All the way from Canada

For the past month we've had Sandrea giving us a hand with the kids. Sandrea is from Malaysia and backpacking through New Zealand, so it worked out perfectly. Today is her very last day with us before she leaves for the South Island tomorrow morning. We always knew it would be a short stay, but we will miss her lots!

Last week, Jody arrived from Canada and she will be with us for around 6 months or so. She will move with us to Auckland. The kids spent quite a bit of time last week getting used to Jody and I am very pleased to see how comfortable they are with Jody.

At first I was very sceptical advertising for an au pair all by myself, but when the Swedish Agency treated us so badly and kept sending applications that had nothing to do with our requirements, we were left with no choice but to advertise by ourselves. What a good decision it turned out to be. We found both Sandrea and Jody and both seem perfect for our family. And best of all, we didn't have to pay any placement fee and monthly account fee to somebody else!

At this point the childcare is still very much a necessity for us. By keeping Caitlyn at home we are able to avoid her picking up some or the other horrible disease and passing it on to Bianca. Chickenpox especially is pretty bad, but something as "minor" as a cold could result in something more serious for Bianca too.

We had a stint last year where I had Caitlyn and Bianca together for 8 hours a day (for around 3 weeks) in an insolation room and that was really tough and exhausting and didn't do anything for Caitlyn's routine as she just wasn't sleeping at the hospital.

One thing about this journey is that we always have to have a backup plan for our backup plans, and as a family we've all had to make some sacrifices. So it is really important to us to give Caitlyn the stability, the extra attention and for her to be able to stick to her routines.

Having an au pair was one of the best decisions we have made!

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