State of the Offspring Address – March 2015

March 31, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 17 views

Ian WritesMarch has seen several major milestones hit by the offspring, pretty much all by Nora, and I’m not even counting her sixth birthday or losing her first tooth, both of which were amazing sources of pride for her. Ian is still plodding along being adorable, friendly and so curious that he gets into trouble. He’s just finally started getting out a third or fourth syllable to his thoughts, like “Let’s go, Nora”, or “Daddy, jacket!”
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Nora is Six!

March 24, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Videos 67 views

Birthday girlToday is Nora’s sixth birthday. She claims it’s the best birthday of her entire life. The past few days, she’s been asking if we have all her presents bought. A few of them did get purchased the day before, I will admit. Yesterday, she begged me to at least tell her “What are the dibujos on the gifts?” At first I thought she meant dibujos as “drawings”, like on the wrapping paper, but eventually I figured out that she meant what “cartoons” the gifts were branded with. Ah, the preoccupations of a near-six-year-old… Just to razz her, I told her that most of them with Spiderman™, which she hates with burning prejudice simply because the boys in her class like it, and therefore it must be terrible.
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Solar Eclipse 2015

March 20, 2015 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Videos 48 views

Eclipse 2015This morning, from roughly 9am to 11am, Spanish time, there was solar eclipse. Here in northern Spain, it was expected to reach a peak of 80% eclipsage (should be a word). While jadedly pessimistic, I left all my cameras charging the night before, and got up a little earlier than usual to make sure they were going to be set up properly. What greeted me upon raising the blinds in the morning was a thick fog. I couldn’t see to the end of my street, let alone to the sun or moon. “Dammit, Cantabria!”, I shouted as I shook my fists…and tweeted.
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El Ratoncito Pérez – The Spanish Tooth Fairy

March 18, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Spain 91 views

Ratoncito PérezOn a previous post, I mentioned a list of parenting vocabulary that I had never had the occasion to learn in Spanish until becoming a parent. When my daughter, Nora, was about two, either through some cartoon or a stuffed animal, she and her Spanish grandparents began talking about el Ratoncito Pérez, and every time Nora saw anything resembling a mouse, she would exclaim that name. At the time, I had no idea what that name meant.
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Saturday at Parque de la Magdalena

March 12, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel 75 views

SantanderThis past weekend, we spent Saturday afternoon in Santander, specifically on the peninsula that makes up the Parque de la Magdalena, which I consider the item at the very top of the “must see” list for Santander tourism. It was the first sunny day in a long time, and everybody was out there enjoying it. If you like high cliff-side views of the sea – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll love the Parque de la Magdalena; it is simply breathtaking.
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Bellota – The Hamster

March 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, News, Photos 90 views

Bellota, the hamsterYesterday, our family got a little bigger. It has been a dream of my wife’s for many years to own a hamster. I like to watch the look on people’s faces when I tell them that my wife is a veterinarian, watch them say “Awww!”, and then say, “No, a slaughterhouse vet; she doesn’t make animals better.” In fact, she’s never really been fond of pets, cats or dogs. But she’s always been a softy for rats and small rodents. Yesterday we finally bit the bullet and bought a hamster. The hamster, a pretty spiffy cage, well over a fortnight of food, bedding and litter was a total of 55€, with 45€ of that being the cage. If we had acted sooner, we could’ve gotten the hamster for free, because my friend and local grocer, Andrés, owns his parents and oversaw his conception and birth, on January 28, 2015.
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Interviewing Ian – Bilingual One Year Old

March 05, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 186 views

Last night, as often seems to happen, Ian decided that no, actually, he wasn’t sleepy at bedtime. So I had to bring him downstairs. He managed to veg out with the television for a bit while I finished my workday, and then we played for a bit. At one point he came into my office and wanted to sit on my lap, and he was doing adorable things, so I got out my phone and interviewed him. He does pretty well at identifying parts of his body in both languages. This really surprised me the first time I tested him, months ago, in English, because his Spanish grandparents had been teaching him the parts in Spanish. I had never explicitly told him what the word “mouth” or “ear” means, but he knew.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2015

February 27, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 102 views

Ian BarflyThe shortest month of the year has come to a close. I spent the first dozen days of it the the States playing golf, and then we had the biggest event in February for the kids, Carnaval. The weather has been particularly terrible this month, so we’ve done almost no outdoor activities. The other day I noticed it was starting to rain, and pointed this out to Nora, and she said, “Ugh! It’s ALWAYS raining!” That’s how we all feel.
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Carnaval 2015 – Pirates and Parrots and Mice

February 13, 2015 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain 178 views

Carnaval 2015 - Colindres - 202Every year my children’s daycare surprises me with a clever costume duo for the grown-ups and the children, e.g. Angels and Demons, Cops and Robbers, Snow White and Dwarves. This year, it was pirates for the grown-ups, and parrots for the children. Not the cleverest they’ve done, but not bad, and way cleverer than the other schools in town, some of whom were Ninja Turtles, [Despicable Me] Minions, dinosaurs, or Smurfs (Smurves?), with the parents and children dressing up as the same thing…yawn! As usual, I was designated the official daycare photographer, although this year I was not given a special costume as I have been in the past as Prince Charming or the Police Commissioner.
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Pinehurst No. 2

February 12, 2015 By: erik Category: Golf, Travel, USA 74 views

Pinehurst Resort - Payne Stewart StatueIf you ask any avid golfer to name the three most famous courses in the United States, chances are very good that they will name Augusta National, Pebble Beach, and Pinehurst No. 2. The second course at Pinehurst was designed by famed golf course designer, Donald Ross, who studied under The Father of Golf himself, Old Tom Morris, in St. Andrews, Scotland. The course has risen in prominence over the past two decades as the host of the U.S. Open in 1999, 2005 and 2014. My friends and I, who have done golf trips roughly every five years to places such as St. Andrews, Scotland and County Kerry, Ireland, planned to revisit St. Andrews in 2015, but a combination of losing the lottery to get a tee time on The Old Course and the birth of twins to one of the participants delayed that trip, so we elected the easiest trip to an important golf location, one only three hours drive from where I grew up and one hour away from where I went to school, in the Sandhills of North Carolina.
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