Happy Easter 2014!

Ophelia’s Diary.

Even though I have been an Au Pair in Philadelphia almost 10 months, there are still a lot new things there waiting for me to explore. I just had my first Easter as an Au Pair!Au Pair Easter

Easter is a new holiday for my host child Theo as well. Theo and I had a good Friday together.Au Pair Easter

I prepared a little basket for him, he likes it a lot!Au Pair Easter

I attended an Easter party with Au Pair Adriana’s host family.Au Pair Easter

People performed the stories about Jesus there. After the performance, children started looking for the Easter eggs.

Au Pair Easter

The host prepared two thousands eggs totally!Au Pair Easter

This was such a big festival!Au Pair Easter

On Easter Sunday, we song in the choir of the Chinese Gospel Church. This was my first time to attend a choir. In China, only people who can sing really very well have the chance to sing in the choir.

Au Pair Easter

America is really a great place where people have enough freedom to enjoy their life best.Au Pair Easter

I love being an Au Pair in America!

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival

Ophelia’s Diary.

I haven’t seen my dear Au Pair friends for a while, It was so great meeting a lot Au Pairs from Go Au Pair during a fabulous Japanese blossom festival.

 Au Pair Ophelia Sakura sunday

As my home is very close to the festival place, I biked there early before other Au Pairs came.Sakura Sunday

I went to the Calligraphy & Crafts section learnt writing Japanese characters. Here is Theo’s name both in Japanese and Chinese.Theo name in Japanese

The left one is in Japanese, the right one is in Chinese. I had my Chinese name at the right side.Then I learnt playing Japanese chess GO.Sakura Sunday

 

After that I enjoyed a Martial Arts. I only saw this on TV before, so glad I can see it in person today.Sakura Sunday Au Pairs

After the Martial Arts, I saw a music show at the main states.

Even though China is not very far from Japan, when I was in China I didn’t really get a chance to know a lot Japanese culture.music Sakura Sunday Au Pairs

Later my Local Area Representative Polina and some of my Au Pair friends came, we explored even more fun things together. I just can’t wait to share all of them with you!

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary

My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions.

Ophelia’s Diary.

In 2013, I harvested a lot as an Au Pair. I was so blessed, because I got a lot of help and useful advice from my host family, Go Au Pair, Au Pair Sis and my LAR. Thank all of you so much! Because of your help, I could have wonderful Au Pair experience in America. Au Pairs from Go Au Pair Now is 2014, I believe that if I work hard, everything will be great. Here are my New Year’s resolutions. I am looking forward to experiencing a fruitful new year.2014 au Pairs resolutionsBe an excellent Au Pair. I love my Au Pair job. Being an Au Pair not just mean taking care of children. Of course, we must put host children’s safety at first place, also we need to make sure they are happy and educate them as well. I love teaching Theo new things, we have a lot of fun learning new sounds and different animals.

Au pair with her host child Prepare for graduate school. As an Au Pair we can go to school as well. This is  excellent. This gives me a chance to experience American education. I like it a lot. I am planing to go to graduate school here after I finish my Au Pair program. But this will never be easy. First, I need to past TOEFL and GMAT test. From now on I have to work hard on it. Au pair in the college Experience more American culture and history. Learning new things always makes me excited. Now I am taking Washington DC Educational Trip class. I learned a lot things about American history, like The American Revolution and The American Civil War. I will try my best to explore more cultural and historical things in my last Au Pair years. Au Pair US Want to know more details about my DC Educational Trip class? Come and read about it next time! Au Pair Ophelia Happy Chinese lunar New Year again!

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Happy one year old birthday, my dearest Theo!

Ophelia’s Diary.

Happy Birthday, Theo!

1 st birtday

 I want you to know that you are forever  in my heart, and I will always love you!

This movie is a special present to you!

Time flies so fast. Theo is one year old now! I have been his Au Pair for almost six months. I am so glad I can watch Theo growing up day by day. In the last six months we had so many good memories. We played together everyday.

Theo1

We had stories time. We went to music class every Wednesday morning. We walked around the river, parks and museum. We went to the ocean and snow world.9(1) Theo enjoyed the edible feature of snow

The funnest thing is watching Theo eat him dinner everyday. He used to cover all the food on his face and body. But now he is very good at it. Theo loves eating! He is even love eating sand! Can you imagine how cute this baby is?19 Theo _ eats_ avocado

Recently Theo taught me how to make funny faces. He is a genius at this. He learnt by himself. Then he started to teach us.

Thei Ist bday

 I am teaching him to speak Chinese now.

Ist Theo birthday

 I am so glad we can learn from each other.

