Archive for December, 2012

English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Babies love sensory play as much as Toddlers love to move!

Au Pair Sis has pinned 35 ways to play with your one year old to her Pinterest page. Yes, I know I am a little older than one, but who (of any age) can resist a rainbow gelatin sensory tub? Gelatin and Kool Aid are edible (make them a little sour to limit the amount sthe kiddos actually eat), and the colors are awesome. Using the bathroom for the play room makes clean up a snap.

Want more sensory tubs for your littlest ones? Here’s a link for more, with a chance to subscribe for updates.


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English dialects

English dialects (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

The main page for Go Au Pair on December 6, 2012 contains the following paragraph in the featured blog article “Au Pairs: The childcare choice with no boundaries.”

Not only does Go Au Pair require all of their applicants to take personality tests to help Host Families determine who will be their best fit, but they also search for Au Pairs who have excellent English speaking abilities. In last year’s Au Pair ClearingHouse Awards, Go Au Pair was the only agency to receive an “Excellent” score in the area of “English Skills.”  Go Au Pair ranked in the 90th percentile, and as a result received the “Host Parent’s Blue Ribbon Pick.”

A major cause of breakdown in U.S. families with au pairs is a lack of English skills.


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A page from Loughridge's Dictionary

A page from Loughridge’s Dictionary (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

au pair

[oh pair] noun

 1. a person, usually a young foreign visitor, employed to take care of children, do housework, etc., in exchange for room and board: We sent the children to the beach with the au pair.

After World War II the changing social and economic factors in Europe, especially women’s emancipation, led to a need for inexpensive live-in childcare, where the caregiver is treated like a member of the family.European au pairs are part-time caregivers, and usually part-time students. In the U.S., au pairs may work full-time in addition to their schooling. Au pair means “equal.”

Go Au Pair is a designated provider of au pairs from many countries around the world who come to live and study in the U.S.

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Biscochitos are small, cookies with a sweet cinnamon and anise sugar coating. Addictive from the word go, they are de rigueur for a proper Albuquerque Christmas. Cut into special shapes like circles, stars and triangles, biscochitos appear after Thanksgiving and continue through the New Year.

Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen, www.janebutelcooking.com, provides a classic Spanish biscochito recipe online with a downloadable pdf for simplicity. Biscochitos are the New Mexico state cookie.

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English: San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church lo...

San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church, (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Old Town Plaza is a major tourist attraction in Albuquerque throughout the seasons, but it becomes a magical place for Christmas. Luminarias are paper bag lanterns filled with sand and a candle that are said light the way for the Christ Child throughout the Southwest, and particularly in New Mexico.

Local residents gather to fill the bags and arrange them in elaborate decorative patterns—transforming the historical Plaza into a Christmas Eve place of enchantment and festivities that conclude with a quiet evening Mass at San Felipe de Neri Church, originally built in 1706.

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Since 1997, there has been a bright and shining display of very special lights at the Botanical Gardens each Christmas. Known as the River of Lights, all kinds of local people have donated their time and workmanship to create a magical garden display of whimsy:

 “Nowhere is the spirit of the season more evident than at the River of Lights, where snowmen live in their own small world, and lights throughout the Botanic Gardens come to life as oversized bees, flies, butterflies and more. See yellow submarines, scuttling scorpions, and watch Pegasus take wing. It’s the 12th River of Lights, where every year brings new displays, which just keep getting better. “

 At a cost of $10 per adult and $5 per child, from the end of November through the end of December each year, this display ranks high on the agenda of au pairs and Host Families.

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English: Maria Moline, instructor, coaches her...

Zumba, Stuttgart. (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Au Pair Sis is an awesome woman! Her page of au pair exercises on Pinterest leaves one tired and energized at the same time–tired enough to sleep tonight (we all need that!), and energized knowing that a month of steady attendance from home at these workouts will banish that fatigue for good.

What are my favorites? Yoga poses give relief for the cold and flu season—a must for any household with small children. Tanandtoned.tumblr.com has run/walk progressions (and more) for those who don’t have a gym nearby. And, of course, Zumba.

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