Yearly Archives: 2012

New Years’s Eve in Time’s Square!

Over one million people celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Getting a good view of the Ball Drop and staying comfortable during the long wait for midnight’s arrival will be easier with these helpful tips.

1. Arrive Early For the Best View of the Ball Drop

Folks begin arriving in the early afternoon on December 31. Some of the prime viewing spots will be filled by mid-afternoon. Be aware that you won’t be able to return to “your spot” if you need to leave to eat, use a bathroom, or move for any other reason.

2. Hit the Bathroom First

Go to the bathroom in Penn Station and do not drink anything else until after the ball drops!

Port Authority bus terminal, while crowded, is a good place to stop before you begin your wait in Times Square. There are public bathrooms inside of the Port Authority, as well as places to buy food and drinks.

3. Prepare for the Long Wait

Once you’ve staked out your spot in Times Square, be prepared to stick it out until midnight. It’s a good idea to have a nice big lunch before settling in. Unless you want to lose your spot, this means being dressed for the weather, with extra layers to add as it gets later and colder. You should also be prepared with snacks, drinks (no alcoholic beverages are permitted), and diversions. If you arrive in Times Square at 4 p.m., there are still 8 long hours until the ball drops at midnight. Bags/backpacks are not allowed, so wearing a coat with plenty of pockets is a good idea.

4. Be Ready for Crowds

Approximately one million people spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square. This means that if you are within view of the ball, you will frequently be tightly packed in, quite possibly for hours before the actual ball drops. The police will periodically “force” different areas to crowd in, but the crowding will typically lessen (a bit) shortly after.

5. Be Patient and Have a Sense of Humor

Your feet will get stomped on. People will block your view. Someone is bound to bump into you. Keep your cool and you (& those around you) will enjoy the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

6. Celebrate New Year’s Around the World

There is a mini-celebration every hour in Times Square, as different countries ring in the New Year around the world.

7. Consider the Weather

The weather in New York City on New Year’s Eve can vary widely. If it’s going to rain or be bitterly cold, you must dress accordingly!

Happy Boxing Day!

boxing dayWhat exactly is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th. Boxing Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen (after the first Christian martyr), originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. It originated as a holiday for members of the merchant class to give boxes containing food and fruit, clothing, and/or money to trades people and servants. The gifts were an expression of gratitude similar to the bonuses many employers offer their employees today. These gifts, usually given in boxes, gave the holiday its name, “Boxing Day.”

Today, Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, and many other Commonwealth nations. It is a time for family and friends to gather with lots of food and fun. Outdoor sports such as soccer, horse racing and hunting are popular on this holiday. Retailers offer huge savings on many items on this day, making it the biggest shopping day of the year in Canada.

Peace and Acts of Kindness

On this day of mourning for the victims of the Sandy Hook, we look for ways to honor the memory of those lost.  At Au Pair in America, we promote global awareness and understanding.  We must begin as the most local level, within ourselves.  This video of children around the world singing “Let There be Peace on Earth” says it all:

26 acts of kindnessNewtown’s heartbreak has a lot of us asking, “What can I do?” Thinking about this, Ann Curry took to social media and asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 26 acts of kindness to honor each life lost in Newtown.

Great New Museum for Families Opens Saturday in NYC

momath museumDo you want to get your kids excited about math?  Check out this new interactive museum in NYC created by a former Au Pair in America host father, Glen Whitney!  It opens this Saturday, December 15th!

Mathematics illuminates the patterns and structures all around us. Our dynamic exhibits and programs will stimulate inquiry, spark curiosity, and reveal the wonders of mathematics. The Museum will have its grand opening on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan.

Click on the link below for lots more information about the Museum!

momath GlenPictured is former Au Pair in America Host Father, Glen Whitney, who created the MoMath Museum!  Glen Whitney’s family had many great years in Au Pair in America until their children grew up!  They had wonderful years with great Au Pairs!

So Thankful this Year!!


Thanksgiving is a holiday all Americans celebrate and the Au Pairs enjoy the holiday with their host families.  The Suffolk County Cluster of Au Pair in America took the time to express what they are grateful for this Thanksgiving.

2013 Au Pairs are Thankful for………………………..

Staying in America for a year and meeting new girls. I am thankful that my family and friends are healthy.

Being here in the USA and having a great family at home which helps me not getting too homesick.

Travel to the USA, being in Michigan and meeting awesome friends, awesome places, then travel to New York and finding a great host family.

My time here in the United States, the friends I’ve made and my host family has been so supportive.

All the wonderful people I have met thus far on my time in USA. My great host family and all the memories that will last me a lifetime.

All the people who love me.

My mom and my siblings, that they are there for me when I need them and that we help each other every time. I am thankful for the possibility to spend one year here in America.