Host child Theo outside (2)

I hope Theo can be happy everyday. We all love you!

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

My first Christmas in the US with Ice and Snow!

Ophelia’s Diary.

It was  my first Au Pair‘s Christmas being far away from my family in China, and I had  my first Christmas in a world of ice and snow -in Alaska. My host family is originally from Alaska, so we came there together before the holiday.

I got a lot of gifts from my host family. Especially, from a grandma, she gave me a lot of scarves, bags and chocolates. Also, I got a kindle from her, this will help me improve my reading and writing abilities a lot.opening Christams gifts

After Christmas dinner, we built gingerbread house together. I was in a group with Sam. We built very pretty house. Our house won the second.

Au pair made a gingerbread houseMy host parents won the first! Their house showed how lovely this family is. I am glad I can live with this No.1 family.host parents's house

Another interesting story in Alaska was I made a good friend whose name is Maggie. She is grandma’s dog.
Au pair with a dog Maggie

Maggie is so sweet, every time when I saw her, I couldn’t help giving her a big hug. I had a two hours long walk with grandma and Maggie. We all enjoyed the pretty view of this snow world.

au pair 2014 a5

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

Go Au Pair’s Family Day Conference in the NJ area

Time flies very fast, and  October is here.  On Sunday, October 13, 2013 we are meeting for a Family Day Conference at  Grounds for Sculpture.  We will meet at the Rat’s restaurant entrance of the Ground for sculpture, which is located at 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, New Jersey 08619.

There is a pretty oval court yard outside the Rat’s restaurant .  The oval court yard of the Rat’s restaurant is located outside the park. Here is the photo of the place where we will meet.Rat's restaurants

According to Wikipedia, Grounds for Sculpture “is a 35-acre (140,000 m2sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New JerseyUnited States, on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds.

SAM_0482

Founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II, the venue was intended to be dedicated to promoting an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture by organizing exhibitions, publishing catalogues, and offering a variety of educational programs and special community events.”

This year we are going to 9th Annual Guild for Early Music that will held at  Grounds for Sculpture from 12:30 till 5:30pm. The Guild for Early Music features Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Early American music sung and played by our finest regional ensembles and concludes with a “petting zoo” of historical instruments for you to touch and play.Grounds for sculpture

The event is free with park admission. According to  Grounds for Sculpture announcement, “this year’s theme, “Journeys,” features a medieval instrument demo, a youth orchestral prelude, and performances on harpsichord, viola da gamba, recorder, harp, flute, Baroque strings, sackbut, cornetto, percussion, and more, and includes themed “Journeys” sculpture tours of the park.” 
That will be a great  music performance of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Early American eras before 18 century and also  an opportunity to meet Host Families,  Au Pairs  in the area and a Local Area Representative.  It is an opportunity to share their experiences and get to know each other better, gain cultural and social experiences and make new friends from different cultures.

Ground for Sculpture1

The Family Day Conference is required by the Department of State and Host Families are obligated to attend at least one while hosting an Au Pair. It is also a favorite activity for my Au Pairs and Host Families.  Attending the Family Day Conference is valuable and  fun experience. Host Families and Au Pairs leave the event with unforgettable memories.
 The prospective Host Families can learn about the Au Pair program first hand. Au Pairs from Go Au Pair and their friends, Au Pairs from other agencies are welcome too!  Please check  other our activities.

Ground for Sculpture

Please bring friends -everyone is welcome to join us! See you in the park!

The Allure of Using an Au Pair.

I would like to introduce today our special guest blogger Stephanie who is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com 

When it comes to the care of your child, you want to make sure that the person you hired is right for your family dynamic. Although using a nanny from a service can provide a peace of mind as most of them have been screened before hire, the Au Pair could be a logical choice. Au Pairs are screened just as well, if not better, than some nanny services. Why should you consider an Au Pair instead of a traditional nanny?

1. Cheaper - For the most part, an Au Pair is much cheaper to maintain than a nanny who requires a paycheck. Essentially, this person becomes a kind of extended family member who helps out around the house and lives under your roof. While they require an “allowance” and room and board, the cost of an Au Pair can still be considerably less than what you would spend on a nanny.Save_Money

2. Connections - For a nanny, the job is purely professional. Many refuse to become attached to families and treat the experience as more of an employer-employee relationship. For many families, this is a logical practice. However, children are more likely to respond to a person that can relate to them on an emotional level. It is easier to build a connection with an Au Pair simply for the fact that they are not in your home for a paycheck.
I like my aupair 3. Cultural Exposure - For many Au Pairs, living in your location is a new experience. You are able to show her how your culture interacts with the world. In turn, she can expose her culture to your family – which can lead to an insight to understanding her people. Sharing knowledge can go a long way to understanding each other and seeing situations through a different perspective can benefit in peaceful interaction.

