State of the Offspring Address – March 2015

March 31, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian WritesMarch has seen several major milestones hit by the offspring, pretty much all by Nora, and I’m not even counting her sixth birthday or losing her first tooth, both of which were amazing sources of pride for her. Ian is still plodding along being adorable, friendly and so curious that he gets into trouble. He’s just finally started getting out a third or fourth syllable to his thoughts, like “Let’s go, Nora”, or “Daddy, jacket!”
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Nora is Six!

March 24, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Videos

Birthday girlToday is Nora’s sixth birthday. She claims it’s the best birthday of her entire life. The past few days, she’s been asking if we have all her presents bought. A few of them did get purchased the day before, I will admit. Yesterday, she begged me to at least tell her “What are the dibujos on the gifts?” At first I thought she meant dibujos as “drawings”, like on the wrapping paper, but eventually I figured out that she meant what “cartoons” the gifts were branded with. Ah, the preoccupations of a near-six-year-old… Just to razz her, I told her that most of them with Spiderman™, which she hates with burning prejudice simply because the boys in her class like it, and therefore it must be terrible.
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El Ratoncito Pérez – The Spanish Tooth Fairy

March 18, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Spain

Ratoncito PérezOn a previous post, I mentioned a list of parenting vocabulary that I had never had the occasion to learn in Spanish until becoming a parent. When my daughter, Nora, was about two, either through some cartoon or a stuffed animal, she and her Spanish grandparents began talking about el Ratoncito Pérez, and every time Nora saw anything resembling a mouse, she would exclaim that name. At the time, I had no idea what that name meant.
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Saturday at Parque de la Magdalena

March 12, 2015 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

SantanderThis past weekend, we spent Saturday afternoon in Santander, specifically on the peninsula that makes up the Parque de la Magdalena, which I consider the item at the very top of the “must see” list for Santander tourism. It was the first sunny day in a long time, and everybody was out there enjoying it. If you like high cliff-side views of the sea – and who doesn’t? – then you’ll love the Parque de la Magdalena; it is simply breathtaking.
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Bellota – The Hamster

March 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, News, Photos

Bellota, the hamsterYesterday, our family got a little bigger. It has been a dream of my wife’s for many years to own a hamster. I like to watch the look on people’s faces when I tell them that my wife is a veterinarian, watch them say “Awww!”, and then say, “No, a slaughterhouse vet; she doesn’t make animals better.” In fact, she’s never really been fond of pets, cats or dogs. But she’s always been a softy for rats and small rodents. Yesterday we finally bit the bullet and bought a hamster. The hamster, a pretty spiffy cage, well over a fortnight of food, bedding and litter was a total of 55€, with 45€ of that being the cage. If we had acted sooner, we could’ve gotten the hamster for free, because my friend and local grocer, Andrés, owns his parents and oversaw his conception and birth, on January 28, 2015.
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State of the Offspring Address – February 2015

February 27, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian BarflyThe shortest month of the year has come to a close. I spent the first dozen days of it the the States playing golf, and then we had the biggest event in February for the kids, Carnaval. The weather has been particularly terrible this month, so we’ve done almost no outdoor activities. The other day I noticed it was starting to rain, and pointed this out to Nora, and she said, “Ugh! It’s ALWAYS raining!” That’s how we all feel.
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Carnaval 2015 – Pirates and Parrots and Mice

February 13, 2015 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain

Carnaval 2015 - Colindres - 202Every year my children’s daycare surprises me with a clever costume duo for the grown-ups and the children, e.g. Angels and Demons, Cops and Robbers, Snow White and Dwarves. This year, it was pirates for the grown-ups, and parrots for the children. Not the cleverest they’ve done, but not bad, and way cleverer than the other schools in town, some of whom were Ninja Turtles, [Despicable Me] Minions, dinosaurs, or Smurfs (Smurves?), with the parents and children dressing up as the same thing…yawn! As usual, I was designated the official daycare photographer, although this year I was not given a special costume as I have been in the past as Prince Charming or the Police Commissioner.
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State of the Offspring Address – January 2015

January 30, 2015 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Kitty NoraEarly January saw the passing of “Second Christmas”, Kings Day, in which Nora wrote a letter to the three wisemen welcoming them into our home and offering some snacks that were laid out for them. Nora got a toy microphone, some clothes, some other toys, and several pairs of earmuffs, which no one wears (and therefore are nearly impossible to buy), but apparently they were talking about them in school. Ian got the big present: a pedal-less bicycle. Unfortunately he’s not quite big enough to use it even at the lowest setting, and Nora is just too big to use it at the highest setting (more on that below). Nora got up first, of course, and then she got so frustrated that she couldn’t “help” Ian open his presents that she actually started crying at the injustice of it all. When we got Ian up, he really didn’t seem to have any understanding of what was going on, barely paying attention to Nora ripping open his presents.
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The Rasmussen Harmonica Trio

January 16, 2015 By: erik Category: Family, Music, Offspring, Videos

Rasmussen Harmonica TrioDuring our visit to the States in October 2014, Nora and Ian had a lot of fun playing the harmonica with their Grandpa Paul. Nora is about as good as I am, just blowing and sucking, but little 17-month-old Ian was even better, bending notes and moving the harmonica around to change notes. Their performance was quite impressive, although they need a smidge more practice before they sign a record deal. Still, it was exciting to see them before they become famous.
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Sam the Westie

January 06, 2015 By: erik Category: Photos

Sam Face 1My parents’ west highland terrier, Sam, passed away this morning in his sleep at the vet’s office. He’s been blind and deaf for a couple years now. But he was very loved for fifteen long years.

I pulled Nora into my office today, which is more or less the equivalent of Christmas Day here in Spain, and told her that I had some sad news. When I told her that Sam had died, she understood immediately, and the corners of her mouth fell like stones, nearly breaking my heart. Before she could think about it more, I hugged her and sent her back to watch cartoons.
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