Monthly Archives: August 2013

End of Summer on Long Island

June Cluster Meeting 2012 017Summer is winding done here on Long Island.  Monday, September 2nd is Labor Day which is the unofficial end of summer in our area.  Labor Day is the first Monday in September and was first celebrated in the United States on September 5, 1882 as a trade union holiday.   Most people in the USA celebrate the extended weekend with barbeques, picnics and sporting events.  In fashion, it is traditionally the last day white shoes, sandals or pants are worn until next year’s Memorial Day which is celebrated in May.

school-bus-stop-colorSchool starts after Labor Day.  Everyone is getting back into routine.  The September Cluster Meeting for the Au Pairs is on September 15th and is MANDATORY! There is so much important info to go over and lots of new au pairs to meet.  Check your email for the time and location!

Use Your Library

LibraryFrom Riverhead Library director, Lisa Jacobs:  Ah, late summer, when school supplies are on sale at all the stores! I’m so tempted (like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail) to buy them even though I don’t need them. Binders, filler paper, new pens…

The reality is, the most important school supply for any student doesn’t appear on teachers’ lists. That is a LIBRARY CARD. Even with Internet access so widely available, your library card still offers access to many things students need. Here’s my own top 10 list:

10. Live online homework help, every afternoon and evening
9. Test prep assistance, both online and in person
8. Online skills-building resources (to help learn that tricky math concept)
7. Access to America the Beautiful state books, both in print and online
6. Access to accurate online encyclopedias such as Grolier and World Book
5. Educational programs on a variety of topics, plus some fun stuff too
4. Free ebooks for downloading to most any device
3. Information for Science Fair projects, both in print and online
2. Access to millions of different books to borrow (now available from both Suffolk and Nassau)
And the number one thing…
1. Great librarians who can help you figure out which of those millions of books you need or want to read next!

Au Pairs should all get library cards!  There are great programs for the kids and you at the library.  Most of the libraries in Suffolk County all have free English conversation groups!  Join one and make even more friends!

Transitioning to a New Au Pair

photo albumAs your au pair’s departure date approaches, her departure will affect you and her, as well as the children. There may be many different reactions to the au pair’s departure. You may see (or experience) tears, hostility or withdrawal. Remember that although it is important to talk about feelings, it may be difficult for young children to express feelings of loss, disappointment or betrayal. Therefore, children may act out their feelings instead (this can also be useful and appropriate). Any member of the household may feel angry, abandoned, sad or depressed. One common response to these feelings is to start to distance oneself. This helps some people to say good-bye, but may be confusing to other parties involved.

Here are some things to think about which might help everyone in your household prepare for your au pair’s departure:

  • Young children perceive time differently than adults. Therefore, your preparation for the departure should not begin too far in advance.
  • As the departure date nears, please start to talk with your children about her departure. When possible, it is helpful to link the departure date to some other event (when school is over, soon after vacation, etc.).
  • It would also be desirable for your au pair herself to mention to the children that she will be leaving. Encourage her to do so.
  • If you have not already discussed world geography with your child, this would be a good time to do so. Point out on a globe where you live and where your au pair is going. Discuss the distance and the travel time involved. Be clear that the au pair is going home to her family.
  • Discuss the possibility of staying in touch with letters, e-mail, or even pictures if your child does not write. Be sure you have the au pair’s address, and make plans to write.
  • It is often helpful (and fun) to create a small photo album for your children to look at. After your au pair leaves this can hold important memories for them.
  • If you are having another au pair arrive, discuss the arrival plans with your child. Be sensitive to the possibility that your current au pair might feel badly about being “replaced” in your children’s hearts.
  • Make sure there is an opportunity to say good-bye. Make it clear when it will be the last time your children will be seeing the au pair.
  • If a change in routine is anticipated, try to put it in place before the new au pair arrives if possible.
  • A departing au pair might want to leave a welcoming note to the next au pair along with any useful tips or information that she knows would be helpful. This could help her to feel valued by you.

As concerned parents, we often might want to protect our children from life’s bumps and bruises. However, learning to deal with loss is an important life lesson that can be understood by even young children. It is important to know that someone can care about you and still leave. With support from the family and the au pair, children can feel safe and secure while accepting the au pair’s departure. Children are often more resilient than we give them credit for, and they are also often a reflection of their parents’ feelings.

August 10th is National S’mores Day!

How to Make S'mores thumbnail Today is National S’Mores Day!  Here’s how to make this tasty campfire treat!  (also can be made in the microwave)

They’ve been a treat at campfires for generations and always leave everyone wanting “some more.” Makes one s’more.

Instructions – Adult Supervision Required!

  1. Gather around a warm campfire with friends or family.
  2. Break a graham cracker into two halves. Place one quarter of a chocolate bar on one half of a graham cracker.

  3. Stick one large marshmallow on the end of a wire or clean stick. An unwound wire hanger works well.

  4. Hold your marshmallow several inches over the hot embers of the fire.
  5. Rotate the wire as the marshmallow cooks, allowing the marshmallow to become lightly browned all over.
  6. Place the browned marshmallow on top of the graham cracker and chocolate.
  7. Place the other half of the graham cracker on top of the marshmallow, creating a sandwich.
  8. While firmly holding the two graham crackers together, pull the wire out of the marshmallow.
  9. Wait about 30 seconds for the warm marshmallow to melt the chocolate.
  10. Enjoy!

    Eat the s’more after allowing it to cool. You’ll want some more – so return to step two.

    Read more:

    All American Past Time

    Some of the Long Island Au Pairs went to the Long Island Ducks Baseball game this past weekend.DSCN1270

    011What better way is there to spend a summer evening than watching the All American past time?  The Au Pairs got to experience the game up close at the family friendly Ducks Stadium.  The professional baseball team won the game, scored some home runs, and gave a great show to the au pairs for their first ever baseball game.  In between innings, there are silly contests with fans from the stands.  Sons tried to break water balloons over their dad’s heads, a father and son played bocce bowling, and even a karoke singer got a few cheers from the au pairs!  Everyone got enjoyed the antics of Quaker Jack the team mascot!  Quite a few foul balls were sent in our direction, but not close enough for any au pair to catch!
    Aisha from Canada and Ella from South Africa with Quacker Jack!
    Aisha from Canada and Ella from South Africa with Quacker Jack!