I’m so sorry about not writing anything!!! I was so busy with organizing things for Max’s Birthday party and the children’s entertainment on the same day for the business Christmas party, getting the Christmas parcel for my loved ones back in Germany ready for taking off, Christmas preparation and of course all the planning for my upcoming road trip on the south island…yes! I’m going to the south island on Dec 27th for a road trip of 17 days with my beloved best friend Katie. Afterwards we are going to do Northland in 4 days from the 15th – 19th January. So it’s a three week holiday, which I’m really looking forward to. There’ll be lots of adventures and new places to see and I’m excited to experience all of it!
I want to tell you so many things that happened the last few weeks and I already started to write things down, but because of the fact that I’m leaving for my trip in two days, I just don’t have the time to finish it. I’m so sorry! I’m going to tell you everything when I’m back from my trip and you’re going to see lots of photos as well.
And of course: MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE! I had a great one!!!
And a HAPPY NEW YEAR! See you in 2015!
Time is running too fast!
I’m so sorry for this really big gap between my Posts. I’m just super busy and in the evenings too tired to find the right words.
I’ll just write something about the last nearly two months and then I hope I can manage to write every week again!
So I’m going to catch up 7 weeks now…
The week with the boys alone was actually quite good. It was a hard week because there was lots to do and I had no break but it really helped to improve the bond between the boys and me. Ash and I had a good time together, especially watching “The Block” (a really cool renovation challenge series) when the boys were in bed.
I also went to a pizza night on Monday, which was organized by my placement manager Julia. I met so many new people and it was super much fun!
On Saturday Morning Nicky and Kelvin came back from their holiday and had really bought me a little gift – A necklace and earrings made out of a coconut – So beautiful!
The same day Nicky and Kelvin came back, Tammy and I did our first and last weekend trip together to Waiheke Island. We hired bikes to drive around the island and it was just beautiful! We had best weather – not too hot, not too cold but mostly sunny! The hostel was really cute and everyone was super friendly and helpful, even though the people in our room were quite weird (all Germans…makes me thinking). Unfortunately I got a little bit sick again and we had to go back the next morning and couldn’t stay for the Sunday. But I’m totally going back in summer to visit a vineyard and to go swimming at those beautiful beaches!
After that weekend trip I knew that I don’t want to do more big Trips with Tammy. I was realizing that we’re too different to become really good friends and there were things I just don’t need to deal with in my time here. It was actually a good time with her the first months and maybe it’s because we both already changed in that time…I don’t know. It just didn’t work out as we thought in the beginning. So I canceled the south island trip we planned together, because it’s kind of a “once in a lifetime trip” where I thought I should enjoy it as well and not make too many compromises.
The next two weeks have been quite normal…Kindy, Gymnastics, Kindyrock, Library,Granddad…
One day we went to an indoor playground because it was raining the whole week. It was so much fun with the boys and it’s a really good place to go on a rainy and windy day to power the kids out.
The weekends I went to Auckland and bought the first Christmas presents for you guys at home and I finally started painting my room with the first coat out of three. I was painting 8 hours and I felt super exhausted afterwards but I was happy about my work.
Oh! I haven’t told you about Katie yet. Katie is a girl from England who lives in Pukekohe (just 15 minutes away) and she’s such a lovely and funny person. After I cancelled the south island trip with Tammy I didn’t really know who to go with but Katie and I started to do some things together and discovered that we both have the plan of travelling south in summer, so we decided to do it together and started planning. We already booked all the important things for the road trip and looked up many activities we want to do. It’s going to be so much fun and we both are super excited and can’t wait until Dec 27th!
I also got babysitting jobs in Auckland and just up the road here in Ramarama. Nicky organized it for me because both families are friends and she knew they’ll need someone.
I only did babysitting for the family in Auckland yet. They have three children – two girls and one baby boy. I just had to look after the girls, because they took the baby with them, and it was such an easy job because the girls are so lovely. I’m already booked in for a next time now.
