Happy Birthday to the most amazing Host Mom ever!!

Today is the Birthday of Laura. She is my Host Mom. I would like to wish her a beautiful day today with this post as well. 

She has a heart of gold and a unique sense of humor. Both of these things remind me of my mom and my former English teacher.

I can not tell her over and over again, how unique she is (THEY are) for me. I would like to emphasize it in any kind of way I can!

I can not express how lucky I feel, that I can live with her (with THEM) and taking care of her three smart and marvelous children. I am incredibly thankful.

I do not want to  write anything about the emotional situations we were in before, I think this is not the appropriate place for that. BUT:

  • She brought me a pink (which is my favorite color) blanket, pillow cases and a pink toothbrush before I came here. She asked me:

“I was just wondering, what is your favorite color?”

  • She really takes care of me and my family at home. She (THEY) really want(s) me to feel that I belong here.
  • She helps me straight away, when I ask her. I feel, that it is not a must to her. She wants to help. She (THEY) want(s) me to feel comfortable here.
  • I can read her books!!! ♥

I could write many-many pages about her! Haha  She is special.

I felt feelingly a lot of times, since I am here. I experienced a lot of things with her (THEIR) help, because of her (THEIR) real openness. Thank you. My mom and dad are thankful as well, that I am in a good and caring place with a huge and kind family. 

“Home is where the heart is.”

Looking forward to reading a new Au Pair Diary.

I would love to introduce a new writer on this blog, our new Au Pair from S. Africa, Tania De Lange. au pair from S. Africa Tania 2

Because Cosima interviewed  Tania recently I just want to add a little to her interview.  au pair from S. Africa Tania 4

Tania joined Go Au Pair, the Philadelphia, Bucks County and NJ cluster just a few weeks ago. au pair from S. Africa Tania1 She already made very many friends. Her host mom emailed me telling that Tania became a wonderful addition to their family and she is wonderful with the kids.tania with her family

Tania is very open-minded, fun-loving, active and social. She studied a Graphic Design and she is a great photographer. What quality does a person also need to be a great blogger? Keep Calm and Blog On

We are looking forward to your diary. Good Luck!

Thank you for the opportunity to join your journey, Tania

Happy Mother’s Day!

Ophelia’s Diary.

As now I am an Au Pair in America, this is the first Mother’s Day I can’t spend together with my mom in China. I miss my mom so much during this special time and I am sure she misses me a lot too.

Au Pair happy mother's day

Even though I am far away from her still I wish my dear mom have a great Mother’s Day. To make my mom happy, I made her some cute pictures. I keep updating my Au Pair stories to mom every week. She knows I have a great Au Pair life here and she is very happy for me.

photo 4

I am far from my mom but I am not alone at all. I still have host mom, host grandmothers here. They are all my family. My host child Theo is only less than one and a half years old, but he knows Mother’s Day! He is picking up a flower for his mom!

Au Pair host kid

During this special time, I want to give thanks and hugs to my LAR Polina too. She is more like a mom for us. She cares everything about us, just like caring about her own daughters. Thank you Polina. We love you! Happy Mother’s Day!

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.48.09 PM

Read more stories from Ophelia’s Diary.

