Friday, January 22, 2010

A long overdue welcome

W. In early December we welcomed our new au pair Lillian into our family (the boys can't say that very well, so we call her Lily instead). We are having an absolute wonderful time getting to know her, and the transition into the boys' lives has just been terrific.

Many folks don't know about au pairs, and neither did we until we looked at it as an option for our family. That was about 2 years ago, after trying day care and in home nanny child care. Neither of those options were a good fit for us, so we decided to become an au pair family, and we haven't looked back. It works for us.

Au pairs are like nannies in that you have in home child care, but there are a few major differences. The big difference is that au pairs come from outside the U.S. and they live with you. The term "au pair" in French means (roughly) "on par" or equal to other members of your family; they aren't employees like nannies are.

Back when we first considered becoming an au pair family, we had many, many questions. Where would she live? Would we lose our privacy? How would we know we found the right au pair? What if it doesn't work out once she's here? The list goes on.

But to us, the benefits far outweighed the costs. We love the in home care and attention that the boys receive. And we had an extra room (we had to give up our guest bedroom/office). Because we pay room & board, the cost is less than day care and far less than a nanny. And we get valuable foreign cultural exposure for the boys. All that and we haven't hired a babysitter in over 2 years (and we go on a "date night" once a week).

Both Dana and I studied abroad during our college years, and for each of us the experience was life-shaping. So to have the opportunity to provide the foundation for a foreign student/au pair to have the same experience here in the U.S., well, that was a no-brainer for us.

The addition of Lily to our family has only solidified our appreciation for au pairs, and we are so lucky to have her living with us, playing with our little guys, and being there when we need her to be. Welcome to our family, Lily!

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 10:33 AM :: (1) comments

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A few random things...

W. First, I want to give a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY message to F & O. The fastest (and best) 3 years of my life - let me tell ya. The boys have been having a wonderful day so far (they woke up to harmonicas!), and it is so much fun to be around the little guys.

I also wanted to publicly exclaim my love for my iPhone camera (thanks again, hon). It is so much fun to be able to take a quick picture at a moment's notice. Here are some of my recent favorites (all taken with my iPhone).

Posted by Walker Lockhart @ 11:44 AM :: (2) comments