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 232 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 202 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 283 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 194 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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Golf in Pedre̱a РHome of Seve Ballesteros

November 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Spain, Travel 168 views

Pedreña Putting GreenMy token answer for the often asked question is that, what I miss most about the United States, apart from my family, is the relatively easy access to golf. In Spain, I’m lucky if I get to play once or twice a year, and with the burdens joys of fatherhood, even less. As if to taunt me, one of the closest golf courses to my house is the super private Real Golf de Pedreña, probably the most famous course in northern Spain, and the home stomping grounds of Spain’s golf legend, Severiano Ballesteros.
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Movie Premiere Snacks

November 11, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny 131 views

I’ve been down for the count with a stomach virus and/or food poisoning for most of today. Around hour fifteen of lying in bed, the following scene began to develop in my semi-conscious imagination. I think it works best as a skit for a comedy troupe, or, if someone like Jimmy Fallon could actually get all the celebs together to do it, all the better. We’ve all seen the celebrity gossip tv coverage of a movie premiere, where the famous people get out of their limousines and strut up the red carpet, but, have you ever wondered…
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Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA 90 views

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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Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, USA 128 views

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2013 - Fray PabloOnce again this year, I volunteered to go into Nora’s class and carve a pumpkin. Her teacher managed to acquire a 30 kg (66 lb) pumpkin from a fruit vendor in her hometown, and I agreed to come into school and perform my nation’s traditional pagan gourd evisceration ritual. This year, all three of the preschool classes (turtles, 3-year-olds; bears, 4-year-olds; and elephants, 5-year-olds) attended the actual carving. Due to the fact that the pumpkin had grown lying on its side, one side of it was totally flat, so it didn’t really stand up by itself, but we quickly solved that problem by placing it in a shallow bucket.
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State of the Offspring Address – October 2013

October 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 178 views

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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