This past Saturday, 70 au pairs from around the world from our three clusters (Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia), braved the cold and went to a Navy Football game in Annapolis. For some this was a first time experience! While it was cold outside we kept warm by huddling together and enjoying hot chocolate! Go Navy!
The YMCA of Central Maryland is sponsoring a FREE Healthy Kids Day event for all families and their children on April 26th from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM in Arnold, Maryland off of Route 2. The community is encouraged to come out and put a little healthy fun and activity in their day. There will be moon bounces, healthy snacks, face painting, games and prizes, crafts and much more! This event is to help families and their children to establish healthy habits, play, have fun and just get moving! For more information click on their website at: http://ymaryland.org/y-healthy-kids-day-2014-0.
October brings with it all things “Autumn”. This is the month of one of our most unique holidays, Halloween. But there is way more than just that one night to celebrate! Hayrides, apple picking, pumpking picking, jack o’ lantern carving, corn mazes. The list is long my friends. Visit this website to find farms and other places near you in Maryland to do these activities. www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/MDpumpkins.php
The Annapolis cluster twice a month meets at a local Starbucks in Severna Park, MD to get together informally for a cup of coffee. It is a wonderful opportunity for au pairs to get together and meet new au pairs who have just arrived to our cluster. Au pairs share information about what classes they are taking, where to take classes, travel opportunities and upcoming weekend festivities. The au pairs have the chance to share their experience with the new arrivals and offer tips and suggestions on how to have a great year with their host families and what to expect. Phone numbers are exchanged and play-dates are set! This is also a good time to ask me, their counselor, any questions that they may have about any aspect of the program. Personally it gives me the chance to get to know the girls a little bit better in a relaxed environment. I love the fact that it feels like I’m having coffee with many daughters at once!
The Annapolis, Baltimore and Columbia clusters all hosted holiday parties this month. The Annapolis cluster enjoyed a gift exchange and an international cookie swap where all the girls brought a baked good typical to their home country to share. Everyone went home with a bag of cookies from around the world. The Annapolis and Columbia clusters invited a Federal Marshal to attend to speak to the girls about personal safety when going out alone, with friends or when out with the children that have been entrusted to their care. Topics discussed included awareness of their surroundings, how to handle going shopping with children and what to do in case they find themselves to be a victim of a crime. Internet safety tips were discussed as well. The counselors presented the au pairs with a wonderful bright red umbrella with the Au Pair in America logo as our holiday gift to them. The Baltimore cluster had fun displaying their cheerful red umbrellas for the camera. It was a perfect day to hand out umbrellas as the weather was overcast and drizzly on Sunday. The cluster also did a Secret Santa gift exchange. Everyone left with a little gift, and feeling very much in the spirit of the season. We wish all the au pairs, the host families and their beautiful children a blessed and wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Au Pairs with Au Pair in America from the Baltimore, Annapolis and Columbia clusters met at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on July 15th to sail the Inner Harbor with the Urban Pirate ship (www.urbanpirates.com). We were greeted by some very authentic pirates and the au pairs and counselors were donned with appropriate costumes as we cruised the harbor on a beautiful sunny day taking in the city sights. Au Pair in America screens eager and skilled young women between the ages of 18 and 26 from around the world, who will join your family and care for your children during a mutually rewarding, year-long cultural exchange experience. Apply between July 16th and July 31st and save $500.00.
Traditionally, the groundhog is supposed to wake up on February 2, and come up out of his burrow. If he sees his shadow, he will return to the burrow for six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, he remains outside and starts his year, because he knows that spring has arrived early. In the U.S., the “official” groundhog is kept in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and is called “Phil.” Though not based in science, it is a fun US tradition. The movie, starring Bill Murray is hilarious!
From the MVA website:
Beginning October 2011, the knowledge test you must pass to get a non-commercial Class C learner’s permit will be based on information in the new Maryland Driver’s Manual. The new Manual includes basic knowledge on driver safety for new drivers, including: traffic laws of this State; highway signs regulating, warning & directing traffic; and safe driving practices. The improved graphics, full-color design, and brief paragraphs provide an easy read of only 39 pages – packed with core driver safety facts.
I have updated the links (on the column to the right) to include the New Driver’s Handbook in English, Spanish and an audio version. Paper copies are available in MVA offices.
There is now one booklet instead of two. The yellow booklet that contains the information on who needs a driver’s license and who does not, which I have given out to be kept in the car, will probably not be available after September.
What to keep in the car for proof now?
I have obtained a copy of the Maryland Law regarding International Drivers. The information is copied directly from a booklet which all police officers have in their squad car. The idea is that it shows them where to look up the law and once they compare your paper to that section of their booklet, they should realize that au pairs are allowed to drive on their country license (for up to one year.) Sometimes, they will still choose to write you the ticket for not having a Maryland license. If that happens, don’t worry. You can go to court and the judge should drop the ticket, as long as you are in your first year and have a valid license from your home country in your possession.
I have uploaded this document on Google Docs. You may access it HERE and print a copy for each car the au pair drives.
Due to the severe weather from Hurricane Irene that is anticipated on Saturday, the event will be be canceled.
If you created a time capsule to take part, please contact me (contact info. below) to arrange to receive your goody bag.
In honor of the 25th Anniversary of Au Pair in America, we are sponsoring a time capsule fair. Families are invited to create a family time capsule and participate. Guests are also welcome to come see the time capsules on display, vote for their favorite and participate in the other family activities.
This will be a Fun Family Event featuring…
- Time Capsule Fair
- Story Times
- Back to School Organization Tips for Parents
- Temporary Tattoos
- Coloring & Crafts
- Door Prize Drawings
A Time Capsule is a container that includes items and information that share what it was like to live in a particular period of time. After the time capsule fair, you can seal up your capsule and mark it “Not to be opened until 2036.” It could be buried or just tucked away in your attic. It will be a lot of fun looking back at the items 25 years from now!
Download a Complete Time Capsule Activity Plan HERE
Time Capsule Fair Rules:
- Register HERE online (preferred) or the day of the event.
- You may use any container and include whatever items you choose.
- You may work together as a family to create one family time capsule or each child may create and enter their own.
- Each entry will have a 2’ x 2 1/2’ table space to display their time capsule and it’s contents.
- Backboards are allowed, but not required.
- Each family who enters the time capsule will receive a gift bag.
- Time capsules should be checked in and set-up between 1:00 and 2:00 PM to be included.
- Judging will take place at 2:30 PM.
- Award presentations and prize drawings will be held at 2:45 PM.
- If you want to take your time capsule home, it needs to be picked up by 3:30 PM.
For more information, please call Christine Connally at 301-860-1314 or email at cicaupair @ gmail.com (without the spaces.)