Au Pair Interviewing

We have started interviewing Au Pairs and talking w. our placement consultant. One thing that surprised me was that they recommended a male au pair. This honestly had not even crossed my mind! Now I really want a guy (a manny?) to watch the kids. He will be like a big brother. They will love that! A lot of the male au pairs have a lot of exp with sports, teaching kids how to play different games and music in addition to their childcare experience, which is awesome!

We were going with Eur Au Pair, but they have small pool to choose from and not as many au pairs in the area for ours to become friends with, which is helpful toward having a happy au pair 🙂 Now we are going with Culture Care. Our rep lives in the same town as we do and there are over 20 au pairs with this company with in an hour of our house. Awesome! They have monthly meetings/activities to experience fun things to do in the area as a group.

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We have had one interview with a young lady in Thailand and she was very very sweet an enthusiastic. Then we got the idea of having male au pair, though and are kinda stuck on the idea! We have two interview set up this week. A guy name Michel from a small town in Germany and David from Czech Republic. When you look at their profiles it gives a ton of info. There is a letter from the au pair introducing himself and giving you a run down, in his own words, of why they want to be an au pair, their experience and interests. Info about their family, lifestyle and preferences. Info about their childcare experience, references from those experiences and other work experience.  A run down of their skills, hobbies, driving experience and swimming capabilities and finally the info from their personality and health screening. The website shows that they have gone through screening, orientation, interview processes, criminal background check and provides the interviewers notes.  Its really great.

We interview through Skype. This is useful because you really get a feel for their personality and their English skills. Part of the reason many of them want to do the au pair gig is because they want to improve their English, so I am by no means looking for perfect fluency, just making sure that we can communicate. Im really looking forward to talking to these two. We have to have an au pair picked out by Monday if we are going to get an August arrival so hopefully we are crazy about one or both of them! Fingers crossed!

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WE ARE IN THE NEW HOUSE!….aka So Much Room!!!

OMG I LOVE OUR NEW HOUSE.

Its awesome. Its huge. Its pretty. Its spacious. Its gotta playset. The boys love it.

The move was…chaos….our movers canceled last week so we rented a truck and had my cousins and brother come help load it. Then hired a couple awesome guys to help unload. We are unpacking as fast as possible, cuz clutter = anxiety in my crazy world. I have already started making so many plans for what I wanna do w. the house. I have a spreadsheet 🙂

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I have so many ideas and I cannot wait to enact them alllllllllll!

Here are some pictures of the house.

The playset FullSizeRender_1

The curved stair

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The deck

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Dining Room – We are planning on painting the top half Navy Blue

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The COOLEST SHOWER EVER

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The Darth Vadar Nook

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Laundry room and mudroom into garage. Love this washer and dryer, lots of cool settings and stuffFullSizeRender

My walk in closet!!!!! (well I should say…our)

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The vanity area between master bath and master walk in…I have so many plans for this area!FullSizeRender_2

The COMMAND CENTER

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Master bedroom….lots of boxes…my master bedroom has stairs…im SO COOL

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Basement…this will be the playroom for the boys…note the DARK CARPET..YES!IMG_6832

4 Days Until Closing….aka…Should we start packing? JK :)

OMG. 4 days left. Its crazy. And 2 of those 4 days I have to be out of town on business. We just got confirmation of the closing date….2 days ago. We figured it would be a Friday by months end and that it could be as early as the 12th, but as my says, its hard to pack when you don’t have that date causing the sense of urgency. The house is full of boxes, making it feel very cluttered and messy which DOES NOT HELP WITH MY ANXIETY ISSUES. (Not to mention, the rugrats think they are elaborate new playsets)

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Well packing has in fact started 2 weeks ago, but its been slow going. Glad to report that we are probably at 80%

Some of the last minute stuff we had to get together for the legal stuff includes:

Homeowners insurance policy

Title insurance policy

Termite inspection

Verbal VOE (Im still not sure what the hell this is, but they say we are clear to close…so guess the got it…oh god i hope they got whatever it is)

Cashiers check for closing fees

Name affidavit for my maiden name

HUD-1 for earnest money and for sale of the old house

EXCITING STUFF…. So we rented a truck for Thursday and Friday. The plan is to pack nearly everything Thursday night. Pack an overnight bag for us and the kids. Keep out 2 pack n plays, an old mattress we are chucking for the 2 boys to sleep on, and cuz The Husband doesn’t want to look for the air mattress…we are apparently gonna sleep on the ground. I will pretend I am camping. (Note to self….just found an awesome excuse for smores)

Friday morning we will pack up the last of the stuff, clean the house and go to closing! (wow I make it sound so easy…I will pretend that there is some reality in that hope)

In the chaos Charlie managed to cut Ethan’s hair (he now has a buzz cut), the Twins have eaten a ridiculous amount of dog food, the cat has learned a new fear….ETHAN (Ethan loooooves him and is extremely affectionate in the way of carrying him everywhere)

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But in the chaos there have been some sweet times.

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And we escaped the house this past weekend and went to Summerfield Zoo, this zoo had a bunch of destruction in the big F5 tornado that hit Fairdale. The amazing volunteer effort has brought it back so fast! It looks great!

Ethan LOOOVED the turtles

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Charlie got to pet an alligator!

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Ethan wouldn’t come near the alligator, but he loved the pony!

