Archive for the ‘Offspring’

State of the Offspring Address – September 2014

September 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian Sits on BollardThe biggest news this month was the return of the offspring from their long summer vacation and the start of the school year. They came back less than a week before school started on September 11th. To ease the pain of summer vacation ending, the kids have only gone in the mornings so far in September, but in October they will start in the afternoons again, too. Nora was happy to go back to school. She’s a preschool senior now, in what other cultures call kindergarten, even though she’s with the same teacher she’s had for the past two years.
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Ampuero 2014

September 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Bulls, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

Ampuero 2014This past weekend we went to the annual festival in Ampuero. The best way to describe it is that it’s a mini-San-Fermín, the enormous annual festival in Pamplona known worldwide for its encierro (running of the bulls). San Fermín is seven days long, and the festival in Ampuero is only three days, but they do have a running of the bulls and they do party for all 72 hours for those three days. There is also a well respected dress code of wearing all white with a red scarf and optional other red accessories. The Ampuero festival is perhaps slightly more kid-friendly than the one in Pamplona. It’s also not as overrun by foreign tourists, which might make it closer to the San Fermín that Hemingway fell in love with. It might make a good destination for some cheap holidays in Spain. We had a great time, going out until the wee hours on Friday and Saturday night, and then going to the bull run on Sunday.
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State of the Offspring Address – August 2014

August 27, 2014 By: erik Category: Extremadura, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian and NoraThe offspring have spent the entirety of August on vacation with their Spanish grandparents in Extremadura, an inland region in the south of Spain. For the first half of the month, my wife and I spent a fortnight with them. It was fun to see them in this different environment. At fifteen months old, Ian is progressing very rapidly. He’s very steady on his feet and is getting a lot faster. He’s even sprouting a vocabulary that is almost in the double digits. When Nora was Ian’s age we were worried – hilariously, in retrospect – about her language development. He’s also learned to kiss, which he does by planting a big open mouth on your cheek like he’s about to bite you.
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State of the Offspring Address – July 2014

July 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian and Nora and AbueloThis has been the month with the least contact with my children since I began this State of the Offspring Address series. Since I injured myself one week into the month, they have been away at their Spanish grandparents’ house ever since, one week in the Basque Country, followed a two day visit with us, and then the rest of the month in Extremadura. Judging from my calls with Nora, she and Ian are having a ball. Ian is, of course, happy with his first and third favorite humans, his sister and his Spanish grandfather (I’m fourth), who is still riding high in the standings from his willingness to bend over and walk with Ian wherever he wanted before he gained his ambulatory independence. As a result, I don’t have much to report.
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Bull Run Baby

July 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Photoshop, Spain

Bull Run Baby CutoutLast Sunday we watched the annual Chupinazo event, a nationally televised event in Spain, which is very special to us. It’s the start of the San Fermín festival in Pamplona. We tried to instill some excitement about it in our children. Of course, at ages one and five, they don’t really understand what it is, but we made the minimal effort to change our clothes to the appropriate all-white outfit.

It was only after we finished our photography session that I had another idea for a photo to take.
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State of the Offspring Address – June 2014

June 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian and Nora at the beachSummer has finally arrived. Nora’s school year has ended and we’ve been enjoying picnics in the park and visits to the beach this month. Ian looks like a baby goat who has two little nubs of horns protruding from his forehead. He’s been sporting forehead bruises pretty much all month long as a result of his many faceplants. He is, however, walking a little better and more confidently every single day. The stability improvement has been massive.
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State of the Offspring Address – May 2014

May 29, 2014 By: erik Category: Beach, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Show me that kite, sister!Huge news this month! Ian has been officially declared Independently Ambulatory! He’s been dragging anyone willing to bend over and hold just one of his hands around, and stumbling a meter or two between adults, for weeks now, but it was on May 25, 2014, his 13-month birthday, when he really decided to make his way out on his own. He’s learned the important lesson that when you start to lose balance, you should stick out your butt and fall on that rather than your hands or head. He has, however, occasionally fallen on his head. Notice the bruise in the video below. The funny thing is that he’s not yet figured out, although he gets close, how to stand up from a sitting position with nothing to hold on to. He needs something stationary – even a wall is enough – to lean on to get up, but once he’s up, look out!
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Birthday Presents – Joy and Sadness

May 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Yesterday, the prodigal son and daughter returned. There was much rejoicing. Ian finally got to open his birthday presents. He got a set of three pretty awesome – in my biased opinion – soft cars from his parents and some clothes and a little “pound the pegs” toy from my parents. Well, let’s just say that one of the presents really “hit” home. One year old boys love pounding on stuff. First we let his sister tap all the pegs down as Ian watched, with his envy visibly building to the bursting point, and then we turned it over to him. I missed his first pounding session with the camera, but I caught the second on “film”.
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State of the Offspring Address – April 2014

April 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Geek in TrainingI’ve only spent half of April with my beloved offspring because they have been on spring vacation with their Spanish grandparents down in Extremadura for two weeks. We do talk to Nora every day on the phone, and her ability to switch languages is even more highlighted, I feel, than when we’re in the same room and she turns to address a different language speaker. She tells us about her adventures, where they went that day, etc.
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State of the Offspring Address – March 2014

March 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos

Nora and IanThis March has been a pretty big month for the offspring, not quite as big as the one five years ago, but pretty huge. Nora turned five years old! It still sounds amazing when I say it. She’s been with us for five years, the majority of the time we’ve been living in Spain. Crazy!

Ian has hit some milestones, too, as he completed his eleventh month. He can now pull himself up to standing on the coffee table and take one or two tentative steps between outstretched adult arms. He’s found that he loves little pieces of bread, and can usually entertain himself in his high chair while the fully teethed members of the family eat by grabbing and eating little bits of bread we break off for him.
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