Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2014

November 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Spain, USA

Pumpkin 2014Having done it for the previous two years, 2012 and 2013, it was assumed that I would be carving a pumpkin at my daughter’s school again this year. Now veterans at this, my daughter’s teacher and I decided it would be much better to do the “performance” in the cafeteria/auditorium, because in past years it’s been tough squeezing all the kids in. My daughter’s 5-year-old “kindergarten” class stayed for the entire process, but during the cleaning and later the lit presentation, the 3-year-old and 4-year-old classes came in to participate.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2014

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

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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Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

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

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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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2013

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

July Fourth Party InviteIt’s July again, and time for my annual party I’ve dubbed Hamburgerfest, because it’s mostly just be cooking hamburgers for some friends. This year was a little more relaxed than previous years, with a considerable drop in alcohol consumption and general rowdiness that makes parties good, but it was still very nice company and also very nice to have someone to take our children’s laser focus off of us for a few hours. Nora had fun playing with our friend Elena, who was very patient with her, and was immediately accepted into the Grandmother role (a playmate for Nora to boss around). And there were plenty of women queueing up for a chance to hold baby Ian, which is all he needs to be happy.
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Ian’s Baptism

June 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Family, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Religion

Mother and ChildWe baptized Ian this past Sunday, June 9, 2013. Personally, I don’t believe that splashing some water on a baby means anything at all, but some people I care about do, so I was happy to participate, especially since it meant having a big party to celebrate the birth of my son, something I do feel very happy and celebratory about. It was the very first mass I’ve attended in the town church that has been ringing its bells next to my house for the past eight years.
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Ian is One Month Old

May 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos

Ian's First Month Birthday Party (cropped)Today Ian turns one month old. It’s been both a long and a quick month. He’s grown quite a bit. While he weighed less than his sister at birth, she was only 3.6 kg at the one month mark, and he’s already up to 4 kg. His size difference is already noticeable, as he’s much larger, especially his head, than he was at birth. Probably because he never stops eating. All the parenting pamphlets say that newborns need to eat roughly every three hours, but apparently Ian can’t read the pamphlets, because he’s hungry pretty much every hour.
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Rainy Sunday Make-Up Party

January 28, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Rainy Sunday Make-Up PartyI don’t think I’ve ever had lipstick on my lips that I didn’t acquire through a kiss… until yesterday. I think it was also the first time I’ve had my fingernails painted. Twenty-four hours later, they still look fabulous. The weather was cold and rainy, as it has been for pretty much all of 2013 so far, and it occurred to my testosteronally-challenged housemates that getting all dolled up before bedtime might be a fun thing to do. Something tells me that my son is going to experience lipstick, eyeshadow, rouge and fingernail polish long before his first birthday, courtesy of his extremely feminine big sister.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2012

July 11, 2012 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, USA

Hamburgerfest 2012Last year we couldn’t have our annual Fourth of July party because we were in the States for the holiday, but this year we returned to tradition, throwing a party for some friends with hamburgers using my special “American” recipe. We didn’t give much notice, and it coincided with San Fermí­n, the enormous Booze & Bull festival in Pamplona, which some of our invitees were attending, so we ended up with a nice dinner party of seven adults and our little Nora.
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Aitziber’s Wedding

May 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain

Bride and GroomIt was December 15, 2001, when I first got on a plane with my suitcase and guitar and the plan of no longer being a resident of my native land. I flew into Birmingham, England, and my future wife picked me up and drove – amazingly, to me – effortlessly on the wrong side of the road to the flat she was renting with a friend and coworker, a tall Basque girl by the name of Aitziber (pronounced eye-CHEE-bear). The three of us would be flatmates for nine or ten months. Aitziber moved back to Spain a couple years before we did, and we fell out of contact as happens in life. Aitziber, however, is one of those thoughtful people that, without fail, calls on my wife’s birthday to chat and describe what happened since they talked the previous year. We were pleased to be invited to her wedding this past weekend, especially since it was so close, in Getxo, a suburb of Bilbao.
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Nora Is Three!

March 26, 2012 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Taking pictures with new digital cameraNora turned three years old this weekend. We drove to her Spanish grandparents’ house in Mondragón and had a party at their Centro Extremeño, a cultural center and social club for emigrants from the Extremadura province of southern Spain. Nora was quite wowed by all the presents and attention. She gets a lot of presents and attention throughout the year, but this was definitely a more special day. She got many dresses, and a doll, a wooden bowling set, and a Hello Kittyâ„¢ digital camera, which is iPhone-shaped, so she calls it her “mobile”. The digital camera was her favorite gift, which I’m proud to say came from her loving parents (it was marked down from 70€ to 20€!!), but her second favorite gift, the bowling kit, was more fun to play with in the wide open space of the cultural center.
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