As I mentioned in my last post, my Mom recently “retired” from helping us with our children. My Mom has helped us for the past three years, spending every two weeks at our house. My Dad and her live in Central Washington about three hours away…to say she has been dedicated to our family is a huge understatement. My Mom sacrificed time with my Dad, time with her friends, travel and relaxation all to help us with our children. When the twins were first born she was here for seven weeks straight and soon after, my Mother-In-Law and her starting alternating every two weeks, when Davis was born, she again spent another three to four weeks straight while I was on my maternity leave. And my Mom doesn’t only help us with the children-when she was at our home, she helped me immensely with housework, yard work, cooking, organizing, helped with our cats and just made my life so much easier. She is an angel! Truly an angel!
We feel so lucky and blessed that she was able to help us for three years-the years where we transitioned into parents and when life is so busy. The girls have a special bond with her and miss her dearly. Davis loves his Mimi as well and lights up when he sees her face on my phone.
We are happy that she is now getting the time she deserves to enjoy her retirement (my Mom was an RN for over 50 years and also helped my Dad in their restaurant business for many, many years), she is the hardest working, most dedicated person I know and she-more than anyone, deserves “me” time. We hope that her and my Dad will be able to travel, explore, relax, and get to have “fun” grandparent time.
There is not a day that goes by that we don’t miss her in our house-but we look forward to her visits.
With my Mom’s retirement, we began to explore options for childcare and decided that an au pair was the best option for us. We have the extra space at our house, have been use to having an extra person living with us and liked the idea of our children being exposed to a new culture. After several interviews, we fell in love with our au pair Karolina. Karolina is from Poland, has a sunny disposition and is so good with children. She is the eldest of four children-younger siblings are twelve, four and a little over a year. We laughed that our family wouldn’t overwhelm her too much! Karolina arrived on August 25th and fit into our family right away. The kids love her and she is comfortable and fun to be around. We matched with Karolina through Au Pair Care, but also explored candidates from Cultural Care Au Pair. We have several friends who have had au pairs from both agencies.
We are fortunate and blessed to still have my MIL helping us twice a week and she helps on the days that the girls go to preschool. We have a nice routine now that school is in session and it seems to be working well for us so far. Jemma and Zoe spend extra time with my in-laws on Wednesdays and it gives Hubby and I some special one-on-one time with Davis.
Au Pairs have certain requirements through the program. They can provide up to 45 hours per week of childcare, no more than 10 hours in a day, have a consecutive 1.5 days off per week and have one full weekend off per month. We are lucky to have Fridays off from work and with my MIL’s help we are far under the 45 hours per week and have been able to enjoy a date night every week. Karolina can help with all things pertaining to the children-meals, laundry, and light housekeeping. Shortly after Karolina arrived, we took a wonderful trip up to Whistler BC. It was a nice time to be away from work to get to know Karolina better.
Another huge change-the girls started preschool almost two weeks ago. They are going to a small preschool three days a week for three hours. They only have nine children total in their class. It’s a wonderful school relatively close to our house and they have handled the transition quite well. I think it’s nice that they have each other, Jemma was a little more apprehensive of the change, but now they go into their classroom and don’t even look back! I still can’t believe I have preschoolers!
The girls are also attending a new Sunday School class and are going to a youth church program at my in-laws church on Wednesday evenings. To say they have had a lot of changes is an understatement-but they have handled all of the changes very well!
The girls finally figured out how to crawl out of their cribs, so this past weekend, we finally converted their cribs to toddler beds. We were afraid that they would be crawling out and getting into everything, but it has gone surprisingly well! Zoe is transitioning to not needing naps, but for the most part will stay quietly laying/playing in her bed. Jemma still will nap two to three hours, she clearly requires more sleep than her sister. During our night-time routine, Davis can crawl up into their beds and he is so pleased with himself when he does, he bounces up and down and is happy to be a big kid like his sisters.
There have been many changes as of late, but life is good. We are blessed with healthy children, loving grandparents and family, and a wonderful support system, which includes our wonderful au pair. We are looking forward to spending lots of time with everyone with the upcoming holiday season approaching.