Yesterday I went to pick up S after school whilemy hostdad took R to a soccer game. We went straight to Target to get a card and some decirations for today's birthday party. We s ent about an hour there before we went home and started the preparations there. We did the last touches on R's gifts before she got home. We then had to go into hideout in my room to prepare more after R got home from her game.

In my room we blew up a bunch of balloons, listened to old music and told each other bad jokes. Apparently we were making enough noice so that R got curious and my host mom had ti stop her from coming up.

While we were doing this R and my host mom were making the cake downstairs so we couldn't start decorating there until she went to bed, which happened closer to midnight. In the mean time me and S made a broom out of the cardboard inside a roll of wrapping paper and some yellow paper, which me later hung up between mine and R's rooms.

When R was finally in bed me and S went downstairs and put up streamers and balloons (pictures below) as well as a "flying" owl holding R'a acceptance letter from Hogwarts since she has turned eleven.

Today awaits the actual birthday party and I am also going to a Navy football game!

See you soon,
Hanna

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I just realized that I have never summarized a workday before and that some people might be interested in that so here we go.

Today I woke up at 6.10 and got dressed before I at 6.15 went to wake up my host children. I then proceed to make myself look a bit more acceptable then I do after only putting my clothes on. I then go and check on them once again to make sure they're actually getting up. I then go back and make my bed and grab the stuff I need before I go and check on them one last time to make sure they're getting dressed and what not. This morning the last time I checked in on R I couldn't see if she was up because of how dark it was and she then spoke which made me jump.

I then proceed downstairs to eat breakfast, and like most days I had two pieces of toast with ham today if anyone is actually interested in that. R came down shortly after me and she then packed her lunch, had some cereal for breakfast and packed her bag. A while later S also made it downstairs, packed her lunch, made a smoothie and let the dog out (which they do biweekly) before we had to leave the house.

I then drive them to school and we had to be there at 7.45 today because of Girls Ensemble. After dropping them off I drove back home and the first thing I did was to have a bath which is my new favorite thing. I watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory whilst in my bath. I got dressed again and went downstairs only to fall asleep on the couch for three hours. Which isn't too unusual.

My host mom had to go to the Emergency room yesterday after fainting due to multiple things that have happened in the last few weeks, and therefore her mother stayed the night with us and stayed up until I had to leave to pick up R before her soccer practice today. Up until we both left we were all three sitting in the family room just taking it easy.

Like I said I then picked up R at 5 pm for her soccer practice, and about 45 minutes into the practice the coach decided to cut it short due to the rain (something that would never happen in Sweden) to save the grass on the field from getting destroyed. We then went home, R did her homework and at around 9 pm S and my host dad came home from S's practice as well.

Not much exciting has happened since. I am about to start getting ready for bed now since it's almost 11 pm.

My working hours today were:
6.15-8.15 am
4.30-10.00 pm

I hope someone found this interesting, and I'll keep you updated!
/Hanna


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Since last I've been to Washington DC twice. First time we went to see the major things such as the White House, the Obelisk and the Lincoln Memorial. We also took an Uber to Georgetown to see the University there and did some shopping as well.
Second time it was just me and Ely 🇨🇿and we first went to the gym before going to DC. The only reason we went to DC today was to eat some Czech food, and we ended up eating a three-course meal of which all the dishes where over expectation!

Last weekend as well me and three others went to Baltimore to go to Oktoberfest which was really not what we was expecting. When the initial chock of what we had signed up for was gone we ended up having quite a good time!

My Host family were away on a camping trip this weekend and when they came home on Sunday it turned out that R had run into a bar causing her to get a concussion. This means no sportd, no screen time and no reading until the doctors says she can do it again. This has ended in me and her baking almost every day this week, both some american things and some Swedish things!

I'll try to update more often, at least with pictures!
Hanna

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The past weekend has been an eventful one!