Things to do for Au Pairs in Bucks County, PA

The host mom Sylvia M, created this list of fun activities to do in Bucks County, PA for her Au Pair and kindly allowed me to share it on my blog.
Au Pairs try different things
GO OUT/ MEET AUPAIR AT:
NEWTOWN:
 Starbuck coffee: get a coffee with free wifi
 Corners Bakery: good meals (free wifi?)
YARDLEY:
 Starbuck coffee: get a coffee with free wifi
NEW HOPE : Touristic/ eclectic town with people coming from New York and others.
 Starbuck coffee: get a coffee with free wifi (address: 4-A east bridge Street)
 Dunkin Donuts: inexpensive sandwich, coffee desert (free wifi?)
 McDonald: inexpensive meal (address: 324 W. Bridge Street)
 “C’est La Vie”: French Bakery…few seating outside with view on the River
ALBERTVILLE: city across the New Hope Bridge
WASHINGTON CROSSING:
 “Colonial Farm”: get a coffee outside and eat a good lunch (10.00/meal)
VISIT/ TO SEE:
“Washington Crossing Historic Park” & Museum (America History)…215-493-4076
 “Delaware & Raritan Canal State park” (take a walk or ride bicycle)
 “Old Scenic Train” in New Hope: take picture or take a ride
 “Summer Fireworks” on the river : every Friday at 9:30 PM in New Hope
 “Bowman Hill Tower”: address 1 tower road in New Hope (open seasonally/ Tues to Sun)
 “Buck County Playhouse” (theatre/ play)..215-862-2121 in New Hope
(also theatre in Newtown)
 “The Parry Mansion Museum” in New Hope 215-862-5652
 “Buck County Childrens Museums” in New Hope 215-693-1290
 “Farmstead Museum” in Lambertville ….609-397-2752
 “Howell Farm” in New Hope ( experience farm living a century ago)…609-737-3299
Or get Lost in corn labyrinth, near Titusville
Prallsville Mills (near Stockton city)
“Mercer Museum” concrete castle in Doylestown….www.mercermuseum.org
 Boat ride on Delaware river (advertised in New Hope)
AQUATIC PARK:
 Hirsley Park in PA
CANOES/KAYAKS/RAFTS/TUBING,
Point Pleasant 215-297-5000
BALLOONS RIDE:
Near Rosemont city, 866-800-4FUN
NIGHTS CLUB:
 “Bamboo” in Philadelphia (take train from Yardley)
 “Zee Bar” in Philadelphia (take train from Yardley)
MALL:
 “Oxford Valley mall” in Langhorne (also Train from Yardley)

(Septa bus stop) #127 and #130
GO SEE A MOVIE
At “Oxford Valley Mall”

Do you known any fun things to do, or place to visit, or to meet up with Au Pairs in Newtown, New Hope Yardley or Lambertville? Add them to this list. Go and meet new friends and don’t be bored.Au Pairs Bucks County, New Hope

Today is Thank You Day.

January 11, 2012 is the most polite date of the year- International Thank You Day. The words”thank you” spoken in all languages ​​of the world and are critical to the culture of any nation.

 

Dear Au Pairs, Please teach the host children the appreciation and gratitude. The best way to teach kids is by modeling the behavior themselves.  Show your gratitude to others, to the older and youngest, to the host family members and friends. 

We all recognize the importance of good manners, their necessity in everyday life.  Most “thank you’s” we say without thinking of their meaning.

Gratitude possesses a magical power – with its help people show affection and positive emotions – something without which our lives would be sparse and bleak.

International Thank You Day is the ideal opportunity to recognize and demonstrate the extent of your gratefulness to the people who make your days what they are. The power words “thank you” can uplift the everyone around you.

Make a grateful attitude feel like a powerful rule to live by. By the way, Thank You for reading Go Au Pair Philadelphia blog.

 

Au Pairs Holiday Bonuses and Schedules.

The Holiday Season brings up many questions for host parents with scheduling and presents.

Host families may have more questions than families who have hired a nanny since an Au Pair should also be included as a family member in all of host family celebrations.

Holiday time is something that all Au Pairs are looking forward to. It is a unique experience for them and they are usually exited to spend Holiday time with their host families and new friends.happy Holidays go au pair

It is important to set expectations early and communicate with the Au Pair.  Don’t forget that the Au Pair has full weekend off each month, 4 Holidays and two weeks’ paid vacation during her Au Pair year. The Au Pair may want to use some times off during the Holiday Season. Ask the Au Pair what the arrangement she wants to make on her holiday time. Your Au Pair should be free on December 15th, 2012, the day when we are going to have a huge Christmas party.

New year Au Pair

Also for the holidays you may want to offer a gift, a greeting card, and a family Christmas photo. A few other great ideas for the Au Pair are time off with pay, Gift Cards and a gym membership.

My suggestion would be to let your Au Pair’s holiday schedule and bonus reflect the unique needs and nature of your family.

Holiday Time together with the Au Pair may be one of the best and most memorable experiences you ever have!

7 Tips to Instill in Children a Love of Reading.

The love of books  is one of the best gifts parents can give their children. Reading helps in all areas of our lives. In addition, it makes our leisure time more enjoyable and fun.