My new host family, because the rematch was so hard and I feel so happy now in this host family. I can finally enjoy this new experience in America.

Having a lovely host family, the support from my family and friends at home, my strength to go through all this so far away from everything I know, all my possibilities her in the US., all the people I have gotten to know and will get to know…..

The supportive family and friends I left behind. The struggle it has taken to be here, the amazing host family I’ve come to know and the amazing friends I have made and have yet to make.

My host family – my friends and family who are at home – the opportunity to be here – my life and my health

Being here in America, for supportive, loving family and friends back home, to be able to travel and meet new people, to be blessed with such a great host family, to be healthy, etc.

Waking up every day and having the opportunity to learn something new. I am thankful for nature.

Host Families & Au Pairs Holiday Preparations!

1. Schools breaks during holidays; talk about how the work schedule will change during the holiday season.

2. Talk to your au pair about how you celebrate the holidays, ask her about how she celebrates, add au pair’s traditions into your holiday activities!

3. Talk to your au pair which activities you really want her to participate in if possible.

4. Discuss what time off she would like during the holiday season so you can put it on the schedule.  New Year’s Eve is usually very important to au pairs, if possible give her off – it may be her only one ever in the USA!

5. Gifts for your au pair are normally given by families; she will give some to you too, though I encourage crafts, books or games for her to give the kids.

6. Au Pairs will probably be a bit homesick this time of year, so be sensitive to her feelings.  Host families and au pairs will be stressed during the holiday season, be sensitive to each others’ feelings.

7. Try to keep the kids on as much of a regular schedule as possible.  Kids will get over tired and cranky if there are too many activities in one day or several days in a row.  Try to help limit the activities to a few a day or week.

8. Give kids downtime with quiet activities au pair can supervise, like reading a holiday story or watching a holiday DVD.

9. Make sure the kids get plenty of sleep.

10. Encourage your au pairs to participate in the kid’s school holiday activities; class party, concert, etc.

11. Encourage your au pair to do a Global Awareness presentation about holidays in their country in your kid’s classroom.  Introduce the au pair to the teacher.

12.  Enjoy the holidays and participate in Cluster Activities!

Au Pairs Meet about Hurricane Aftermath and Upcoming USA Holidays

On Sunday, Nov. 11 2012, Senior Community Counselor for Suffolk County, Cindy Garruba gathered the au pairs in her cluster together to discuss how Hurricane Sandy impacted them and to prepare them for the upcoming holiday season.

Nov cluster meeting 2 web

Some of the au pairs experienced no problems during the hurricane, they never lost power, had the internet and their host families functioned normally.  Others had to go to host families’ relatives houses to ride out the hurricane and the 2 weeks of no power, internet or phone.  One au pair shared that she and the host family’s grandmother slept on the couch, while the whole host family slept in Grandma’s bed.  She joked about the togetherness, but was very happy to back in the host family’s home again!  No one in the cluster was hurt and everyone now has power!  Some of the homes have some damage, trees are down in many yards, but everyone is fine.  Cindy said she is very grateful to her au pairs for their strength, courage, flexibility and all the love they give their host families.

After discussing the hurricane, the discussion moved on to American Holidays, childcare during the holidays, winter driving, staying healthy this winter and upcoming holiday activities for au paris and host families.  Along with all the important discussion, there was time to make ornaments for an International Tree for Stony Brook Village’s Promenade of Trees.  After all the conversation and projects, Cindy served the au pairs pumpkin pie to give them an early taste of Thanksgiving!

11-11-12 We Honor Our Veterans

The Story of Veterans Day

  1. November 11 is Veterans Day. A veteran is a soldier who has served his/her country.
  2. Thirty-five countries fought in World War I. They fought for five years, from 1914 to 1918. The United States fought in the war from 1917 to 1918.
  3. Finally the countries stopped fighting. The leaders signed an armistice. They signed the armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The armistice meant that the war was over.
  4. Americans were very happy to hear about the armistice. No more soldiers would die in the war. The soldiers could come home.
  5. People went out into the streets and laughed and danced. They blew horns and whistles and rang bells. They sang songs. They thought that there would never be another war.
  6. President Wilson made November 11 a holiday to remember the end of the war. The holiday was called Armistice Day.
  7. At eleven o’clock in the morning, everyone stopped doing whatever they were doing. People were completely silent for one minute. This minute was to remember all the soldiers who have died in wars.
  8. The body of an unknown soldier was brought to America from the cemetery in France. His body was buried in a tomb at Arlington National Cemetery. It was called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  9. The US soldiers served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Currently soldiers are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.
  10. The bodies of three more unknown soldiers were brought to the cemetery. On Veterans Day, there are special services at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
  11. Americans remember and honor all the veterans.