One weekend we all (Nicky, Kelvin, Spencer, Max and I) had kind of a family weekend. There was a Monster Competition at the Library, where the kids could win a monster book if they dress up as monsters. So we tried getting Max to wear his Gruffallo outfit but he just wore it for about two minutes. We didn’t want to force him so we thought Max won’t win a book but…in the end every child got a book and Max was happy.
The next day there was a birthday party of one of Max’s friends, where we all went to. It was really cool because they did so many games with the kids and had a big cake and balloons and all that birthday stuff…it reminded me of my kid’s parties, which was quite funny.
I also started going to the gym, because I gained soooo much weight and I really need to do something now. The gym here is really cool – I enjoy going there, which is very good for me because normally I don’t enjoy gym exercise that much. They have different and all quite intensive group classes here, which is much more motivating because you meet people, talk to them, they motivate you during the workout and it’s all in all much more fun than going on your own.
The next week I finished painting my room with the help of Nicky and Kelvin. It’s kind of a light lavender grey and it looks really good! I put some picture frames up with some photos from all my friends and family and it looks much more like my own room now. I’ll get new lights and new curtains as well and I’ll put up a big mirror and a map of New Zealand where I can mark all the places I’ve been.
On the weekend Katie and I finally did a day trip to the Waitomo Caves. We did the Black Water Rafting in the morning, which was just amazing!!! We were floating, climbing and rafting through the caves and jumped down waterfalls - and this all 65m under the sunlight! We saw the amazing blue glowworms, which was just incredibly beautiful. Because we were only four people on the tour we had lots of time and the guides showed us parts of the caves we wouldn't have seen normally.
It was stunning!
After we had our hot shower and soup to get warm again we went to the Kiwi House in Otorohanga. We saw three Kiwis being fed and it was just hilarious how they were running around excited about their food. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of the Kiwis. In the Kiwi House there are not only Kiwis but so many native birds, lizards and plants. It was such a beautiful and funny day with Katie and we had the best weather – no clouds and hot sun!
When I came home from our Waitomo trip we had little puppy at home! But he was only with us for one week because it was actually for Nicky’s sister and Nicky’s parents came up from the south island from Wednesday to Sunday to help Nicky and Kelvin getting some stuff done on the farm and to pick up the dog. I really enjoyed the time with the puppy in the house even though he was getting really bity in the end, he was such a good and lovely dog.
That weekend I finished my Christmas shopping on Saturday and had a big day on Sunday!
Oh my goodness! The Mudd Rush New Zealand is an 8K obstacle course through the mud. My knees are still green and blue and I got bruises everywhere but it was sooo much fun!
We’ve been a team out of 14 Au Pairs from in and around Auckland and had to overcome those 8K with 24 obstacles. Sometimes it was hard work but we’ve been such a good team and never lost the smile on our faces! In the end we were covered in wet mud and had to take a really cold shower to get as much mud as possible off our bodies. Afterwards we had to wait in the wind for taking a hot shower…it was freezing but we were still making jokes and enjoyed the time!
When I came back home the puppy was gone, which was quite weird because he was always around the whole week. But I still got Elmo and Elvis and Miaumiau for some good animal cuddles.
Oups! I haven’t told you that Bruce is in the paddock behind the house now. I haven’t been riding yet but it’s a good feeling having horses around.
Wow, now I’m finally coming to the current week!
Nothing really interesting happened this week…Max was at Kindy on Monday and Friday, I went to swimming lesson with Spencer, we went to gymnastics on Tuesday, Grandma came around with cake, we had kindyrock on Thursday and I went to the gym twice. But you can definitely feel that summer is coming! There are still some very windy, cold and rainy days and it gets very cold in the night but some days are just super sunny and hot.
