štvrtok 13. marca 2014

Ain't got time for that!

Hello guys!

I was planning to write something like 3 month summary and it suddenly changed to 4 month summary and I still haven't even started! I just know one thing I don't have time for that. To write, to crochet, to read, to go climbing (I only went like once a week and I can see how much weaker I am) or just do whatever.

When I look at my facebook, I see photos of other au pairs actually doing staff even with other au pairs. Imagine! I've been in Chicago for more than 4 months and I know two au pairs. One I know from school and only because we are in same class. I haven't met her outside of class yet. Other I met my first week and since than like 5 times? Not really that much is it? I am getting a feeling I'm doing something wrong but I don't know what yet. There is an au pair that lives just few houses away from me and I still haven't met her.

I admit, that I take nap (1 hr.) almost every day, but if you work at 6am and go to bed around 11pm or midnight you need a nap. Five to six hours of sleep just isn't enough. I've tried to go without nap and my body crashed and even after I stopped being sick, I still had pretty big crisis. Worst two weeks ever. Not doing that again.

Oh. And just a little peek to my craziness. In our house, there is currently 5 adults (+ extra nanny), 4 children (2 yr, twins - 2 months, 4 months) and 4 dogs. And for HW 2nd birthday party? 17 toddlers, 32 adults!

Maybe I will see you again. maybe.

štvrtok 30. januára 2014

New Christmas, new babies, New year...


I finally got time, to edit and post again my old entry and it's already time for new one. Last one was originally written right before Thanksgiving. I have to say it was unusual (in hotel), great (on 25th floor of that hotel) and extremely tasty! :)

Than, there was Christmas. It was unusual too. I split it in two parts. One day (24th) I spent with my Slovak boys and 25th with my host family (HF). We cooked kapustnica (sauerkraut soup) with Slovaks and watched Pelisky. And to make it Christmas-y they played poker after. (Really charming!) On the other hand, 25th and 26th and all other days I spent with my HF. And it was most unusual (and awesome) Christmas ever. In Slovakia we have Christmas dinner, here it was lunch, in Slovakia we open gifts at 24th after dinner. here it was in the morning. And not really morning, I'd say before noon, but we had to schedule it, so everyone was there and HW (2 years) wasn't napping. Actually she opened her last presents sometimes in January.

Well now Christmas is over and my school started. It's really cool! I have my photography class and we use film cameras only (little more investment, but whatever, it's sooo cool!). So black and white photography on film! best course ever! unfortunately, I will have to take one of weekend classes to get rest of my credits. Summer semester is very short and i'd have to be in school 4 evenings a week. Impossible to work for my work schedule and climbing and hanging out with my friends... So what. I'll spend one weekend in school. I'll meet more au pairs. It will be good for me :).

All au pairs going to Chicago, or already here,  attention! Most of museums have free weekdays now! There are some sites to tell you which museums has free days when, but these two months it's every museum! It is the best way to spend a day off (except sleeping of course).

Now I have really horrible schedule, but I know it's not permanent and many au pairs have worst schedules. The point is I have to wake up way earlier than before but i'm getting used to it. And I know it's good for me, I'm just that kind of person that has to complain about everything. Before, I got to sleep in every other day cause I worked around 10am or 11am and I just didn't have time to do anything, cause I was sleeping all the time. Now I work every morning at 7am few times a week only for an hour and half and I'm complaining, cause I cannot sleep in. There is no way to make me happy. I know that :)

I also decided to make a little road trip on my weekends off. Now it's gonna be Door county WI (hopefully). It's few hours drive to north, but on pictures it looks beautiful! You know that long straight road going through desert? Well it's nothing like that. It's exact opposite! little winding roads through forest and lighthouses :) :)

so you can wait for update and some pictures (also spell check - I know I need it) :)

see ya Maria

And just to explain, there is always someone sick. Literally no longer stretch than 2 days with everybody healthy since Christmas. That's why it takes me so long to write and edit everything. (And i'm lazy that's the other reason :) )

pondelok 25. novembra 2013

Don't be careful with your baby (and some weird fish) [edited]

Hey guys!