On Friday I went to lunch with one of the new Au Pairs in my LCC-group, Joni🇩🇪, and we had Thai food. We also met up with Ely🇨🇿 for a bit and just sat on the docks for a bit before the two of them had to go back to work. I myself only worked two hours in the morning and had the rest of the day off!
In the evening the three of us plus Meg🇦🇺 and Annalisa🇮🇹 met up again to go and see "It" in the cinema. We ended up having to see one that started earlier than the one we were aiming for because it was so full, but then again it only came out that day. We ended up having to split up inside the cinema to even fit in there, and I ended up sitting with Meg in the top row(!) The movie was really good and I would definitely recommend you to see it!

On Saturday the same people as Friday minus Joni met up for lunch and we ended up getting Chinese. We stayed there for quite some time before we moved on to a coffee shop that was closer to where we all live and stayed there talking some more.
For some reason, I was really tired after this and ended up falling asleep for about two hours before I went with my Host family to their church for Spaghettidinner.

Sunday I met up with the same people as on Friday and we went to Baltimore to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art which was really cool. We had some detours going on due to late navigating (hi Meg) but we made it there and it wasn't like we were in a rush anyway. We wandered around the museum a bit over an hour before we headed off for dinner, which we ended up getting at Olive Garden and I had some really good Pasta Alfredo (also the bread they have there is to die for). After dinner we headed back to where we'd met that morning and Annalisa bought a pair of trainers before we changed cars and went to Downtown and got some Starbucks and just sat on the docks talking.
A big thing this day was the cars. Going to Baltimore and back we were in a five seated car which is kind of crowded when you are five people but we managed. Going to Downtown we were in a seven seated car, however, this car had two child seats in it so we still had to sit quite tightly. I also ended up in the backseat all of the time. We had some ups and downs with the music that was being played, but on our way back from Downtown we ended up listening to throwback music really loudly and everyone was singing along.

I can easily say that this has been a great weekend and that I've had a lot of fun!

Hanna

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Yesterday marked one month since I left Sweden and arrived in the United States. Therefore I thought I'd give you a general update on me and everything.

It feels really weird that it has already been a month. I talk more or less once a week with at least parts of my family from back home but and it feels really odd that I haven't met my family in a whole month. There's still so many new impressions, new people to meet and things to learn that I feel like I keep my brain occupied at most times and don't really have time to think about what's happening back home. The biggest thing that I've found, not necessarily difficult, but that I have to remember is that there is a six hour time difference, and I keep forgetting that the people back home are asleep during evening/night time here.

Coming here I really thought that I would have more problems with the sizes of the roads, as there are places with as many as five lanes going in one direction. I still struggle sometimes to fall into the rhythm of changing lanes and other alike things, but it's nothing major. Another big difference when it comes to traffic is the fact that they actually have rush hour here. When we say that there's a lot of traffic back home, it's typically a lot for maybe ten minutes, and then everything clears up again, but here there's basically rush hour between 4-6 and you have to plan which roads to take to suffer it as little as possible.

In the area where I live we're quite a few Au Pairs so there's usually someone who you can meet for lunch or see on the weekend and do things with. Tonight, for example, there's five or six of us who are planning to go to the cinema and see a movie.
One thing that I like about being around other Au Pairs is that we are all in similar boats. We're all away from home, we're here with the same agency under the same conditions and doing the same thing, which is always something you can, and most likely will, talk about.

Like I said the day marking one month was yesterday, and I celebrated by doing something as exciting as laundry most of the day. But I must say that I am impressed by the speed of the washing machine here (wow how adult), when washing one load at home would take around two hours, it only takes about 30-40 minutes or so with the machine here and that is honestly amazing. It means that I can actually do all of the laundry in just one day and don't have to spread it out!
I also visited the library for the first time, and I think I got a bit excited because I ended up taking five books with me home, and I only have three weeks to finish them (you can always extend that though as long as no one else is waiting for the book)

The one question I think I get the most is variations of how the family is, if they're nice, and all such things, and the answer is yes. They are really nice people and I feel good with where I am!

To all my friends and family back home, I'm sorry if I haven't spoken to you at all or only a little, feel free to contact me! Like I said my brain is rather occupied and I forget that there are curious people out there. I also hope you're all doing well, and you should also know that I myself is doing well!

Hanna

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Hi!

