Thanks everyone for their thoughts, especially scottishmommy and hollybearsmom.
Being an employer is a new experience for me personally, and people management is really outside of my skill set. I wanted to set up a positive "team" environment, with all parties (myself, my husband, both sets of grandparents and the nanny) working towards the girls' well-being. I really think that we have all established a good relationship foundation -- even my mom and the nanny, which I was seriously concerned about (grandparents occasionally drop by and visit the girls during the week). So, generally, things are going extremely well on the points that matter most
However, there are some small rough patches that I don't really feel confident in how to best handle. I am a very conflict-adverse person, so I always feel a lot of trepidation and self-doubt about raising issues (am I being unreasonable, do I want to risk upsetting the apple cart, aren't these things I can live with although I find them irritating, etc., etc.) Thus, my angst over crumbs, counters, and baby jars.
I am also aware that there are some personal emotional issues that make me feel self-doubt about what level of expectations to set:
First, I have come into the realization that, if this relationship continues as it has started, that the nanny is going to be in our lives for a long, long time. She still occasionally sees the kids she took care of 15 years ago. This is a testament to how good she is at her job, and in the larger sense this is the sort of connection and positive relationship I want my girls to have with their regular caregiver. However, its also a little bit like finding oneself unexpectedly married to someone you've only known for four months. And I'm having a bit of a hard time with that.
Second, in a word, is jealousy. I acknowledge that it exists and it is largely irrational. There is heartburn in hiring someone else to do a job that you would love to have.
Third, is some family background. My father was a small businessman, and was a total pushover with his staff. He did have some excellent employees, but there were also quite a few who took advantage, as well as the ever-charming unstable ones. I don't want to be a pushover (its just bad management all around), but I don't want my need to not be a pushover to tip over into being a hardass either.
Hollybearsmom -- I gave some thought to your point about money. I guess my feelings are this: I admit we are a bit financially stressed right now. I lost almost half a year of pay due to my extended maternity leave. Also, due to being on leave in 2010, I did not receive a bonus in 2011 which bonus has historically been about 30% of my total compensation for the year in which it is paid. However I don't think that is the issue so much as there is a general feeling of making sure that we are getting the full value of what we are paying for.