A piece of  very simple advice for Slovak parents. "Don't be so careful with your babies!" Yes. in comparison with Americans we Slovaks are very careful with our babies! It's really strange and total opposite to what we were taught in au pair care academy. I am not talking about safety. It's very safe around here. For example I really enjoy IL state law pedestrians have always right of way. Which is nice when I take my little sunshine to the park or I just walk across the street myself. 

America has taken baby proofing to whole another level. That is where we Slovaks just use our brain. I didn't really see any baby proofing gadgets in houses with babies that I visited recently in Slovakia. Yer they are everywhere here in USA. For example this super cool safety feature on stroller - tie it to your hand. Well in Slovakia we just know not to let it out of our hands...

I'm talking about dressing baby according to weather for example. Now all those super sexy short skirt and low cut Halloween costumes you see in every movie make even less sense to me. How you just not freeze!?) I actually think, that is reason why Americans are more adjusted to cold than we are (or me, at least). Also things my mum taught me like natural common sense ideas (don't go out with wet hair, you'l get flu/cold; don't drink ice water in winter, don't sit on cold ground etc.) just don't seem to work here. I remember people in Cooke City (MT) were wearing flip flops or sandals when I was, well, wearing winter boots (and still shivering). 

Also not playing crazy after meal is one example. HD came to HW right after she ate and picked her up and started turning, shaking... Just playing with her which'd be very normal if she didn't finish her lunch like a minute ago. My careful Slovak brain went immediately 'OMG she is gonna throw up/be sick or something.' And nothing happened! Now I play with her like this and still nothing happened. And there are some other examples when my brain had to go through some crazy twists and turns saying 'This would never happen with baby in Slovakia.'

Also I went climbing at Hidden peak again with my Slovak boys. :) It was fun but I realized that I really am out of shape, and I need to do something about it. Please keep me accountable. It will be harder for me to give up, if more people know about my ambitions. I'm giving myself 30 day challenge. (I'm on day no. 9) BUT in my defense, I was sick during that week, so I could have been weak because of that. But it was finally (kind of) climbing  like I remember from Montana. 'Let's climb some rocks and drink beer after.' And I really missed that beer part.

SO! I decided to make up for it and called the guys to a beer tour! http://halfacrebeer.com/tours/

 It is small local brewery called Half Acre Brewery. They make few kinds of beer and my favorite is Daisy cutter. The tour starts at 11 am. But you have to get there at least 30 minutes sooner because, well they make great beer and people really want to go to a brewery for a tour. Ticket is $10 you get a glass like this:
and three beers in it. And of course education lesson about how to make beer and history of Half acre.

And one lovely morning beer tasting suddenly turned to all day beer run. I don't really know how, but it was fun (thank you HM (host mum), I could finish diapers on Sunday!) It was a lot of fun!

We went to Shedd Aquarium with Harper (we have a membership now so if there is some other au pair with membership reading, contact me!) and there were some crazy fish there! And 

Garden snakes
garden snakes. They stay in one place by sticking their tail into sand. if danger is coming, they go deep down. I don't really know how this process works, but I think your garden is not cool enough if you don't have garden snakes. Why they are called garden snakes, if they live in sea?

I signed up for photography class at Truman College. Signing up was a surprisingly pleasurable activity because I was told it was going to be a load of paperwork. (Like I haven't had enough of this). So a big Thank you to my HM, (she took care of everything on the phone), Darcy who was there and his supervisor (very nice and patient lady). I know, I cannot appreciate it enough, since I haven't had any bad Truman college experience to compare it with. 

And since that TOEFL lasts only for 2 years, i'm not getting my English certificate here.) OH! and I forgot to mention. They have whole F. building as a students department. Suck this University of Trnava  with one office open 3 times a week for 2 hours, which were always same as my classes (or Friday - no I'm not staying 2 days longer just to get on staple) and I always got yelled where I was and how is it possible I cannot take care of this during break? Well duh! Guess! :)

I need to get my camera out lot more, cause I don't really have many pictures.

nedeľa 27. októbra 2013

I'm here!

