Saturday, September 1, 2018

Summer 2018

Summer is coming to an end and I am not ready. I am never ready. It means going back to work and our usual routine. Although July was not great for us (Jose and I worked part time for the first three weeks, we painted our apartment the last week and had a lot of not super things happen/bad news throughout), August ended up being pretty wonderful. So all in all, it balanced out.

This summer has not been as hot as summers past and yet it is the first time that we have taken FULL advantage of our pool. We have been swimming almost every day and it has been a life saver. If I had to pick a theme for this season it would be bathing suits and Frozen since both have accompanied us throughout. I have that damn movie memorized by now and so does Vera. The girls probably watched it five times on our drive to and from France to visit Jose´s sister and family for the first two weeks of August. 

We went to Paris for the first half of August and stayed part of the time with Miriam and cousin Eva and the other in a rented apartment. The highlight of our trip was visiting Disneyland and hanging with family. The girls loved both Disney parks and we were able to visit one of them with Tita and prima. The other we went just the four of us for the day.

Disney is a MAGICAL place. I love it despite its expense and crowds and heat. It was special for the girls who got to ride almost all the attractions and meet a few different characters (which Laura hated and refused to get close to) including Aurora and Cinderella (who both girls LOVED). We rode the tea cups, Dumbo, It´s a small world...all the classics. We had a GREAT time even if the girls were exhausted and missed the daily parade.

We also did a few day excursions while in France, one to Versailles and the other to Fontainebleau (both of which are Cinderella´s castle according to the girls). We also went into Paris city one day and walked past all of the most important sights. Unfortunately we weren´t able to inside anywhere with the girls.

The weather was gorgeous during our visit and we ended up having a great visit and were sad to have to drive back home. The worst parts: the crowds and the LONG drive. I wouldn´t recommend two days in a car with two two-year-olds but they were champs and we all survived.

We spent about a week at home, hanging out with friends, going to the pool, working on potty training (Laura is killing it!), etc. when we got the opportunity to spend a week at Jose´s aunt´s new apartment at the beach in Torre del Mar, close to Malaga. It was a very relaxing visit; we spent most of our time either at the pool or the beach. We did do one afternoon trip to the nearby village of Nerja which was beautiful. All in all, a great five days.

Now we are facing reality and waaahhhhh, I don´t want to. It won´t be bad once we get started but I am like any kid, I don´t want to go back to school yet. I hope everyone else had a nice summer as well.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Strange spring in the south of Spain

I am back again for another update on the happenings around these parts and honestly there is not much to report. We have had a strange spring here in the south of Spain when it comes to weather (very cool and rainy) and the girls have been sick on and off so we have been taking it easy.

We went downtown Seville to see a few processions on one day of Holy Week. The girls were not impressed so we didn´t last very long. Laura and Vera looked cute though! 

We went to a few different ferias, both in Mairena del Alcor and in Dos Hermanas. Vera and Laura LOVE wearing their flamenca dresses. In fact, given the choice they would probably wear them every day. We have also been to a bunch of birthday parties of the girls´friends (they have a serious social calendar, highly in demand).

Jose and I have been starting to plan our summer since we will be staying here in Spain. We are trying to take advantage of our time here to work and get some projects done around our apartment. Plus we are planning a road trip up to Paris to visit Jose´s sister and our niece. My parents are coming for a quick visit this week as well, so even though we won´t be back in Michigan for a while, we will be seeing family.

We are also starting to think about maybe beginning a house hunt as our apartment seems to be getting smaller day by day. Think the scene in Star Wars where they are in the garbage compactor room. That´s basically us. I realize it is probably a ways off still but it never hurts to look right?????

So really that´s about all which is why I haven´t been on here in a while to update. Things are going well but we just aren´t doing anything all that exciting...maybe sometime soon : )

Saturday, March 24, 2018

We have 2 two-year-olds

It is official, we have 2 two-year-olds at home and although I was afraid, very afraid, things have been pretty good so far. We haven´t had many meltdowns or tantrums but we have been hearing a lot more NO! The girls want to do stuff for themselves and they have their own ideas about everything. Laura and Vera have been talking a lot more in general, too. They are still mixing languages and using their own twinspeak but have a lot more words and are making short sentences. 

We hosted a birthday party for the girls at the beginning of the month and invited both family and friends. We ended up having a lot of people come and I think everyone had a good time. First we had a paella with Jose´s family and then later cake and treats with the rest of the guests. Vera and Laura had a blast playing in the bouncy castle and ball pit. It was a great day that started with birthday pancakes and ended with two exhausted toddlers and two wrecked parents.

On the actual day of their birthday both Jose and I had to work so we had a pretty normal schedule except it just so happened to be music class that afternoon which the girls love so that was special. They go with Jose to music class once a week to sing and clap, play instruments and have fun. I took them last year to baby music class and I wish my schedule would allow me to go this year as well : ( Boo to working in the afternoons but alas, it is very important for us that I am home with the girls as much as possible in the morning to help consolidate their English before they eventually start school in the majority language. Perspective people! Sometimes I have to remind myself why we make the choices we do for our family. At least I can say that they align with our values and goals. (I plan on writing a post about our bilingual journey soon).

It has been raining a ridiculous amount the past month or so and we are hoping that it slows down soon because these girls need to run around outside. We are getting a bit stir crazy here. Being stuck inside so much has only reinforced in my mind that we are gradually outgrowing our apartment. We have been living in a tiny house before it was cool, and let me tell you that having two small children in a tight space is a chore. We are looking for solutions for our space like storage units and reorganizing. We even looked into taking the wall down between the living room and the kitchen but have since decided against it. Instead we are trying to make our apartment work for a while longer so that we can eventually start another house hunt.

The girls love coloring, which they call "cole." They are readers and LOVE books which means that Jose and I have memorized a lot of them from having read them over and over again. They like Peppa Pig and Nemo. We have tea parties almost daily and we bought them a kitchen for their birthday so we have also been cooking a lot. Vera and Laura play with their baby dolls and like pushing their strollers around. They are busy all the time! It is so fun to watch them develop their personalities and likes and dislikes. They are so different from one another, both physically and in personality. But of course, they are equally as adorable!

On a final note, I have found a group of other young, English-speaking moms with kids around Laura and Vera´s age and I couldn´t be happier. We meet about once a week for a coffee and a chat and besides the fact that I genuinely like these women, it is nice to have people who can not only relate to my stage of life but also to living outside my native country. Shout out to these moms! I am so happy that I made myself go to the first meet-up months ago even when I really didn´t want to.