4. Live In - Although there are some nannies that will live in the home of a client family, Au Pairs have no choice. You are opening your home to these individuals giving you a peace of mind that your home is cared for. Although the Au Pair’s responsibilities are less than what a contracted nanny would be, this person can help out in ways you may have never thought of previously.
hands_community
5. Satisfying - An Au Pair is simply more than a live-in care provider for your children. She is learning about the area you live in. You are essentially helping yourself by helping her learn more about your culture. When it is time for your Au Pair to move on, you can feel satisfied that you are helping someone learn what it means to be a part of your own culture. Although Au Pairs usually only stay in a single locale for 12-months, a great deal can be accomplished. The hardest thing will be to let go of the positive influence she could have infused the family with.

The Au Pair is not a servant or a regular employee. It is more akin to inviting a cousin to live with you for a year in order to help around the house if your life is hectic. If you would invite your cousin to go out to dinner with the family or on a vacation during the summer, you should do so with the Au Pair. She is there to help and learn, not wait on you hand and foot.

Author Bio:

Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.

School year and the Au Pairs

Yesterday I read a very interesting post on the Ohio Local Area Representative’s blog 2013-2014 School Year. Nikki discusses new responsibilities that many Au Pairs will face because of a new school year.

“The 2013-2014 school year has begun!  There are often new routines, new schedules, and new responsibilities that will arise.  Even families with little ones often have classes or other additions to the schedule.  This time of year often requires a change in the Au Pair’s Responsibilities.”  Au Pair Hui China3

Au Pairs can definitely help with homework.  They are able to create a healthy routine of study habits and children can learn in an environment where they feel comfortable.  Many Au Pairs worked as tutors and teachers in their countries and have a lot of teaching experience. They can explain the instructions or new material and check kids’ homework once they are finished.

Au Pair teashes

Au Pairs may help with the language that kids are learning at school. Many parents choose an Au Pair who speaks the language their kids learn at school. Au pair reading

 A new school year is a great time to schedule a class with the Au Pair at home. Au Pairs can also introduce host children to their culture and language. Read Au Pairs and your child’s education by Summer Blackhurst.Au Pair study

Even though, there are many new responsibilities, for Au Pairs who are with school age kids, school also brings some free time. The Au Pairs are looking forward to starting their school too.  Many Au Pairs choose the Au Pair program because they wanted to study and go to college in America.

Good luck with a new school year!

Au Pair meeting in the Philadelphia Area

Please enjoy the movie and post written by an Au Pair from Go Au Pair, the Philadelphia cluster Eva Zhang. Thank you, Eva!

My name is Eva. I am an AuPair from China and live in North Wales PA with my host family. I like traveling and exploring. I like to be an AuPair and this is an adventure for us.  Make me more strong, more responsible and more mature.Eva Au Pair from Go Au Pair

If you are young, if you would love to spend time with kids, you should try and check out! AuPair!

I moved to Philadelphia from Virginia recently.  Last Saturday we had a cluster meeting at Bryn Anthym Cathedral and Glencairn museum.

Au Pairs meeting at Bryn Athym 008

I met another 10 Au pairs from all different countries.Au Pairs meeting at Bryn Athym 022

I am so excited to meet you guys here around Philly area. I love the adventure we did at Bryn Athyn cathedral and the Glencairn museum. I was shocked by the castle made as church but it was totally a home for 40 years.

English: The exterior of the Glencairn Museum ...

My major in China is Architecture Engineering. I love it but also afraid to join the field.  A lot concern and struggle. But Raymond who was a lawyer and completed did nothing relative with architecture and construct but under the god the father leading, he made it! Look at this amazing house.12 years!!!Au Pairs meeting at Bryn Athym 025
Thanks for everything —Polina! That was an amazing picnic!

Welcome to China and welcome to my hometown–Hangzhou–happiest city in China!

Keeping Your Child Safe Around Animals

Most animals are friendly, but some can be dangerous. Many Au Pairs like pets, 97% of  available Au Pairs from Go Au Pair say they are willing to place with a Host Family with pets. Being around animals, it is very important to know how to minimize the chances of being bitten or scratched by the pets.Au Pair from S. Africa Chant

I would like to introduce today our special guest blogger Paul Taylor who will share the tips on how to keep children safe around animals.

