Archive for the ‘Offspring’

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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Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2014

February 28, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Bumblebee FamilyThis month the offspring took some huge steps forward. Literally.

I went away for eleven days at the beginning of the month, and my son, who, when I left, had not yet figured out how to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other when standing up, had advanced to being able to walk very fast holding on to two hands, and pretty well (for a drunk) holding onto just one. He seemed pretty proud about it, too. So we have officially entered the backbreaking stage where we have to bend over (some of us more than others) to help him get the hang of this bipedalism gig. His sister was in that phase for six whole months. Let’s hope this one goes quicker.
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State of the Offspring Address – January 2014

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

Doing LaundryAlthough it feels like a decade ago, Spanish Christmas crept into this month with the Kings Day celebration, Spain’s primary mythical, magic, flying, home-intruding gift giver holiday. Nora was extremely excited about the kings coming to bring presents. We followed the cabalgata (parade) around town; we actually ended up walking in the street with the floats. We began at the very end of the parade, and spurred on by Nora’s excitement ended up at the very front of the parade, walking faster than all the floats, overtaking them one by one. Then Nora went to sit on a king’s lap and tell him that she wanted a Hello Kitty kite. That night we set out some snacks for the kings and their flying camels.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2013

December 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Videos

Ian PortraitAs we have in past years, we decided to leave the offspring with their maternal grandparents for the last week and a half of the calendar year. I used to think it was pretty liberating with just one kid, but with two, it’s exhilaratingly so. All this free time to do whatever we want. Of course my wife and I are pretty career oriented, so we’ve mostly just been working extra hours, but it’s the choice to be able to do so that it’s amazing.
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Sunday Waves in Santander

December 17, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Wave Mist RainbowDespite the four of us being at various stages of battle against a winter cold virus, we decided to go, last Sunday, to Santander to see the penguins. Nora has expressed some interest in penguins, and there are some at the park near the Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander’s primary tourism must-see site. Because mobilizing a family of four is so challenging, we rarely do day trips, and we got out the door closer to lunch time than we’d planned, but that resulted in fewer crowds at the park. It turned out that there was something much more interesting and mesmerizing than penguins that captivated our attention.
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Buying A Christmas Tree

December 13, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, USA

Decorated Christmas TreeI think my parents normally buy their Christmas tree around mid-December, but this year, I requested that they do it a little early, during our visit with them. As good hosts, parents and grandparents, they obliged. It’s been years and years since I took part in the Christmas tree selection process with still-alive firs in a lot. My wife, who hasn’t had a real tree since she was a little girl, and daughter also enjoyed the experience. The trees at the lot were so fresh that they still had unmelted snow on them from the night before up on the mountain.
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State of the Offspring Address – November 2013

November 30, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

November 2013The big event this month has been our trip to the US to visit my family for Thanksgiving. It was our first time flying with both offspring. Both of them behaved very well. Ian was enchanting flight attendants and fellow passengers left and right, and Nora was content to be pacified by the same television marathon and mindless snacking that keeps the adult passengers docile. A couple times Ian had to be walked up and down the aisles, but overall, the long flight from Munich to Charlotte was pretty easy. Of course we did have to travel 24 hours late after our initial flight was cancelled due to a lightning bolt striking the aircraft the night before. However, that delay allowed us to insure having the bassinet, which makes all the difference when traveling with a small child.
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Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Party 2013As in previous years, I was given two little pumpkins by daily grocer, and we invited a kid or two over to participate in the annual ritual. The first year, we invited our neighbor, Oscar. He seemed more interested in Nora’s toys than with the pumpkin carving, so the next two years, 2011 and 2012, we invited a friend from three floors down, Carmen. Oscar has a three-year-old sister, Gabriela, now, and Nora has a best friend from school, Claudia, so we decided to invite all of them this year, including Claudia’s infant sister, Mara. Seven children!
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State of the Offspring Address – October 2013

October 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Yellow and DenimIan is six months old! How did that happen? He’s no longer a newborn and has firmly entered babydom. He’s made big strides in manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination, being able to see something that he wants to hold and grab it successfully. No crawling or sitting yet, but he can pull his knees up under him if the surface is slippery enough. His babbling has gotten very word-like, as well. While he continues to breastfeed a few times a day, and once at night, much more of his sustenance is formula than ever before. We’ve even begun giving him pureed fruit, but he remains largely unconvinced that it’s something worth keeping in his mouth and swallowing. It’s a process, and we’re not rushing it.
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