This weekend is the long labour weekend (I got Monday off), so I went to the Piha and the Muriwai Beach with Katie and three other girls on Saturday. It was a lovely day with lots of fun in the sun. I actually more enjoyed the Piha Beach because the Lion Rock in the middle of it is so incredibly beautiful. We climbed up the Lion Rock and had a beautiful view over the beach.
At Muriwai beach we just had some lunch and were sunbathing, which was not quite successful for me – still white!
On Sunday I went to Auckland City with Katie to get my hair cut and have a chilled day in town. In the evening we had dinner together and watched a movie. Today I’ve got a day off because it’s public holiday here in New Zealand and I went to the gym in the morning tidied up my room and wrote all this long text about 7 weeks for you. I’m happy that I finally updated my website today! I’ll give my best that it’s not going to be such a big gap again!
Next weekend we all do a family trip to Rotorua and Napier/Hastings, but more next week!
There were so many new and exciting things this week!
On Monday, Spencer and I were baking some biscuits because he was sick ad couldn’t go swimming. The rest of the day was just about doing all the routine stuff like lunch, playing, movietime, etc.
On Tuesday we had gymnastics and played a lot outside during the day because it was such a beautiful day. In the evening I booked some flights – I’m so excited! But I won’t tell you when and where I’m going…Surprise! I just say: It’s going to be awesome!
On Wednesday the boys and I went to the city to drive with the shark bus to the aquarium. The shark bus is a free transfer bus which looks like a shark and is driving from downtown to the aquarium. That was my first time driving with that bus and Max was just super excited and happy and he wouldn’t get off the bus when we arrived at the aquarium so he screamed and didn’t want to go in the aquarium he just wanted to wait for the shark bus to come back. So we were waiting for it and went back without seeing anything except the bus. But as long as the boys are happy, everything’s fine!
Because Nicky and Kelvin are going on holiday next week and I’ll be alone with the boys, they asked a friend who worked as a nanny for a long time to help me out in the evenings and nights so that I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night if the boys wake up. So the friend (Ashley) came around on Wednesday evening to get to know the boys and the evening routine. We had dinner together and I think she is really nice and it’ll be fun to spend the evenings of the week with her and the boys.
On Friday I went to the Library with Spencer for the first time and I really like to go there with the kids because they love books so much and we can choose some new books every time so that they have a variety of story every few weeks.
The weekend was not that exciting but Nicky and Kelvin left today and Ash and I had to do the first night alone. It worked out quite good and I think I can manage the next week.
What a week!
First: I feel much better! The antibiotics have done their job.
On Monday I did the normal routine stuff: Max was at kindy and I went to swimming class with Spencer. On Tuesday we had gymnastics again where I realized that not everyone thinks good of Au Pairs here…Some mothers/grandmothers think they’re just perfect and whoever needs an Au Pair is a bad parent. That makes me so angry!
Anyway…after gymnastics we went to visit Grandma at their house for the first time and had some lunch and afternoon tea together. It was really nice there and I really enjoyed it after talking to thse weird “super-mums” at gymnastics.
On Wednesday we wanted to go to the Zoo but Max had two vomits in the early morning so we just went to the supermarket. In the afternoon Julia came to visit me and the boys and brought some toys and books with her. Unfortunately max was not himself because of his vomits today, so it was a bit hard to get him into the toys.
In the evening I made dinner for the first time! I did a German meal which is called “Bauernfrühstück” (“farmer’s breakfast”). I was really nervous about that and was nearly desperate whilst cooking because I thought it would be horrible in the end…
But now I’m really proud because it did taste really good and even the kids liked it the next day for lunch! Good job!
Thursday is always kindyrock-day which was not much fun this week…Max was super-grumpy because of his eye infection and spencer was tired-grumpy.
Friday was awesome! They brought real snow to the carpark at kindy and did a “Frozen-Day” with hot chocolate and sausages. We went there all together and the kids saw snow for the first time in their life. Spencer just didn’t know what to do so he tried to eat it and max just hated that his hands got wet when he was touching the snow. That was just too cute!
