Thursday, August 26, 2010

occupation: housewife!

This past Saturday and Sunday I spent the weekend with Olin and Nikki as well Nikki's father and his wife. We did a lot of walking around and floating down the river, which was a lot of fun! You get to float a long ways down the river and they have these bags to put all your stuff in as you float down so it won't get wet. They look like fish as you can see:
They are very handy to have as we walked pretty far up in order to float down back to where our bikes were. After this and some Bananagrams playing during the weekend, I was off Monday to Zurich just in time for dinner with the family.
A little about the family. The mom and dad both work outside the home, one in music the other in science. They are both very prominent in their fields, and the mom travels quite a bit for her job. here on out they will be known as H(mom) and S(dad). They have two little girls who are 4(J) and 8(M). They are the sweetest little girls and in my few days of knowing them are very well behaved. J is in kindergarten every morning until 12pm, while M is in 3rd grade full time. The schedule for school varies depending on the day and so my schedule is never the same on any given day.
The family has been so welcoming and they have been slowly helping me get into a routine. As the title says, essentially I am a housewife. I am doing a lot of the washing, I help with lunch and dinner, I do a lot of dishes and make sure the girls are doing what they need to get done, whether it be homework or practicing for M or simply playing with J. The mom, H, would like to add a few more things into the mix this year like a weekly library date and having me work a little on rhythms and notes with M. J does not play an instrument yet although desperately wants to play violin. The dad, S, has asked that if I can help J to learn some tunes on the piano that this would be great fun for J. I am not so sure about that, but I guess we will see as time goes on. My days generally are 1-2 hours of housework in the morning including making lunch and dinner prep, as well as laundry and making of the girls beds. Then either I or H pick up Julia from kindergarten and have lunch ready for her. Because H will be gone for the next week, I have had to pick up the routine fairly quickly. Luckily her mother is coming into town to help out with the girls. This is followed by some play time and waiting for M to get home from school. Then M does her homework while J and I play or help to make dinner of some sort. Once Dinner and dishes are done, I am generally off the hook for the rest of the evening.
Other than getting into a routine here I have been unable to do much else as I am living with the family until this weekend because my apartment is being repainted and new things were added. I was able to see the apartment however and it is very much like a dorm room. I will post pictures later but it's got a small kitchenette and bathroom and then the bedroom area with a desk and chair. I am moving my stuff in this weekend but will stay with the family until Monday.
I was able to go to a coffee meet up to meet some other au pairs which went okay. It'll be hard to make friends here I think with my wacky schedule but I hope to make some soon! I am meeting another au pair tomorrow and then will attend the coffee thing next week as well I hope! My German classes start a week from this Monday and I will be taking intensive German from 8:30am-12:30pm 5 days a week. I'm not sure how this will go but hopefully I will be able to pick it up fairly quickly.
The family also has a soundproof music room that I am able to use which includes a baby grand piano and lots of music! I have a found a few music stores and am hoping to find more in order to get some music to learn. I am hoping to find a voice teacher in October after my German lessons are done to start doing some Jazz but will wait a little bit before I start looking.
The family is gone this weekend so I will be sightseeing around Zurich and might head to see Olin and Nikki for the day or something like that.
Whew! Sorry for the long post. They will get shorter I promise! and updated more often!


  1. Sounds a bit crazy! Fun, though?

    (Also, I'm drooling a bit over the music room you've


  2. Thanks Rachel for the inside view of your life as an au paire! What a great experience to have a close-up view on how this family functions. Glad you were able to spend some time with Nikki and Olin. I'll have to drag out my German/English dictionary and write to you in German after your classes! Love, Aunt Patty