook seemed to think that maybe middle school girls that couldn't find a job anyway might go for it but I don't think a middle schooler would do well with my kids at their ages .... understandably!!!

      And you're so great to clean up! Not everyone does that and it is so so so appreciated when they do!!!

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  11. Those are the coolest maternity jeans ever. Heck, make them in my plus size and I would wear them everyday. For babysitting, we usually talk the family into watching our child. payment is allowing them to have unsupervised visits with his enjoyable self. In fact, I frequently think that they should pay us for the pleasure. I actually wanted to give everyone redeemable coupons for Christmas that gave them 4 hrs or a weekend with him....We have hired one babysitter (daughter of our daycare provider) and paid her 5 an hour (watched him at her house); the couple that was going out with us paid $25/hr....

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  12. Another perspective-from-the-babysitter:

    It's not like I'm being lazy by accepting the gross sum of $12/ hour to babysit instead of working a minimum wage job. Let me remind you that with the recession and the fact that I have to, you know, go to school, there are essentially no jobs available to me. I am 19 and perfectly qualified, with a good amount of job experience and fabulous resume, and last summer I applied to THIRTY SIX minimum wage jobs in my town (Stop & Shop, a nail salon, Panera, etc) and did not get a single one. For me, and many others, getting a "real job" isn't an option, especially if you don't have a car.

    How dare she blame low teen unemployment on lazy kids. There are some lazy kids out there, but underpaying your babysitters isn't going to solve anything with Generation Y.

    I definitely have "creative ability to solve my money problems" but you know what, my university costs $50,000 a year and no amount of creativity, short of starting a drug ring, could help me out there. Don't think by underpaying me, you're making me a better person. It is laughable to think that any 10 year old, even one mowing lawns and saving birthday money, could afford a horse today.

    Even the laziest babysitters don't just sit and watch tv for 2 hours. Excuse me, have you ever seen a child? What child sits for 2 hours? This woman's commentary is condescending and annoyingly inaccurate.

    I would like to say I have enjoyed wonderful relationships with the people I have babysat for. I have always been paid an appropriate amount ($10-$20), and the kids are always completely taken care of. If I have the time and energy, I of course go above and beyond to do some basic cleaning, but you know what, I do that because I like the people I babysit for.

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    1. i had to comment on this thread bc of the babysitting thing!! when i was in high school i always asked for minimum wage. i had a minimum wage job, in seattle at the time I earned $8.60 an hour. I would round down to $8 since I wouldn't be paying taxes- this was usually for two kids or more, but sometimes just one. sometimes the kids were asleep the whole time i was there, sometimes not. upfront i said i was fine with dog walking, playdates, driving (with enough notice), adventures, shopping, cleaning, cooking, just to let me know in advance. one family would asked me to bake bread, another family had me take them to various parks, museums, etc, another family had me take them back to school shopping.
      i would usually end up with around $10.00 an hour which i thought was totally fair- i knew CPR and had references too.

      Nowadays, I'm a 22-yr- old with student loans. i ask for $12 an hour but honestly am considering more. i would gladly help with homework, music lessons, clean up, whatever the parents want. But I live in metro DC and the subway costs a lot!

      long story short we should be paying babysitters (WITH cpr training and at least one reference even if it's family) at least minimum wage in your are.

      Delete
  13. The blog died? No one told me or my blog or my friends' blogs. Say it isn't so!

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  14. Had to respond to the babysitting thing!

    I'm a college student and have babysat for over 7 years (and have worked for all sorts of families). I drive myself to jobs and always clean up after our messes. And I always try to leave the place cleaner than when I came (dishes, toys that were left out, etc.). No one has ever said "I'll pay you $2 extra if you do such and such..." and I would find that a little weird.

    I've always been sure to address the pay rate ahead of time to avoid an awkward conversation. I would encourage babysitters to do that because hey, everyone knows you're gonna have to talk about it at some point! I take into account how many kids I will be watching, and then will decrease the rate if I know the family is not in a great place financially. It usually ends up being less than the average rate around here (which is around $15ish/hr.). My formula is pretty much $7/hr for the first child and adding $1/hr for each additional child. I work now for anywhere from $7.50 - $14/hr and have been blessed to work for people who sometimes give me a bit of a tip (which is always very much appreciated, especially when I babysit for a long period of time or an a regular sitter).