In the evening I went to town for my first party night with my friend Tammy – Springbreak!
I don’t know what to tell you about that because it was a crazy night! I really like partying here but unfortunately my friend was just too drunk and turned into a little baby so that it was more like a work day with Max and Spencer than a fun night!
On Saturday the friend (with a big headache) and I went to a Dance-/Fitness- Class which was really hard hard for all my muscles but it was so much fun! Unfortunately it’s on Saturdays so that I can’t do it every week because we’re planning many weekend trips and holidays at the moment.
Tammy and I couldn’t go to the Waitomo Caves because I’m sick...
On Monday I didn’t feel very well but it was okay, so I went to swimming class with Spencer and sorted out some toys of the toy box at home. The whole day was just routine and normal. Tuesday it got worse…I went to gymnastic class with the boys for the first time because I wanted to try something new with them. It was so much fun but my head started to hurt really hard. In the afternoon, the grandma was here again and brought some muffins. I was just too tired and didn’t feel good for the ballroom dancing class in the evening so I went to bed early, but I couldn’t sleep because my head was about to burst. Nicky gave me paracetamol and another pillow to keep my head up and she was so caring.
The night was just awful and so I went to the Healthcare station on Wednesday morning. They gave me antibiotics and painkillers and I couldn’t work on Wednesday and Thursday. These days - especially Wednesday was full of homesickness because I missed how my mum was caring for me at home when I was sick and I really needed someone to cuddle (Sounds weird but I felt horrible).
When Nicky told me that I was the first of their four Au Pairs who needed to take a day off, I felt worse and was thinking of something to make amends. So I said that I could work on Saturday as well and that I’ll make dinner next Wednesday to help Kelvin getting his work done and that he can relax one evening.
On Friday I felt better because of my antibiotics and worked my normal hours. My Placement Manager Julia from Au Pair Link came to visit me and the boys but Max was at Kindy and Spencer was sleeping so she decided to come again next Wednesday to see the boys and bring some toys with her. Max was really cute in the evening - he wanted to paint a picture with me and was really patient and interested.
I picked Sarah up on the train station with the boys on Saturday because we wanted to spend the weekend together anyway, so she helped me with the boys during the day and in the evening we watched some movies in my room and I realized that I made the right decision not to go to Waitomo because I still felt sick and out of order after the two days with the boys.
Today was a beautiful sunday and Tammy and I went to my favorite beach – the sunset beach in Waikato. The sun was shining the sand was black and warm and we enjoyed walking through the water.
I hope I’ll finally get well next week after this first month full of colds and flues.
This week went round so fast! The first month away from home is done! I can’t believe that time is running so fast! But I feel better and better here and I notice that the boys, especially Spencer, start to get a bond to me. That’s awesome(->btw. a word which is used very often over here)!
On Tuesday I met the Granddad for the first time. I forgot to tell you that I met the Grandma last week – she brought me some lunch and afternoon tea and was really nice but stayed for 4 hours (!!!) The Granddad stayed only 2 hours and was also really nice. I know that sounds really cursory but I can’t say more about them yet because I met them only one time and I think they’re just like the typical Grandparents of whom everyone says they’re not normal but that’s what makes Grandparents to Grandparents.
Besides that I joined a ballroom dance class on Tuesday evening. That was so different to dancing at home! It was no studio, it was just a gym of a school and nobody has an own partner, they’re changing after every practice and they’re never just dancing for themselves. That’s not what I expected but the people there are all really lovely and funny so I think I’ll try it one more time.
So that you know how I live here I uploaded some photos of the house and surroundings.
I started to feel sick again on Wednesday and woke up with a heavy sinusitis on Thursday. But Thursday is “Kindy-Rock-Day”… I really love Kindy Rock (when I don’t feel like my head explodes). It’s a singing/dancing class for children and their parents or Au Pairs and that’s so much fun because Max and Spencer are so much into music and dancing that they’re so happy there. For me it’s perfect because I did something like this in Germany as a teacher in my dance school and now I can continue it here.