On Saturday I and my host family went to a Renaissance Festival which was really fun. We caught a couple of different shows. There was one of a woman who did a number in Aerial Silk, there was a man who threw and juggled with knives (whilst at the height of five chairs) amongst other things. Many visitors were dressed up in a series of different costumes that varied from elves and knights to people in traditional Renaissance clothes. We ate some food (surprise) and later on also had some Fruit Ice (aka orange flavored Italian ice cream in orange peels). We then went home and I crashed on the floor of my room for about three hours because I was just generally tired.

On Sunday I had my first LCC meeting, but before that, I met up with another Au Pair and we went on a mission to Target and then ate lunch at Red Robins (gourmet burgers). We ended up having quite a lot of time before the meeting once we were done so went back to me and I got changed in to swim wear and we just chilled for a while before we headed off to the Paddle Boarding place. Once we got on the road I ended up taking the wrong exit off the highway and delayed us about 10 minutes, but we had planned to arrive 15 minutes ahead of time so we were still there early.

This is the first time I met most of the Au Pairs in the group and this far it seems to be a really nice group of people.
It was actually surprisingly easy to keep somewhat balance on the boards and I ended up (against all odds) not actually falling into the water! We paddle some bit before we stopped and did YOGA on the boards, with some better atempts than others. When we paddled back to the place we came from we were a couple of people who ended up singing Disney songs. It's easy to say that we were more confident at this point than we had been in the beginning were we all paddled in silence.

When we were done with the paddling 7 of us decided to go to the cheesecake factory to get dinner, but it was a 2-3 hour waiting time there so we ended up going to Nandos instead where we sat for probably two hours just talking about everything and nothing. We then went home to ourselves and I ended up going to bed a bit earlier than I have previously.

That was all for this time, see you soon!
Hanna

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As many of you have probably heard there was a solar eclipse on Mondy that passed over the USA. Everyone was excited by this, and we were no exception. We sat in the driveway with our special glasses and watched the eclipse. We were a bit unlucky with the weather and we had big clouds passing a big part of the time. We didn't have a full solar eclipse here either, it was about 80%, but fortunately the clouds cleared at the time of the peak. I didn't take any pictures of the actual sun, however, we also spotted a piece of a rainbow as well as rainbow-colored clouds, which I do have pictures of.
You are not supposed to look at the sun for a long period of time at once and so in between the sun being visible from behind the clouds we played Uno and had a generally good time.

Yesterday, however, didn't start quite as good. I'd been snoozing a little so I was sort of half awake half sleeping when the younger of my host children, R, flung the door to my room open and said: "There is someone behind the door and I don't know who it is!" I looked at my phone to see that it was 9.15 and jolted out of the bed, because who in their right minds visits someone unannounced at that time who the children don't even recognize? Right after I've completed dressing myself R is back in my room with an update: "Never mind, it was the cleaning people, I recognized them when they got out f the car." Usually, they would come closer to lunch, and R had forgotten that they were to come at all.
After that abrupt awakening we all went down to the basement (it's a furnished one, not just a cold storage space) to let the cleaning people do their job without us getting in the way. We ate breakfast and played some games when we were down there.

Later that day when I drove the older one, S, to her soccer practice I saw a Wild Turkey on the side of the road, and on our way back I saw a bunch of deer. During practice I also planned to read, but I ended up talking to one of my friends for a full hour just catching up, which was really nice.

Until next time,
Hanna

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Last Friday I arrived at my Host Familys house and has since then been settling in.

All of this is very different to anything I have done before. Not only do you move to a different country, you are also moving in to another familys house and getting adjusted to their house hold rules and the house in general.

People keep asking me how I'm doing, and I am doing really good. It's a lot of new things to take in, but this also keeps you busy at all times.

The woman who helped me with the library card started talking to me about how the public schools got these for free and what not, after she'd asked me if I was in the local public school and I said no. After a while she asks me how old I am, and when I said 19 her jaw more or less dropped and she said the following;
"Really? Wow. I would have thought you were younger. Like 14 or 15"
Thanks? I know I can look quite young, but 14? Really?

The previous Au Pair of my Host Family was also here over the weekend before she left on Monday, which I found rather nice actually. She could help me with certain things and I got to see bits of what to expect.

