State of the Offspring Address – February 2014

February 28, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 106 views

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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Paul Rasmussen’s Hole In One

February 26, 2014 By: erik Category: Family, Golf, Photos 92 views

Hole In One - Paul RasmussenSomething truly special happened during my annual February golf trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this year. Normally we have pretty good luck with the weather, but this year we had some fairly heavy rain on Saturday, February 8, 2014. We were playing one of the nicest courses we’ve ever played, over the decade we’ve been going there, TPC Myrtle Beach. Fortunately, most of us have pretty decent rain gear: water proof pants, jacket, shoes and gloves that both keep your hands warm and also somehow don’t slip on the club grip. Golfing in the rain is considerably less fun than golfing in the sunshine, but, if you have the right attitude and equipment, it still beats most activities. It rained pretty steadily for the entire front nine, and began clearing up on the back.
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Myrtle Beach Time Of Year

February 17, 2014 By: erik Category: Golf, Music, Photos, Travel, USA, Videos 128 views

Earlier this month, I took my annual vacation – remember: traveling with children is a “trip”, and traveling without children is a “vacation” – to North and South Carolina for our annual golf tournament that my father hosts, called the Myrtle Beach Classic. This year we played a novelty golf course called World Tour Golf Links, which has recreated many of the most famous golf holes from around the world. It’s a clever gimmick and I’m glad we played there, but it’s probably not worth returning there in the future. As expected, we had a really great time and I got to see some friends that I only see once a year, every February. I am forever grateful to my wife and in-laws for carrying my parental burden during these trips.
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State of the Offspring Address – January 2014

January 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 162 views

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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Swedish Furniture Epiphany

January 09, 2014 By: erik Category: House, News, Photos 331 views

Swedish Furniture Epiphany - AfterMy wife and I are some of the worst home decorators I know. Not only do we lack vision and style (“What would look good in this space?”), but we’re stingy as hell. Also, due to our expatriate past/present, we feel very comfortable with the idea of packing up and moving very far away. Which is funny since we’ve lived in our current house for 8.5 years, longer than we’ve lived anywhere but with our parents. Our false sense of “We could move out at any moment!” makes us terribly unwilling to actually nest in our current home, and make it better.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2013

December 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Videos 157 views

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 236 views

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 205 views

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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International Travel With Kids

December 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Reviews, Spain, Travel 294 views

FlightsWe just got back from our first transatlantic pond hop as a fully formed family of four. The offspring were very well behaved, considering the adventure we went through. I’ll be using this post to vent some of my frustration with our voyage.

It began when my mother dropped us off at the curb of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Just like she was for the first fifteen minutes of our car ride to the airport after saying adiós to her grandfather, Nora was wracked with inconsolable grief for the first fifteen minutes. She’s not good with goodbyes.
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State of the Offspring Address – November 2013

November 30, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos 196 views

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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