Comillas – Día del Indiano

August 30, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 295 views

Mojito and PostcardOn our final weekend before our children come home from summer vacation with their grandparents, my wife and I decided we should take full advantage of our kidlessness and do some traveling tourism around Cantabria. We discovered this excellent website that details upcoming events in the region, and we decided to drive an hour to the west to a town called Comillas to see their annual Día del Indiano festival. We visited Comillas eight long years ago to scout out potential wedding venues, but we have not been back.
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State of the Offspring Address – August 2014

August 27, 2014 By: erik Category: Extremadura, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 97 views

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 81 views

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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The Great Quadriceps Contusion of 2014

July 28, 2014 By: erik Category: Complaining, Photos, Scary 119 views

Dead Leg BruiseThe fateful day was Monday, July 7, 2014. The time was 13:00h. My daughter and I had just taken my son to daycare, and were going to the local grocer to buy bread and lunch supplies for the day. The day before, when I had gone to the grocery store, it had suddenly begun to rain while I was doing my shopping, and I was without an umbrella. Because they are just such nice people, and our daily relationship is so good, my grocer friend, Andrés, lent me an umbrella to take home for the day. So on that fateful day, I had returned it. As I was leaving the store, I turned around to catch Andrés’ attention to make sure he noticed that I had returned the communal umbrella to its spot. He acknowledged it, and I turned to continue walking, with the shopping bag in one hand, and my daughter’s hand in the other. That’s when it happened.

THUNK!
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Bull Run Baby

July 10, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Photoshop, Spain 81 views

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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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2014

July 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Food, Partying 81 views

Fourth of July Party 2014 - HamburgerFor the first time in a while, we celebrated our Fourth of July party on that date. Sometimes we do it for lunch, but this time it was for dinner, and it coincided with the Brazil-Colombia World Cup match, which was fun. Ian could sense with all the cleaning and cooking and table clothes that something was up. Although he’s been going to bed at 8pm lately, he was having none of that on July 4th; he wanted to see what all the preparation was for.
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State of the Offspring Address – June 2014

June 30, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 112 views

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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The sun sets late in Spain

June 24, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Spain, Travel, Weird 177 views

Crepuscular!If you’ve ever been to Spain in the summer, you’ll know that the sun sets very late, which suits Spaniards, who like to have dinner as late as 10 or 11 at night, very well. It’s not just because of the tilt of the Earth at the summer solstice, or the fact that all our days are getting longer. Tonight, for example, in late June, the sun will set at 9:58 PM, one minute later than it will set as far north as Copenhagen! What sense does that make?

I blame the Nazis.
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Garlic and Water, Blog Name Idea

June 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Photos 111 views

10.365Where I work, whenever we start a new project, we often don’t yet know what the final product (usually a website) will be called, but we need a name to refer to the project. The way we generate internal code names is through a word association exercise. For example, one of the projects we’re working on now involves golf. Thinking of golf makes me think of Jack Nicklaus, whose nickname was The Golden Bear, so we named the project Ursa, which is short, nice and pronounceable and quick to type…and means “bear” in Latin.
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State of the Offspring Address – May 2014

May 29, 2014 By: erik Category: Beach, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 123 views

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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