Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Brigid gives you a tour of Beverley, England

Beautiful Beverley, England in East Yorkshire:

We played a perfect house concert at the lovely home of Denise, who stuffed us with fancy cheese and delicious crunchings and munchings. Before the sun went down, however, I ran through the High Street to properly inhale a bit of England.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Top 5 Google translations from the past week #aupair

My dad took wee Graham to see School of Rock!
This has nothing to do with the blog, but they are so cute.
GOOD MORNING! I'm having coffee and alone time -- alone time, in which I answer old emails and pour through the 9494 unread messages in one of my inboxes (proof in the photo -- I clearly have a lot of work to do). This week, for the first time in years, I have 35 hours a week of dependable childcare. I might even return a phone call, people (ha, doubtful, because WHO USES THE PHONE???).

Anyway, our lovely au pair arrived last weekend, and we have slowly been integrating her into our crazy family. We love her already. The boys adore her. The language barrier has not been much of a barrier because she is really smart and a really fast learner. Also: google translate app. We try not to use it because she wants to learn English, but it is really helpful for getting the exact right word for various things. It also keeps a list of things I have recently translated, which I will share with you in today's blog.

TOP FIVE favorite things we have had to translate to Portuguese:

"butter controversy"  (controvérsia sobre manteiga)  Used to discuss why we leave the butter dish out and how it is not necessarily a thing that all Americans do. But we do because butter should be soft!

"background music" (música de fundo) -- to explain how my Friday evening gig was not exactly a reason to get very excited (Wednesday she heard me on the radio, and Thursday I played a fun gig in Nashville, but Friday's, while fun, was background music)

"because kids could choke on toy inside" (porque as crianças poderiam sufocar no brinquedo dentro) to explain why proper KinderEggs are illegal in America.

"Graham can dress himself." (Graham pode se vestir.) Because Graham now thinks he has a personal dresser, like he's on Downton Abbey or something, and may be taking slight advantage of his new roommate.

"the vegan cupcakes are the reason to come here" (os cupcakes vegans são motivo para vir aqui) To explain why we drove all the way to Whole Foods when it's crazy-expensive and we normally just walk to Kroger.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Our family is growing!

No, this is not a pregnancy, nor dog announcement: it's an au pair announcement! It sounds so continental to say, "We have an au pair," but I have come to realize it is the only sensible childcare option for our family.

With David's travel schedule and my gigging at night, we just couldn't manage having daycare and various babysitters for my evening rehearsals and gigs. It was also incredibly difficult to piecemeal childcare, particularly this past winter when everyone seemed to have the flu and was constantly canceling or unavailable.

The biggest reason I'm excited to host an au pair is because we love hosting people from around the world. I mean, we have used Couchsurfing since 2008 and you know how much we love travel. It also seems like something we can do to show the privileged boys we are raising that the world is large. The cultural exchange portion of having an au pair is so exciting to me.

Our new family member arrives on Friday. She's a 25-year-old from Brazil, and she is delightful. Our boys love her already. (Well, Graham does. Angus doesn't have any idea what is going on, but he is only 1.5, so he'll learn.) I can't wait to help her with her English -- and for the boys to have another friend -- and also to be able to schedule actual working hours for myself and not have to worry about finding someone at the last minute for a gig that comes up suddenly.

We used an au pair agency and did the whole matchmaking process and she's got a proper visa and all that jazz. We went through Cultural Carehttp://culturalcare.com/ref?VVNYMjg4MTY3JnR5cGU9Mg  (fancy link there with my referral code!) and I couldn't recommend them more. They have been involved from the start and very helpful with all our questions and concerns and helped make the match.

Now I just need to finish the au pair's room -- I am wanting to make a sweet welcome basket and decorate her room beautifully, but I also don't want to mislead her into thinking I am a good housekeeper.

What should I put in her welcome basket???