The first time I went driving here was an experience. First off I'm used to driving a Manual car, whereas the one I'll be driving here is an automatic one so that took a little getting used to. The roads here are also bigger than what I am used to, but I actually thought I'd have more problems with that than I have, which is good. The main problem I feel is that I don't really know my way around yet.

I've also been working this week, which means it has been just me and the children at home getting to know each other and I've spent a lot of time with especially the younger one. We've been in the pool and played with her dolls amongst other things. We also went and got some Frozen Yoghurt the other day when we were waiting to pick up the older one.

Today I also met two other Au Pairs from the area, and we went to the mall and ate some good Thai food for lunch.

Hanna

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Today has been very different to the previous days here. We were no longer in Breslin 029 (in the basement) with Jackie. We were instead on the second floor with some guy who I can't even remember the name of. There was also a major difference in what we were doing. Previously it's all been about general Au Pair life, but today we got trained in CPR and first aid.

I have done the CPR before through school, but honestly this is something really good and sensible to know anyhow, and this was the first time I've been taught how to use an AED (defribilator). We also put a lot of weight on how to deal with these problems with a child, which has never before been the focus.

There was a lot of obvious things that was covered in the videos the guy had to show (If a child is burning, make sure to stop the burning) but he had no choice and we got us some good laughs at some of the things.

After lunch we finished a bit early and got to leave a little earlier as well. We then went to get ready for our trip to New York.

Once again I found myself having to search for things I didn't think I would need last minute (a thing it turned out that I didn't need either) and ended up going down to the buses later than wanted. This meant I had to sit at the far back of the bus, all alone. Had I not been surrounded by germans (I've heard way too much german in the last few days, I have nothing against them as people), had a not full size window and maybe not sat alone this would have been all fine, but that wasn't the case and that part of the trip was a bit boring.

However when the actual tour started it wasn't too bad, I had other things to think about anyways. We stopped at the fountain from friends, drove passed both Central Park and Times square, and the guided tour stopped at Top of the Rock where many of us had tickets to go. Being up there, looking out over New York was such an incredible experience. It all felt so calm and peaceful and it was extremely beautiful. I felt so small and yet so big.

Me and Olivia stayed for quite some time up there and after that there wasn't a lot of time for other things, but we walked the streets a little, got some (dry) sandwiches and made our way towards the buses.

We then went back to he School, and I have since tried to pack up everything again to prepare as much as possible for tomorrow, when I will be moving to my host family!

Hanna

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If I thought Tuesday was jamm packed, Wednesday was even fuller. We did an equal amount of the Workbook, but also had a lecture on safety after dinner, when we on Tuesday had some time off. We learnt even more about childcare, with a lot of focus on safety and communication.

One of the exercises we did was outside, where we sat back to back with another person and one should explain to the other how to paint something using the instructions on a card. Some people managed quite good, whereas there was one girls drawing that the teacher even took a photo of because it was so bad.

Another thing we did was that everyone got a post-it on there back and the others were supposed to write something about you on it. Very unexpectedly a lot of people came to me and wanted to write on my note, which made me really curious as to what I had done to leave an impression. When we later got to see the notes I was surprised to see that mine said I talk a lot and always smile, as that is not true to the picture I have of myself, however it is a new picture and when I actually think about it it has started to become reality as well.

I spent most of the day with my new German friend, Verena, and sat with some germans during meals, which basically means I'm fluent in German now from all the listening to it (not).

There's so many amazing persons and personalities in the class I've been in, and the teacher we had was amazing. Loads of fun stories, learning about cultural differences, random break outs of singing songs from High School Musical, to name a few things, have made these two days pass by extremely fast. It's weird to think that you have only known some of these people for two days and it feels like you've known them for so much longer.

After the lecture on safety there was karaoke. There was some people who had some reeeeally nice voices, and there were people who shouted instead of sang. Some people sang songs from High School Musical to which everyone could tune in, whilst others only did songs in their native language, which was mostly fun for those who knew the language. As opposed to what I believed about myself, I got up there and sang as well, though with three other persons. Dancing Queen - Abba. One of the songs that more or less everyone tuned in to!

After karaoke it was more or less off to the room and go to sleep, as it had once again been a very long day full of activities.

See you soon
Hanna

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