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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Golf in Pedre̱a РHome of Seve Ballesteros

November 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Spain, Travel 177 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 136 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 91 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 130 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 180 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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Colindres in October

October 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel 277 views

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain in October 2013.

Ian and GrandpaOctober is my favorite month for visiting my son and his family in northern Spain. The weather is always comfortable, neither too hot nor too cold. Daylight begins around 8:00 am, and lasts until almost 8:00 pm. It is a convenient time to be away from home.

And then there are the birthdays. My son’s birthday is on the 12th, and my wife’s birthday is on the 16th. In Spain it is customary to take your friends and extended family out to eat on your birthday, often at a restaurant a bit classier than the norm. Some of my most memorable restaurant meals have been in Spain. To make the week even more worthy of celebration, October 13th is Erik and Marga’s wedding anniversary, and not coincidentally the anniversary of the best party I ever attended. So we flew away from America on October 8th, and flew back on the 18th.
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Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish 299 views

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
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State of the Offspring Address – September 2013

September 30, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos 166 views

Crown PrinceThis month saw Nora’s triumphant return to school as a preschool sophomore. While it’s true that she was the only kid in her class to begin crying three minutes before school started and begged me not to make her go to school, once her teacher promised that I could go in with her, she calmed down and fell right into the role of student, so much so that she didn’t notice that I didn’t go in with her. Last year she was a “turtle”, and this year, she’s a “bear”, as each of the three preschool grades have a nickname and mascot. The mascot last year was Tomasa, and this year it’s a panda called Chu-Lin, named after the panda that lived in the Madrid zoo while I went from kindergarten through high school.
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Spanish Lesson for New Parents

September 27, 2013 By: erik Category: Parenting, Spain, Spanish 327 views

Small CollarWhen you learn a second language, apart from the grammar rules, you obtain a very thinly spread vocabulary of a variety of subjects. But when you’re living in a country that speaks that foreign language, and you delve into a hobby, like camping or sailing or carpentry, you realize that there is a whole new fractal universe of domain-specific vocabulary, words for all the nouns and verbs associated with a specific activity. One such example of a new domain that they don’t teach very deeply in textbooks is all the vocabulary that goes with having and caring for a baby. I have two fellow Americans In Spain that are pregnant, so I thought I’d write a post outlining some vocabulary every parent in Spain needs.
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