Marijana is such the ultimate Au Pair that, within moments of meeting her, I have people asking me how they can get a childcare provider like her. I have had numerous conversations about the awesomeness of au pairs and the benefit they bring because of Marijana. Her friendliness, helpfulness, and love of kids just shines everywhere she goes and with everyone she meets.
From the moment Marijana arrived, she jumped right into being a member of the family. Marijana not only helps with the kids but treats them like her younger siblings. To me she is like a younger sister as well. Marijana does so much to reduce the crazy stress of a full family life that I am not sure I can put it all down. With Marijana watching the kids I know I will come home to an orderly and tidy house.
Marijana also has great special artistic skills and has become our traveling face painter. She even volunteered to help at a fund raiser for our youngest son's preschool and helped with the face painting. She has perfected the painting of Sponge Bob, our youngest son's favorite, and regularly adorns the kids with some special designs. For our older sons' joint birthday party she painted all the kids faces and even did dragons on my sons' faces. She truly has amazing talent and she is so joyful and chipper. Marijana has also treated us to some meals from her country and regularly tries to teach us a few phrases, we are just slow learners.
It is not uncommon for Marijana to join us on outings of all types ranging from Lego shopping to Family Fun Nights at the school, she is even a companion for me at Sunday school and Church and I feel privileged to be able to share that part of our life with her. My kids definitely see Marijana as a wonderful member of the family. The youngest regularly watches cartoons with her and she loves to also dance around her room with him. When I can't find my boys in the house I check Marijana's room where I will usually find a pile of people on the bed watching cartoons. We have even infused her with our love of Legos and on more than one occasion she has admitted to staying up late just to build something with Legos. Marijana has also become an important part of the after school routine and while she helps my oldest with homework, he also will turn around and help her with her English class she is taking, just like a family would.
As we have three boys, life can be very busy and active but Marijana doesn't let that bother her and she has embraced the craziness of boys with gusto. She is not afraid to play with the boys in a true rough and tumble boy fashion. Our middle son has even asked how long she can stay as he wants her to never leave. I love how she does the little things for me without me even asking, like straightening up after the kids and cleaning the table off after their meals. Marijana is a true blessing. Even when Marijana is not with the boys it is clear she is thinking of them and really understands them. She has arrived home more than once with a few small gifts which were perfect for each child. I think if I had years to search and interview I could not find as great an au pair for our family as Marijana. Truly finding our next Au Pair will be a challenge as Marijana is so great I think it will be hard to find another perfect au pair. I can only hope and pray that Marijana wants to extend for a year.