On Friday Max was a bit grumpy but he was at Kindy half of the day and Spencer was so lovely that the day was really good. I chose colors for my room because we want to paint it. It’s getting light grey and dark red. I hope we start that soon because I’ve so many ideas for photo collages etc.
Because Tammy had to babysit on Saturday night I spent the night with her and we had a “movie-food-night”…I feel like I’m 3kg heavier.
Next weekend Sarah and I are doing our first weekend trip to the Waitomo Caves so there’ll be a lot to tell you next week!
Third week…hardest week until now! Both of the kids are sick with eye and ear infections, a heavy cough and Spencer has Bronchiolitis now and is just not himself – means he’s crying and screaming the whole day.
I’m not in the best mood either. I don’t sleep really well and so I just don’t want to get up in the morning.
Tuesday was the best day of my week because I went to the Zoo with the boys and Tammy and her girl Alexandra who is two years old. The sun was shining and the kids were so lovely. Sometimes it was a bit harder for me because there were many school classes on that day and I had to look after two curious, agile boys running everywhere.
The next days were really hard for me because Spencer got worse and was so grumpy that there was never silence for me. Besides that I felt homesick because everything was just about the crying kids and I just wanted a hug and kiss from my mum.
At the weekend I went to Devenport with some girls I met here. We’re all Germans so it’s much easier to talk about everything without searching for words. Devenport is a district of Auckland where we went by ferry and it really seems like a little town in a big town – So many little cafés and shops and a big hill we went up to enjoy the beautiful view of Auckland.
Tammy spent the night at my house and we had Pizza night – btw. I love the food here! Kelvin is a great cook!
And today on Sunday we went to the horse (Bruce) for the first time. He will come home in October because it’s still too muddy out here. I’m looking so forward to that! He’s an old man but he’s so lovely and nice.
Next week I’m going to join a ballroom dance class here – I’m really excited!
Today was not a lazy Sunday but a shopping Sunday! But because I’m a little bit late with everything I’ll write about two weeks: About my very first week with the kids and Franzi together and about my first week alone with the kids.
The first week was very weird. I didn’t know my lace in the family yet because Franzi was there and the kids were just up to her and so I felt a little bit in between because I liked Franzi but wanted my own place in the family so missed home a bit just because I wanted to belong somewhere. But during the week it got better because the kids got used to me because I could spend some time alone with both of them. That’s also why I felt better and more as a part of the family. Driving was also a big part of feeling better! On Sunday (20th July, 2014) I drove for the first time: I went to supermarket with Kelvin in the small manual car (the “Waxmobil”) and it worked really well! I thought it would be worse driving on the left side of the road but it’s not that difficult. I just had to look out that I didn’t drive too left especially when I drove the Jeep for the first time – This car is like a tank! At the end of the week I felt more like a part of the family but the Sunday when Franzi left was a hard day for everyone and I was in between again because we got along well – we went to the Tattoo Studio together because she needed a hand during the session – but I wanted the room becoming MY room and I somehow enjoyed the time when they all went to the airport because I had time for myself for the first time. But the kids were so confused and grumpy when they came back home, that it wasn’t a really good ending of the week. Besides that I felt quite sick with a hard sore throat coming up.
My first night in my new bed alone was awful! I was shivering the whole time and got a hard headache overnight. So I woke up sick and it was my first day alone with the kids…I was lucky because Max has Kindy on Mondays s that I only had Spencer at home and Nicky bought me some Cold&Flue Tablets in the afternoon so I felt better in the evening. On Tuesday both boys were home and it was quite surprising that Max was very interested and wanted to play with me and show me all his trains but Spencer cried every time anyone left the room and as soon as Nicky or Kelvin were there he just “lost his shit” (how Kelvin would say). During the week my relationship to the boys changed rapidly. Now they’re just so happy and funny and it feels more normal to be here as well. With Kelvin and Nicky I get along really well and it feels like I’m a real family member now. All in all the first week worked out pretty good! Even driving alone and the first time dropping off Max at Kindy were better than I thought. I spent my weekend at Tammy’s house and we went shopping and did a midnight picnic up on Mt Eden in Auckland, which was beautiful. We talked and laughed a lot and compared our experiences and feelings. I think I found a really good friend here on the other side of the world!