I didn't really have time to post something about my packing, because well, I was packing. But important thing is: think where you are going (sunny and hot? cold all year long? all 4 seasons?) and REMEMBER clothing in US is (probably) way cheaper than in your country, so you will end up shopping and you will have to bring things back to your home country too...

And I really didn't like my project, so if I will manage to make it more pretty (and not be ashamed of it anymore), I'll show it to you :)

Au pair care academy was awesome! I was in class specialized for infant care and it was really fun! We learned baby massage, some signs for talking to babies and I made some good friends there :)

Au pair care academy  Baby class! Silver (or as I'd say Golden) team

There was possibility to go on this trip to New York for like $40 something... and it really sucked! I'm just one happy person, I have family in NY, so I can come visit them and get real tour. this one was only from the bus (this is her, there is that, and you can get a glimpse of that on the left...). Just not worth it. At all. I thought maybe promised picture with Statute of liberty will be what I expected. Well wasn't. we got out of the bus, had like 10 minutes for picture wit statute may be 1,5 cm big somewhere in distance and got back in the bus.
Then they let us out in Time square for may be 1,5 - 2 hours? What there is to see on time square? Lot's and lots of billboards. So I took couple of pictures, bought something to eat and found (kind of) quiet corner to eat it (getting food in restaurant wasn't recommended because of time). I really felt like an autistic child lost in supermarket... Then I went for short walk and took couple of pictures. so... My point is, that tour was waste of money. next day was shuttle to NY for $20 something and I bet it was same (or may be even better).

Facebook, Pinterest and Line all together! (quite bad picture :/)

And BTW. since there is Halloween now, there was costume contest and our room got 3rd place. :) we were social networks and everybody who participated got that ride with shuttle to NY as a price. I chose not to go (since I'll have better opportunity to visit) and let one of the girls go instead of me. (I had hotel pool all to myself. I think it was better way to spend time :) )

I got to my host family on Friday. On Saturday we went to zoo and to pumpkin carving at their friends house. It really was like in movies. Mommies in kitchen talking. Daddies in yard preparing pumpkins (later watching baseball/american football game) and kids in Halloween masks running around! :) I carved my first pumpkin EVER! :) :) And today is gonna be some kind of kids parade, so i'm excited for that too! :)
I have to say, it's really hard for me to adjust to this new kind of life. Coming to someones family as kind of family member, kind of employee... Totally new situation for me, but I think it's already getting better. And with their other part time nanny coming tomorrow it's gonna get much better too. She is apparently young and cool and we will have lots to talk about. :)

see ya!
Maria (:

(mozte to niekto doma mamke prelozit? dakujem!)

utorok 1. októbra 2013

Test entry

So if you met me, you probably know I'm a bit crazy and last crazy thing I decided to do was to became an au pair in USA for a year. It was pretty easy decision to make, since there is not many options for me in my home town (lovely, but smaaaaal). I'm planing to write a blog about my experiences (good or bad) so my mum or friends won't say I don't keep in touch. I'm not a writer and I've never been blogging so no judging please. And I also know my English is not prefect but I wanna work on that. Some entries will be in Slovak and some in English (or may be both we'll see).

Well. finally it's happening and i'm beginning to work on some important things for my successful year. Like Au pair project. I don't know if all agencies want that thing, but in my honest opinion it's ridiculous (especially 'you can give it to your host family as a gift' thing. If I'm gonna give them something it gotta be something well... nice. Not such a nonsense).

But I have to make it whatever I think about it so I decided to have some fun with it (as much as I can). AND I'll post it here in English, so it can be helpful for someone, because I didn't find any information online (only guide from agency and let's be honest it's not really helpful). Of course, I found some videos about project (not many). But girls! Your friends aren't interested in that shit! people from around globe (who need some information/inspiration) are! And not everybody speaks Spanish, Latvian, Hungarian or whatever your native language is. You were able to make project in English, so why not video?!
BTW: Thank you anonymous Czech girl. Your video skills suck (so do mine - who am I to judge), but project is good.

(next time about packing. that's gonna be fun!)

See ya!