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Miles didn’t pay much attention to the camel and Jack slept pretty much the whole time 🙂

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There were monkeys, parrots, baby goats (that we got to feed bottles too!) hyenas, foxes, bobcats, baby wolf pups, pigs, moose, reindeer, ducks, swans, guinea fowls. All sorts of cool animals on this lil farm/zoo. LOVED IT!

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Au Pair…THE SEARCH BEGINS!

We have decided to get an au pair for the boys. Super excited!!! I love the idea of exposing our family to other cultures and having someone stay with us. I am looking forward to learning some of her (or his) native language and foods and helping the au pair improve her english and teach her about the American culture (and that we are not evil).

So here is some stuff I have learned while researching and talking to different au pair agencies:

What is an au pair?

-A live-in childcare provider from another country between the ages of 18 and 26

-They provide 45 hours of childcare a week or up to 10 hours in a day

One of the things I really like is that there is an extensive screening by the agency, including background checks, interviews, medical and mental checks and training. They also have monthly meetings with other au pairs in the area, led by an area manager so they can brush up on the rules, talk about experiences and other stuff. A lot of times they make friends w. the other local au pairs, which I think is great too.

The Process

A lot of the au pairs have videos so you can get a feel for their personalities, along with the interview questions and notes that were done, the screening info and a bunch of pictures to check out. So after you pick what company you want to go with you can go through their au pairs and start emailing any more questions and then set up a skype interview.

This website is great for interview questions and different au pair experiences: http://aupairmom.com/

Once when is selected, you pay the agency the hefty up front payment (like $9Kish) to lock in your au pair. This is also available in monthly payments, but with like a fee. (we have a girl we are crazy about so will probably be locking her in soon and hoping to have her arrive in August)

What she arrives in August she will land in New York City with the other au pairs scheduled for August arrival. They then have a 2 week training to go over rules, american culture and process type stuff. A lot of the women we have looked at have a lot of childcare experience, which is awesome. After the 2 week training, we arrange for her transportation to our city and pick her up.  In the new house we will have a room for her with her own bathroom. She then gets paid a weekly stipend and stays here for 1 year. If you guys really like each other you can extend for another year, but 2 year visa is the max. We are looking to have an au pair until the kids are in Jr High so really want to make sure we have girls from all sorts of different countries.

The girl we currently are crazy about is from Spain, but there were girls from Columbia, China, Germany, South Africa, Thailand…really all over! I am so excited about this. I really think its going to be awesome!

My Mudrun Temp Threshold is Now 60 Degrees….aka MUDERELLA!

I did the Muderella mudrun this weekend (cuz I didn’t torture myself enough with tough mudder!) It was 45….and rainy….and it was cold…and wet….and muddy….and yeah. Sorry…this post is a bit of pity party!

LOVED the obstacles

We had crawling through the mud, piggyback rides (picture below!), climbing through a tube, climbing over a wall, planking over a ditch and shimming over. (the top 2 pics are ones that I am actually in, others from the website) I completed nearly all of them and it really made me feel like a rock star. The only one I couldn’t tackle was the rope climb. I will have to learn how to climb a rope….esp when its muddy. I kept sliding down!

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I bought a white mesh jacket to where over my windbreaker on purpose…just to illustrate the mud properly!

OH and Mud Run Tip: Where shorts or tight leggings. My partner in crime wore yoga pants that were bootleg, and they kept pooling under her feet!

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Another bonus was that this was only 5 miles. But this one was just as tough as tough mudder due to the weather conditions! We had a ton of fun, but the really hard part was after. There is no area to really get warm, so you try to shower (with zero water pressure) to get the mud off your clothes, and then find ways to bundle up and then wait in the 1 and half hour line to get on the bus back to the parking lot. Thats where it really started to get tough. Waiting in that line, cold and wet. For an hour and half. OMG. Anyway I got sick as a dog and was super weak and nauseous for days after. The Husband was pretty much on his own with the lil guys and packing of the house for 2 days. (oh yeah, Ill do a blog update about the house progress later this week)

SO a new law has been enacted for this mama! If there is any water involved, must be 60 degrees or I am staying inside!

Unless of course these mudruns maybe make some beverages other than beer, like hot cocoa, available post race? please? pretty pretty please? I would have paid like an insane amount of money for a hot cocoa that day! (mmmm and now that sounds good…. I might be making a hot cocoa run)

On the bright side…my eyeliner stayed intact 🙂

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Crazy Things My Kid Says AND CharlieSNAPS (or possibly ETHANsnaps)

Oh the stuff this lil guys says (Charlie, age 4):

1. “I would run with you, but I’m faster than The Flash”

2. “There’s a noise in my window, it sounds like Ethan” (what?)

3. (while brushing my hair) “How long do you want your hair? Like Rupunzel?” (He thinks it grows when he brushes it)

4. “Mom, your belly is way bigger than mine” (thanks buddy) (true though)

5. (hand down the back of pants) “Mom, I think I found the hole the poop comes out of!” (EW, WASH YOUR HANDS!)

6. (After the cat pounced on a passing dog that barked at us in the front yard) ” Thats our cat. You better watch out, he guards us”

AND NOW, CHARLIE SNAPS (Or possibly EthanSnaps…they both steal my phone now):

At least Im giving him a thumbs up this time 🙂

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Ethan must have taken this one…Charlie’s pants are always falling down his skinny butt!

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A Shoe…

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Mama Getting ready for a run…

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Ah I must be playing Fable here! (best game ever, btw)

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Nap Time…well, for one of them at least (I suspect the other is standing on the bed…hmmm)

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Ethan Cuddling w Mama

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