    All that to say, don't be afraid to have the conversation! It's easier to do over an email :-) Thank you to all the moms out there who treat their babysitters well and all the babysitters out there who are working hard for (mostly) sweet kids!

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  15. I've had horrible, horrible luck in the maternity jeans department. I think I am stuck with leggings for the next 18 weeks...those jeans look awesome though. And I agree about crazy sickness going around...I just spent a couple days (including Christmas) in the hospital thanks to the flu (and asthma) sigh. Hope you are feeling better!

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  16. How do those maternity jeans run?? I have contemplated a pair but the sizing really confuses me! I usually wear a 6-8 or 28-29, but on Shopbop it says J Brand a size 6-8 is a 30.

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  17. Nooo, please tell me the blog is not really dead!

    I'm a bit removed from the babysitting issue, as I don't have kids and I haven't needed to babysit for money for about 15 years. I think the woman who wrote the article comes off as a snooty cheapskate; however, I do understand how discouraging it can be for couples who want to spend alone time together but have to pay an arm and a leg for an activity plus a sitter. I'll occasionally offer to babysit for free for young couples at my church in order to give them an opportunity to go out, but unlike teenagers who rely on babysitting for an income, I can babysit at my own convenience.

    Also, I'm wondering, when parents comment about cleaning up the house, are they referring to cleaning up the mess that the kids have made during the time that they're with the babysitter, or just generally cleaning the house regardless of the condition it was in when the sitter arrived? When I was a teenager, I always made sure that the kids' messes were cleaned up, but I don't remember doing cleaning beyond that. I don't think babysitters should be expected to do extra cleaning unless that is specifically agreed upon ahead of time and the sitter is being payed accordingly.

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  18. My first thought when I saw this post was oh my gosh grace is wearing jeans!!!
    But as someone who has babysitted for years I just had to weigh in on the babysitter department.. First of all I have babysat for free as a favor to people who I knew were struggling. However $5 an hour is absolutely ridiculous!!! I also always clean if it is messy, fold all the laundry, deep clean the house. In fact I was warned by one dad when he was leaving that the vaccuum would make a burning smell if I turned it on so no more sneaking around vaccuming things! :) At least not that day. Furthermore my policy is to never stick a kid in front of the TV (that is for mom's to do when they need a break!) I am paid to be there and I always play with the kids, make them dinner if need be, give them baths etc. It is not an easy job but I love it! I think it shows a lack of care for your kids to pay their sitter $5 as one mom who paid me way too much said "I would gladly pay more just for my own peace of mind!" Also I agree with the other babysitter that I would find it plain odd and awkward to have people offer extra money for certain things... that is just weird. with all that said I do think that parents should not feel they have to pay soo much that they can never afford a sitter! I nanny for $8 an hour but it is not super high-stress, the kids are all older than 8 and I love it! :)

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  19. About the perfect number of kids thing...
    After my mom's seventh child, the church threw her a baby shower with the theme "seven is the perfect number". So, when she had number 8, we just claimed to be "more than perfect". There are ways around these things.

    The babysitting issue...
    The set rate would make sense if the kids were asleep the whole time or something. But it still needs to average out to decent rate--unless you want a ten year old.
    I typically charge between 10-12 an hour. I'm also the oldest of eight with a fantastic resume, kiddos love me, I clean, I drive (duh), and I don't do TV time unless asked to by the parent.

    I'll also babysit a friend's kids for free. But when I do it for the money, I want it to be worth my while.

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  20. $5 for babysitting--if I could get that I would have a babysitter every night! No way with my kids would anyone do it for that little.

    Funny, if blogging is going out of style and I just started. I am always behind the times- always!

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  21. I charged $12/hr babysitting once I graduated college (around $8-10 before that I think). The first time I quoted that price I was so nervous and convinced that I would lose the job but the mom just said "is that per child?" as if she expected more!

    At this point, I'll watch friends children for free. I figure, once you have kids it's more like a barter system anyway, right? I'll watch your kid on Mondays if you watch mine Fridays or whatever. So far, so good.

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    1. That's what we do too. I've never paid for babysitting and have rarely been paid either-- we just swap it out (or not! we'll still watch your kids even if you never watch ours, because that's what friends are for).