From dogs and cats to horses and lemurs, the world is full of a wide variety of animals that your child might encounter. Petting zoos, farms, or even the neighbor’s pet can be dangerous if you do not teach your children the skills they will need to stay safe around animals. Here are a few helpful tips on what safety issues to cover with your child:

  1. Never approach an animal without permission – Even the friendliest looking dog could be a baiter. That is why it is important to let your child know that you must ask permission before you approach someone walking their pet. Even in a petting zoo it is a good idea to ask how and where the animal likes to be touched. While some animals will tolerate children well, others are more unstable. It is wise to teach your child to ask before they touch.kids cat
  2. Always wash your hands after touching an animal – In particular I am thinking of pet turtles and lizards. There are many animals that carry illnesses that humans can catch. These are not always obvious to small children. They should be taught that it is better to be safe than sorry. By washing their hands well after touching any animal, they can prevent a variety of illnesses. Children should also be taught not to let animals lick their faces as this can also spread illness.
  3. Never pull on an animal – Many small children cannot resist the urge to yank on kitty’s tail. However that may get them a swipe from her claws if she is not a very considerate cat. No animal enjoys a child pulling their tail, ears or fur. That is why you should teach your children to be gentle around animals and avoid hurting them. A hurt animal may react in violence, even if the pet has no history of it. Avoid bites and scratches by teaching your children to respect the animal and not be rough with it.kids animals
  4. Never walk too close to an animal – Even if your child respects your wishes to not approach an animal without permission they may still want to get close to it to get a better look. A dog can lunge pretty far at the end of a leash, a cat has a long range for her claws, and cows or horses can kick, stomp or nip at a child that gets too close to their space. You should teach your child to give animals plenty of room and always stay far enough away so that they can stay out of the animal’s range.
  5. If an animal is not friendly then leave it alone – Many children have an issue in which they will pursue an obviously unfriendly animal trying to pet it. Ducks in the pond, pigeons on the sidewalk and wild rabbits are all examples of animals that will typically run away from children. If you teach your child not to pursue them they will be safer. A duck has strong wings and a beak that can hurt a small child. Even a rabbit can do some damage with its hind legs if picked up. A scared animal is a dangerous animal, so a child should not corner or attempt to catch them.
  6. If an animal looks sick then do not go near it – Sick animals are another sdogtory. A bird with a broken wing, a squirrel that has fallen out of a tree or an animal hurt on the side of the road all make our sympathies flare, and children are more sympathetic than some adults. However you should caution children against getting too close to a hurt or sick animal. A hurt animal is a scared and dangerous one that is unpredictable. If they are sick, with rabies for example, they could seriously hurt or even kill your child. Never let your child pick up or touch a hurt, sick or dead animal.
  7. Never give a child control of a pet they can’t handle – Many times I have seen a large dog’s leash held by a small child. This is just an unsafe practice that is foolish. If a child cannot control the animal then they should not be given responsibility for it. Even a nice big dog can jump on a small child and hurt or scare him. And what would happen if the dog decided to run out into traffic? Your child would be pulled along with him! It is not worth risking your child’s safety or the safety of others. Until your child is big enough to handle the pet, keep a firm hand on the leash.kid smile
  8. Stay away from animals with babies – Even though the babies might look cute, their mother will not be happy if you touch them. Many animals do not like strangers around their children. They become very protective and can hurt a child that approaches their litter. Teach children to give mother animals a lot of room and do not try to touch her or the babies.
  9. Do not feed an animal or touch its food – Taking away an animal’s food is the easiest way to get bitten. Even your own family dog can nip at someone trying to take his food. Teach children to leave animals that are eating alone and never try to take away their food, toys or treats. Children should also be taught not to try to feed animals unless told to do so. Wild animals especially can hurt a child that is attempting to feed them. If they want to give an animal food, such as ducks or birds, they should lie out or throw out the food in an open area. Never feed animals out of your hands.kids-animals
  10. Stay quiet, move slow – In danger or in safety it is important to be quiet and slow around animals. Almost all animals react to noise and fast movements negatively. They can become scared or overly excited. Teach your children to move slowly when picking up a pet and to stay calm. If a strange animal approaches them they should move away slowly and not run or make a lot of noise. By doing this they can stay safe around animals.kids-and-animals

Needless to say, if you have a very small child that is unable to understand the need to be careful around animals then you should either limit their exposure to animals or make sure you are closely supervising any encounters they might have. It is better to be safe than sorry, after all.

As children get older they will be exposed to other children’s pets, animals at the zoo and even wild animals. They will not always have an adult around to keep them safe. By teaching your children to respect the animals and stay calm and quiet your children can stay safe.

Author Bio:

Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of his wife. He has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.

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