Monday, October 14, 2013

A Monday List

It's Monday. Let's have a list, shall we?
Things we've been up to...


Attending classes, studying, reading, writing.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

He has papers and presentations every week, all of which take three times as long to prepare since they are written and presented in Spanish, and the references as well come from Spanish resources.
He's such a good student-- plugging away at projects that aren't due for weeks.
This is a completely foreign concept to me, as I did not realize you could write a paper or study for an exam if it weren't the night before the event.

Right now, he's away on a short "field trip" for his class. He's getting to see the northwest area of Spain, which we haven't had a chance to visit before.

(Side note-- this trip is the first direct impact we've had from the government shutdown, as normally they would pay Josh a per diem amount for food/lodging, which they wont do now because all education-related travel has been cancelled. Thankfully we've been insulated from the other cuts here in Spain.)

This past Saturday was the Fiesta Nacional de España, and Josh's class had special seats for the military parade. They were seated in sight of the President of Spain as well as the Prince and Princess, how fancy.
The kids and I opted to watch on TV while sipping coffee and/or playing Legos. I'll let you decide who did what.

Josh's class is mostly full of Spanish military (all branches of services), but there are also representatives from other countries as well, and he's made good friends with the guys from England and also his work-boyfriend from France.

True fact, the French cannot not pop a collar. It's forbidden. Their adorable French children are always dressed perfectly, and their little boy once sported two popped collars. At the same time.
Tres chic.

It's been fun to get to know people from so many different parts of the world. Last week, I had coffee with Claire, from France, and we conversed in Spanglish/Miming. And I had tapas and a coffee date with my new English friend, Deborah.
Look at me, being so social with my European friends.

This week I'm hermitting to make up for all the interaction. It wears a girl out.


Coffee dates, lunch dates, Strolls through the city.

Rinse, lather, repeat.
Ha. My life is hard, but someone's got to do it.

I've been trying to help Josh with his work by doing some of his readings and then giving him a de-brief on the topic. The material is mind-numbing, but it's good Spanish practice for me.

Hmmm. What else?

This is a little embarrassing. Apparently I don't do much.

Oh yes, I help out with the kids Sunday school at church.

Um. Does grocery shopping count? Laundry?

Dangit, I'm not earning my keep and I know it. Just leave me alone already.


She's still loving school this year. We had a parent-teacher conference last week, and she's doing well. Still lots of room for improvement in her Spanish, of course, but she's participating now in those classes and we were pleasantly surprised by some samples of her writing.
The art classes she wanted to take were cancelled for lack of participants, so instead she does dance twice a week, which she enjoys. We love that their "extracurriculars" happen during the school day.
She has her second birthday party of the school year coming up this weekend, for which I have to drive. Pray for me.


Derek's new favorite day is Monday, because that's his swimming day. We have a countdown all week until Monday, and then on Monday afternoon he asks me how many days until Monday.
I'm glad he likes it, because it was the source of some stress for mom and dad.

Once we got our questions answered from the gym teacher about how he plans to keep our son alive during swim class, because said child believes he can swim but in reality cannot, we then had to work out the details of how his epi-pen would be traveling with him to the pool and back.

This did not go well, and we became concerned overall with how seriously his allergies were being taken.
This resulted in a meeting with the director, which I am happy to say went very well, and Josh and I feel much more comfortable now with their preparedness to handle an allergic reaction.
Food allergies are not nearly as common here, and Derek is their first student at such high risk for anaphylaxis.
If anyone needs a guest speaker to present allergy-preparedness in Spanish or English, I'm your girl.

Here's a picture of the little dingbat during our run-through of "how to change into and out of your swimsuit."

I gave up about halfway through the run-through asking him to keep things off what is sure to be a wet floor. Now we're just hoping he brings everything back with him, in whatever shape it may be.

Other than swimming, Derek has expanded his world from just Legos and Squinkies to also include a lot of detailed drawings of people and aliens, who happen to be pooping.
I'm sorry, but it's true. Bodily eliminations are one of his new obsessions.

He's lucky he's so cute or else mama might not survive this phase.

We have his parent-teacher conference coming up this Friday.

We'll end with some pictures.

We took another trip on the teleférico. A little metal box in the sky is probably the safest place to be when a storm's approaching.

This is how city kids blow bubbles.

Extra points if your bubble hits a bus or pedestrian.

Drying sheets = Fort fun

Yes, our walls are barren. We didn't hang anything.

Ready for school

Good Morning, Madrid. Glad we don't drive in rush hour.

Things I pass on my walk home from school drop-off.

Vertical garden.


And lots of streets to wind down, around, and through.

And now, I shall take advantage of an absentee husband to watch a chick flick.

You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hello, October!

And just like that, it's fall.

The leaves in Parque de Retiro are changing colors and I'm determined to make my children frolic in them wearing clothes I wouldn't normally let them play in to document it. It's this weekend's goal.

So let's catch up on the last couple of weeks.
School is going well for the kids, I love living in Madrid, and my current lifestyle is an embarrassment of self indulgence.

But I'm just going to enjoy it as a gift, remembering that seasons of life come and go, knowing that in the future there will be plenty of "normal."

I bought a Groupon way back in spring for a "photo tour" of Madrid-- where a photographer will follow you through an area of the city and take your pictures. It was only for two people, but it was a great price and so I bought it. I figured Josh and I haven't had pictures taken as a couple since our wedding, so maybe now's the time.
You know, before we both go downhill.

I was planning on having them done in early July when Josh's mom was in town to keep the kids, but then he took a flying leap off some rocks and messed up his beautiful face.

So we waited as long as we could, and had them taken right before the groupon expired in August.

It was hot.
But they got some good shots, and I'm glad we did it. I've ordered a few on canvas; I'm just waiting for them to arrive.

For your viewing pleasure...

This one is in front of the Puerta de Alcalá, just a few minutes walk from our apartment, and along the bus route home. I am still not 'used to' seeing the beautiful buildings and fountains every day, and I don't think I will be before we leave.

This is on the Paseo del Prado. The photographer timed it with the street light, but the truth is that this city empties out in August, when the Spanish take a month-long vacation to the beach. They generally don't take shorter vacations like Americans, but save up all their time and use it at once.

Having the city to ourselves was nice while it lasted.

Fact: I'm wearing a dress my mother gave me when she no longer wanted it.
This shouldn't surprise anyone who knows that I also wore my sister's wedding dress to save me the trouble of dress shopping.

Fact: I got terrible blisters walking around in those heels. By the end of the photoshoot I had to take them off and walk the nasty streets barefoot.

This one is outside the Prado museum.

Fact: Everyone in our family has been hating on Josh's green pants.
I love the green pants. Here, you see way more men wearing colored pants than men wearing jeans.
And this is rather tame compared to some of the shades around town!
We were going for the euro-look.
This next one makes me think the photographer was saying to himself "And the jungle cat stalks his prey from the safety of the bushes..."

I can still see some remnants of the black eyes in these pictures, but my husband is still a hottie.

Last one.

And now we are on the every-12-year-plan for couples photography.
Se you in 2025.