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  22. I strongly disagree with that post on babysitting. But then again, I'm not a teenager or a middle-schooler. I'm pretty well-qualified as a babysitter/nanny but even when I was that young I would not have babysat for $5/hr and I LOVE kids. If you think opportunity cost...what I could be doing with my time if I wasn't babysitting or other jobs I could have had..it's just not worth it. But I am a babysitter who actually interacted with the children and engaged them. I would think $5 an hour is the bare minimum to pay so you'd expect that babysitter to do the bare minimum (keep the kids alive). When I have kids I wouldn't trust them with just anyone. Therefore if I expect more qualifications/trust then I'll pay more too. I'd want them to not just sit my kids in front of a tv or text/talk on the phone the whole time. I guess it also depends on cost of living where you live. I grew up near Seattle so I'm assuming I was paid more than if I lived in a small town.

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  23. I try to avoid any awkwardness with my babysitters by just telling them what I pay. I pay $10 an hour and 99% of the time the kids have already eaten dinner. The babysitter usually plays with them for less than an hour and then puts them to bed. And my kids go to bed easily (I have 2). I learned to not ask what the sitters charge when a friend did that and got $15/hour as an answer when the rest of us were paying the sitter $10/hour!
    I live far from family and my husband works nights so if I want to have a life, I need sitters that want to come back! I think I'd chase them all away if I offered $5/hour. However, I do pay my next door neighbor $8/hour because he's younger and the kids are usually in bed when he's here. And again, I told him that's what I'd pay him.
    Long and unnecessary story? Probably, but it's not going to stop me from hitting publish. Enjoy!

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    1. no I like hearing what people pay! It seems to vary in different parts of the country. I babysat 4 kids under 5 the summer after I finished teaching and before Julia was born and made $12 an hour which I thought was a FORTUNE at the time but I'm now realizing that isn't too crazy. I've never ever broached that conversation with our (college age and awesome sitters) and probably always err on the side of a little too much but it's worth it to me - especially during the rougher months!!!

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  24. 1. He says in that blog article that blogs are for 40-somethings with kids - so we're a little young, but I still think we're the target bloggers ;)

    2. I had the same experience in the Trader Joe's parking lot yesterday! And I only had the twins with me, but still, unloading the groceries, returning the cart, buckling one baby into her car seat, taking the other baby out of the carrier on my back and buckling HER into the car seat... In all fairness, there were like ZERO spots but any time someone waits for my spot I want to be like, "Seriously? SERIOUSLY? You'd have better luck parking four rows down and walking, because I'm not getting out of here any time soon!"

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  25. Well, I am only 26 and I have a gajillion blogs on my feed. So there, author! Blogs are quite alive!

    Those jeans are so cool.

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  26. Always a fun read my friend…I was just talking to my son about gram-gret yesterday, I so get it. :) I guess before you deleted that, I commented that four kids rocks my home. Love it and only wish I were younger and I'd keep going!
    That article…whatever. My question to these people is when you love to write (like you, me,) where does actual writing end up in the future? You can't write a thousand words on Twitter, FB, or Pinterest, right? Maybe no one has the attention span any more for that.
    But I am a 40-something with kids, so I guess I fit, haha.
    XO Aloha!

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  27. I'm so lucky that I don't ever have to deal with babysitters (my inlaws live 2 min away and LOVE watching the kids, and if they're busy, my parents are 10 minutes away and LOVE watching the kids, so really there's no point in paying someone to watch the kids unless both my parents and my inlaws are away which never ever happens) but that's a very interesting article.

    And if I ever found J Brand maternity pants at Goodwill, you know I'd be wearing those suckers for 20 years post partum. LUCKY YOU that you have such generous friends. I'd offer you my used maternity pants too, but 1) they're all from like Target and Old Navy, and 2) they'd be way too big for you and 3) you already have J Brand maternity pants, too high class for Target now ;)

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  28. I didn't know you were pregnant! (although I just began following along) Yay!

    Manda from Eat Cake

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    1. thank you!!! and thanks so much for reading!

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  29. I read "what to pay the babysitter" and some of it just seems like common sense. As a babysitter I can't imagine NOT doing the dishes or any kind of cleaning. I've never (in six years) set a rate for what is charge parents, I never wanted to have that akward conversation with the parents I just let them pay me whatever they felt was right so I never expected much pay to begin with I was just more comfortable that way..... Maybe I'm old fashioned, or just plain old : )

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