Saturday, April 4, 2009

Good By No Pair - Embracing Change

So, the No Pair has officially vacated the house, and after a rousing game of name that mental illness (borderline personality disorder), we are officially ready to move on to our au pair less life. Since Conor is going to kindergarten in the fall, and we have alot of resources locally, we decided that we no longer needed an au pair anymore. Although we had two that were absolutely wonderful, the bad ones really take it out of you, and I am tired of dealing with a teenager in addition to my three little ones.

I have spent my past week or so frantically trying to re-arrange our schedule to have some sort of child care accommodations. While this is difficult already, there are many more challenges when you have a child with life threatening food allergies, severe cat allergies, many enviormental allergies and asthma. There is one wonderful woman near my house that picks up at the local elementary school and will take Michael and Natalie one day a week. I was all set up to send Conor one morning a week also, and she was ready to try and accommodate his food allergies, when I made the very unfortunate discovery that she has cats. .....Check that one off the list.

But you know, we are muddling through...... I am so thankful to have found the nut free school where Conor will go to kindergarten. He can stay later on the days he goes there, and they have a wonderful summer camp he can also attend. I found a local woman who is older, has a grown daughter with asthma, and is very responsible to help watch the kids on occasion. We joined a gym that has a safe child care everyone can go to.

At first I was frightened and scared about what we were going to do, and how this change was going to effect us. Then Mick and I sat down, and really talked about it. What I was really afraid of was not having new child care options, but the change itself. When we first discovered Conor was allergic to peanuts, it was a shock out of the blue that changed our lives in that very instant. This was also a shock, but I think in a good way. We as a family were able to sit down and re-evaluate what we want from each other and our time together. We were able to use this upheaval in our day to day lives as a way to communicate with the children about how much we love them and how important our family is to us. We were able to address our fear of change and embrace it. Fortunately or unfortunately change is an inevitable part of life. I guess I need to change the way I view change.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Au Pair to No Pair

So, I think we have finally recovered from all our illnesses. While there is still some hacking, heaving and nose running, I think we finally have everything under control and are ready to get back to life.

Or so I thought.....

I had previously written long long ago that we were getting a new au pair from Colombia. We had 2 previous au pairs that were absolutely wonderful, and one that was absolutely crazy. I had not written about our now No Pair much since I knew she knew of this blog, but now....oh well, here goes...

On Monday night she came to me and said she needed to talk to me after the children went to bed. Uh Oh, already a trouble sign. We had all sorts of interesting interactions with her, and occasional interesting behavior, but she was great with the kids, and always ready and always able to show up on time when needed, and seemed responsible, so we just kind of watched it. So this past Monday she sat me down and told me that although she loved the children and the job, she just was not comfortable being around us, and had to leave as soon as possible. After numerous conversations with the area coordinator, and her, she packed up her bags, and ran out the door early Thursday morning, never to be seen or heard from again.

So, this is kind of annoying. Just a bit. Well, ok alot. It is not like I will horribly miss her, but the kids are a bit upset, and I need a week or so to figure out our situation. After a few more days we decided that we are officially done with the au pair program, since we have lots of resources locally, and Conor will be heading to kindergarten in the fall. There were a variety of other factors that went into this decision, including the way the company handles your ability to interview prior host families of in country au pairs, and the fact that we would like our house back to ourselves.

So, I have been running around like crazy trying to figure out what our schedule will be for next week, and what my needs are. This is of course further complicated by all of Conor's allergies. Not only is the peanut allergy a big problem, but he is also severely allergic to cats, and can not go anywhere cats may be.

So, a new saga in our life begins......Lets call this the No Pair chapter.