My first week alone with the kids is nearly done but first I want to tell you my experiences of the orientation days. I know it’s a bit late but here we go: I already told you about the hard Wednesday afternoon but after this “Welcome Meeting” we had to wait for dinner and finally I had time for a shower and was so tired that I just fell into my bed and was asleep in about seconds. The Thursday (17th July, 2014) was the hardest day at orientation! Beginning at 8.30am in a room without windows and 34 people in it…we talked about driving on the other side of the road, about travelling in New Zealand and about things we can do with the children or problems which could come up with the family. It sounds not that hard but being in a cold room without windows and with just half an hour break, only listening to people with so much information and this all with a hard jetlag! In the evening we did a bus tour around Auckland which contains just freezing and sitting in a bus with steamy windows but we went up on Mt Eden where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset which was definitely worth it!
On Friday (18th July, 2014) was the First aid course which was way too long, because they said everything a 100 times… After that we talked about the “Culture shock” that could befall us. That was so absurd because they always told us that we will get homesick after three months and that we will hate it when we come back home to Germany. That’s all just so exaggerated! And now I need to fill in a sheet with the things I’ve done with the kids, what they eat, how often they went to the toilet or how often I changed a nappy and how long they slept and I need to sign that I walked in every ten minutes to look if they’re “still alive”… That’s also really exaggerated but Au Pair Link has to do this because of the government. I also need to write “Learning Stories” every month in which I write what the kids learned or how they developed this month and I also put photos in it. And in the end it will be a portfolio of my year with the kids and when they’re older they can see what we’ve done together. I think it’s a nice idea but it’s also handled too strict I think.
Finally our families picked us all up at the hotel on Friday afternoon. That was really exciting and we were all really nervous and every time someone came through the door my hearts skipped a beat. Then Kelvin (my hostdad) came in and every scared feeling was gone! We drove to the kindergarten to pick up Franzi (previous Au Pair) and Max and Spencer (the kids). They were really tired and so the first day was not that good with the kids. Nicky (my hostmum) came home in the evening because she had to work. I was really quiet the first few days because my English is not that good but nevertheless my new family was so lovely and caring that I felt quite good.
Today is a lazy Sunday. In the morning I helped the previous Au Pair with packing the rest of her luggage and now she recently sits in her plane back to Germany. But from the beginning!
My flight to Auckland was awful! The first flight from Hamburg to Dubai was okay. It was about 6 hours and me and my new friend Tammy had a lot to talk about and the food seemed not that bad. But then we had to spend 5 hours in Dubai. We didn’t want to sit because the next flight to Brisbane was about 13 hours. So we put our hand luggage in a trolley and walked 5 hours around the Terminal. The next flight was so horrible! The food got worse with every piece I ate and I slept just one hour. The sole hour about the whole 33 hours of the journey! The last flight from Brisbane to Auckland was not long but hard because of my tiredness and I was sick of sitting in a plane. When we arrived at the hotel on Wednesday (16th July, 2014) we had no time for a shower or a sleep because we directly had to go into the first “Welcome Meeting” of the orientation days…
I just didn't feel like a human anymore and it felt like I there's no ground under my feet.
I'm so sorry that I haven't written anything since my last day in Germany! I'm so busy here and in the evenings I'm just so tired. But there are many things I need to tell you, so I'll try to update the page this weekend and tell you about my flight, the orientationdays and about my first week in my family.