How can parents instill in children a love of reading?

Regularly read to your child. Do this with expression and role-playing.
Read more for yourself. Show your child by example that reading – is an interesting and useful exercise.
Talk with your children about the books they read. Discuss interesting stories and share the thoughts.

Assign half an hour in your schedule for family reading.
Give your child books for the holidays. Children’s books are always very attentive gifts.
Make every second Sunday or Saturday of the month “a library day.”

Au Pairs can help. Many Au Pairs have passion for books and love reading. They enjoy reading with children, storytelling or having fun reading together. Reading with the child consistently every day will instill the reading habit.

How to avoid impulse shopping

Au Pairs live with host family with full  board accommodation and are able to go to American college for free and also earn money.

Some Au Pairs are looking to save money for college, a car or starting business when they come home. So avoid impulsive purchases – this is the most insidious enemy of your frugality.


How to deal with an uncontrollable desire to waste money?

Put the cost in the amount of energy expended. Calculate how much money you earn per hour and the next time you want to buy something, count how many wasted hours of your life is the thing. If you do not mind the money, at least spare your time.

Be aware of your goals. Surely you have some major financial goal.

Plan your purchases. Follow the plan, rather than momentum. Such a little thing like a shopping list can significantly reduce your costs.

Set a rule of thirty days. Decide for yourself that the interval between your purchases must be at least thirty days. Of course, this rule does not apply to food and other necessities such as medicines, for example.
Outsmart your impulses. Bring as much cash as you plan to spend. Then even if you are want to buy another useless thing, you simply won’t be able to do it.

Ask questions. Before you buy something, ask yourself a question. Will this purchase improve your life? Be honest with yourself, and you can better control your budget, because impulsive buying is wasteful .

Focus on the important things.

There are so many things an Au Pairs can do in their  free time.  Some of the favorite things for many Au Pairs are spending time on the Internet-sending the emails, chatting on facebook,  skyping with their families and  friends and doing homework or researching things on the Internet.  Sometimes they like reading books, watching movie, watching videos on YouTube and playing games.

Computer, IPad, IPhone, Internet  enslave us to many of their distractions and entertainment. Many people become victims of the pitfalls that the new technologies and Internet has created for us.

Since the foundation of the Au Pair program is cultural exchange, Au Pairs are meant to become part of the host family, learning American culture, studying at College and  traveling with friends.

Don’t waste your time, go out with your host family friends and explore the USA.

How best to use all its power the Internet, without having to constantly get caught on the hook for his distractions? Those three little habits or skills we need to master.

  1. Set a specific time to perform . Choose a great job, and set a limited time for its implementation. This may be one hour, 20 minutes or even 10. Limited time helps to focus quickly and, therefore, to take up more quickly
  2. Close all unnecessary . This means that you will need to close everything that has no relation to what you are doing at this moment.  If you do not need the Internet for your job – then close it.
  3. Don’t open anything that can distract you.Think about whether you really want to spray your time and life on so many little things every day. Perhaps the choice to do what you really need fast will stop you.

When your time comes out, you can give yourself a few minutes to browse your favorite sites. This will be a reward for your hard work. When you need to focus – follow these skills and develop them.

Focus on the important things. First of all,  you need to explore new country, learn new things, experience new culture and make new friends.

The “greener grass” syndrome.

The grass is always greener on the other side, and the other side is always greener no matter which side you are.

Nothing is perfect and sometime we tend to squander the opportunity right in front of us.

Some of Au Pairs complain about their relationship with a Host Family because they think that their current family is just not good enough. Instead of working hard on the relationship, they think here are better options out there searching for their “greener grass”.

What is so bad about having the “greener grass” syndrome? If an Au Pair has this syndrome, chances are she is missing out lots of things she currently has now.

How To Cure The “Greener Grass” Syndrome.

The first thing to do is to acknowledge that your current host family is your best family for you right now. Apply your best effort in building a strong relationship with your family. Good communication helps solve most problems in the au pair and a host family relationship.

Last but not least,  remember that the grass is always greener on the side which you water. Avoid  the “greener grass” syndrome and “water” your relationship with your host family to “grow” a beautiful green grass where you are.

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