Month 4 of being a host mom

Here is what I’ve learned and the process we went through to get to this point – month 4 of being a host mom to our wonderful Au Pair Nina.

Summertime 2016 – Began research in earnest and signed up for two agencies. My research included talking to local host moms, internet research (forums, blog posts), checking out instagram hashtags with “aupair” in them, and chatting with agency staff members.
We chose Au Pair in America because the local counselor is the best in Pittsburgh, in my opinion. Debra, the local counselor, organizes monthly cluster meetings where the APs get together and do an activity like ice skating, seeing a performance, bowling or checking out a new ice cream shop. To choose our specific “match;” Kyle and I spent time watching profile videos of the au pairs and set up skype calls with the young women we thought would be a great match for our family. After the third call and some good email dialog with Nina, I asked her to match with us and she said yes.

Fall – welcome Nina! 9/23 arrival in Pittsburgh after a New York City orientation and training. We got her set up with a US bank account and did some of the bureaucratic type of stuff you need to handle.

October – learning to be a family of five, enjoyed a trip to the DC area for the Fortson wedding, Halloween – carving pumpkins, dressing up, and general fall temperate weather fun.

November – on the first day of November poor Nina had to be in the ER (actually 2 ERs because in the massive black cloud of bad luck I was under ….for the first time the Doctor had ever heard of, they had no openings at Passavant for surgery so we had to go to Presby). Anyhow….Nina was a great sport – calm and brave throughout the process and recovery. It was stressful on all of us and we learned the reality of needing to have a backup childcare option. Thank goodness for our dear friend Lindy! We enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving and getting to share that with our German-American girl Miss Nina.

 Winter –  December – It tends to be all about Christmas in the States. Nina was excited to experience American Christmas. We learned some things about Christmas like they open gifts on December 24th, Christmas Markets are a big thing, the Germans make a tasty warm wine like a mulled wine called Glühwein, and the children of the neighborhood do a thing called Lantern Night which is like a combination of Halloween and Caroling. The kids walk around the neighborhood singing. Also chocolatey advent calendars are a must. We celebrated Christmas at my in-laws then did a fun road trip to NC, SC, WV and home.
January – during this month we celebrate two immediate family birthdays. We had a nice, simple friends brunch to honor Kyle’s birthday. We are pumped to have Evan’s 1st party in a German theme. Nina shared some things we can incorporate like a song, game and recipes.
That brings you to our current state.
When an Au Pair is in his or her eighth month, he or she decides if they would like to extend longer than the original time commitment. Our original plan was to host Nina for 12 months. However, she is considering extending and we would be really pleased to have her stay with us longer and continue to provide great care for our boys and be a member of our family.
There is so much to say about being host parents. I think it would be cool to profile Nina and her friends I’ve met to get their perspectives. I also hope to list some of the pros and – I wouldn’t say cons, but just additional things to keep in mind when hosting an AP.
For now, this is all I’ve got. Email me with any questions or comments because I still do not have my comments fixed. :-|
Evan and Nina halloween funny sweatshirt Nina showed me nap Nina keeping me hip with the snapchat deer filter

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