Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Added Perks of Argenida

Some people think it is nuts that we did not get a new Au Pair when Argenida's two year stay was maxed out. Our crazy family runs so much smoother with the live-in child care provider. Our schedules almost require this kind of flexibility. So when Argenida expressed an interest in coming back to the US as a full time student, we were jumping for joy and thanking our lucky stars.

We offered to help pay for her college tuition so that she could continue to live here, with us, and be part of our chaos. She is not technically an au pair anymore but she provides us some much added, much appreciated and invaluable perks, aside from her charming personality and ability to keep Mitchell in line.

First, Argenida has a boyfriend. He is a thoughtful, helpful and caring young man. When he is in our home, he is an extra pair of hands, whether he likes it or not. Fortunately, he likes it. The kids adore him which is also an added bonus. He has a nephew the same age as the triplets, so he understands the five year old mentality.

Since Argenida does not cook, has no desire to want to learn to cook, but likes to clean, she and Edgar make a great team. He cooks for her, and then she cleans up. PERFECT.

Tonight, Edgar prepared shrimp

with pico de gallo on tortillas. I made Cuban Black Bean Soup and with a little teamwork, we all enjoyed a wonderful, gluten free meal. I doctored up theTrader Joe's Latin Black Bean soup (comes in a boxed carton) by adding fresh avocado chunks, a can of rinsed black beans, some sour cream and a sprinkle of sea salt. The kids lapped up the soup with the corn chips and it was delish. I could get used to co-creating our meals like this.

Secondly, Argenida has amazing parents. If there is one thing you can't teach an Au Pair, it is, how to use good judgment and how to be a solid citizen. This is where the person must have been raised by caring parents, and Argenida clearly has that in her favor. Her folks have been here visiting her (and us) for a few weeks. The kids have had an additional set of grandparent type figures in the house. How do you say spoiled rotten in Spanish?

Argenida's father is a lot like Argenida. Neither one of them like to just sit around and do nothing. Senor Cedeno took it upon himself to perform a landscape make-over at our house. While I was out running errands and getting groceries, he just started with a rake, some clippers, a hedge trimmer and a few lawn & leaf bags. We ended up with a gorgeous front, side and backyard.


The man even went so far as to till my garden beds, haul the clippings to the curb and take out the trash on Monday nights.
Talk about added perks, holy crap, we hit the jackpot. I am sure my neighbors are enjoying the Cedenos too, after all, my yard and landscaping has never looked better.

Our outdoor perimeter is no longer an eye sore. Elsa and Laura, you can thank Juan Cedeno for sprucing up your views.

All of this fancy foliage got me motivated to put up our seasonal decor. I dug out the 90% off Halloween and Fall decorations that I bought last December,



and had myself a fun time. It is almost as if I really tried to make the house look festive, which I really did not do. Mother nature has turned the leaves this week and we are at Central Ohio peak for color.

So while some people continue to think having an International College student here is insane, I just smile every single day. So I pay for another mouth at mealtime, I add an extra phone to our family plan, I write the check to Columbus State every semester and I get so much more in return.

The added perks of Argenida are impossible to overlook.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Very nice post! You are both lucky to have each other!

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