Meet Ya Ya

It’s no surprise that our au pair Ilaria joined us from Italy two and a half months ago, but I’m just finding time to write and introduce her!  Boy, are we lucky and spoiled to have “Ya ya” in our home.

Why didn’t we just put both kids in day care?  We knew that with two kids under two and only ONE adult home in the morning, we needed a more flexible child care option.  Fred goes to work at 5am, and the thought of getting myself, a newborn and a toddler to day care with only two hands seemed way too daunting.  Plus, we had a hard time finding day cares that a) open early enough for our teacher schedules, and b) stay open late enough for us to get a little work done after school.  With Ilaria, we can customize our schedule and her hours to fit our weekly needs.

Her job is to provide childcare, and also to do any tasks/chores related to the children (ie, their laundry, wash bottles, prepare lunch, etc).  But really she does so much more than that.  She has cooked us dinner and started to learn some sign language.  She keeps our living room spotless, and drives Charlotte all over town.  She shows so much love and patience to Charlotte each day.  She is meticulous with her responsibilities, and creative with her time–last week on rainy days they built a play house from our old Amazon boxes, and a network of tunnels to roll balls through.  Ya ya is the only thing keeping Fred and I sane right now, by stepping in to change a diaper, give a bath, or get started on dinner when we are up to our eyeballs in, well, life.   And she’s done all of this with English as her second language, and knowing not a soul when she arrived in the USA.  She is brave!

By living with us and fully jumping into Follansbee daily life, she is making the day-to-day with two kids under two look easy.  Ya Ya is the reason Fred and I have been able to have a couple of dates with a newborn on our hands.  She’s the reason I can sneak in a run on a random Tuesday afternoon.  I can’t imagine what our lives would be like right now without her!  See below for some fun things she and Charlotte have been up to!

PS – If any moms and dads reading this are wondering about getting an au pair, it’s MUCH more cost-effective than you would think.  Send me a message and I’ll fill you in!


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