Thursday, June 19, 2014


Blog post

Hello out there in blog land! As per usual, the moving process leads me to fall off the face of the earth for a time as I am reminded of just how draining it can be.

Consider me reminded!

Moving week here in Madrid was complicated by an already full calendar of "life."
Did Life not get the message that we were moving? Apparently not, as parent-teacher conferences, doctor appointments, field trips, and dance recitals decided to plop themselves right down in the midst of the chaos.

Literally as the elevator truck removed furniture from the window of our piso, I was running out to watch what was possibly the world's longest dance recital. What timing! That left Josh to handle all the move stuff plus get our zillion pieces of luggage, booster seats, partridge, and pear tree from the piso to the hotel. It required a specialty taxi, as the normal ones couldn't handle that sized load.

I will bury this thought in the back of my mind and not consider its implications as to how we will get all of that, and all of us, checked in to our flight on Sunday morning.

Sunday-- so soon! Say it ain't so!

Also making things more interesting, my dearly beloved has spent Monday through today on a class trip to Poland. So it's been me and the kids for this week of school and Happy Meals.

Some thoughts:

- you tend to get weird looks from people in a hotel when they watch you take your kids out in the morning or bring them back in the afternoon wearing school uniforms. I understand; it's weird to me, too. Though it's the third time in their lives that we've been living in hotels and also still going to school so maybe it doesn't seem so weird to them.

- I love connecting rooms. Even better than a suite with one separate sleeping area, the connecting room situation provides double the bathroom equipment and separate televisions.

- the kids were shocked to hear English coming out of the television when they happened upon the BBC channel. They truly have been immersed in Spanish this past year and a half. Their conversations between themselves have become a curious mix of both languages. I still love hearing it.

- This morning we peered out of our 8th story windows to watch the new King of Spain drive down the street on the way to his coronation at the palace. What luck to be staying on the route.

- the hotel has a rooftop terrace with a lovely swimming pool-- we've been taking dips after school to get out of the room. The weather has been great!

- weds afternoon at pick up was tough for Alex. She had to say goodbye to a couple girls who were leaving early for summer vacation. I can only imagine what I will find at pick up tomorrow, our last school day here :(
I'm thinking of sending Josh, because when she cries I do, too.

- during the kids' doctors appts they did urine dip tests to fill out some paperwork for sports physicals. For reasons unknown* Derek's showed a trace amount of blood. This necessitated that over the next several days, I had to travel through the city carrying samples of morning pee in my purse. It was lovely.
Thankfully all were clear, and basically just contributed to more things on the to-do list.

*possibly his refusal to leave his penis alone for two seconds

- I love Madrid! Maybe because I knew it wasn't forever, the hard parts of city living rarely got to me. I suppose we're leaving at just the right time-- before the food got too old and the crowds became too much. Better to leave while you still love it, right?


Anyone? Bueller?


- hi family in michigan! See you soon! Dad, don't forget us at the airport. Jessie, have my niece soon. Mom, did I mention that it's 10 days in the hotel and we're not doing laundry here? Hasta pronto...

The next blog post should be coming at you from the States, with pictures from our last weeks here hopefully. Uploading photos is a bridge too far for hotel weefee.

*Excuse any typos and the weird "blog post" heading at the top, I typed this out on the iPad and had to wait until I was in the lobby to post. It's not letting me make changes for some reason. For all the glory of the rooftop pool, we're staying in one of the last wifi-in-the -room holdouts.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hodgle Podgle

This could be my penultimate Hodgepodge in Madrid. Or maybe the ultimate if I'm lazy while in the hotel. So, join in Hodgepodgelings!

1. I've read several posts and status updates recently describing end of year school field trips. Do you remember taking school field trips as a kid? Where did you go and do you recall a favorite? For any parents responding today, have you ever chaperoned a school field trip, and if so where?

I remember a zoo trip in second grade, my first overnight trip in 5th grade, and then starting in junior high we would go to Black Rock Retreat in Pennsylvania for three-night camps each year.

The most vivid memory I have of those trips is sitting in the back row of a big van going to Black Rock for the first time and a classmate next to me accidentally turned and elbowed me hard in the chest. I was just starting to grow my boobies and it hurt so bad I thought I was going to die.

I did not.

Aaaaaand you're welcome for that little memory gem.

Parent chaperones are unheard of here in Spain-- we asked and they looked at us as if we might be mentally impaired.
Then again, we asked in Spanish. Maybe we asked if we could take a shower in the bidet or something. Who knows?

 2. What's something you're tired of seeing online?

How long do you have?

The Facebook Braggarts: The hidden brag, the humble brag, the blatant brag. Just shut up already, nobody cares that Penelope is doing calculus in kindergarten. I've got you beat-- my kid can armpit fart in his sleep.

Everyone who is sure that All The Foods are killing them, based on extensive internet research.

Anything that starts with "Dear ______" which is not actually written to that person. That company is not your facebook friend. And that intro to a rant is so 2012.

People who you cannot disassociate with Their Cause, since they cannot go a day without a post about it. Thanks, Jane Doe, now you've made me hate breastfeeding. And I used to like it.

People who ask for advice by saying, for example, "Best Restaurant near Central Park, Go!" as if everyone in their internet circle is just sitting around dying to give them advice.

Comment sections on any article ever written.

I think I should stop before I get carried away...

3. June is the month for roses. Which of the following expressions would you say has most recently applied to your life-'everything's coming up roses', 'there's no rose without a thorn', 'came out smelling like a rose', or 'wearing rose-colored glasses'? 
There's no rose without a thorn-- We've had a great run here the last couple of years with incredible locations and experiences and the thorn is having to say goodbye.

 4. When grilling outdoors do you prefer gas or charcoal? Who does the grilling at your house? What's the last thing you ate that was cooked on a grill?
I guess gas, because it's faster. Josh usually does the grilling, but it's been a looooooong time. We don't have a grill here, and we didn't bother to fill the propane tank in California either. And he was in Afghanistan for the 6 months before California...

Looking forward to some grilling this summer!

 5. Are you afraid of the dark?

 6. Share a favorite song with a number in it's title.

February Seven by the Avett Brothers.

7. "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."(C.G. Jung). Do you agree? Why or why not?

When I think of everything that irritates me about others, I come to the understanding that I am very easily irritated.

Stop bothering me, world!

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our super-sporty Corolla passed her inspection today and has been taken away to be sent across the Atlantic. She is quite the jet-setter. Her 13 years have seen a lot of the world. I know, because we had to clean all the thirteen years of dirt and grime off of her to send her back.

And by "we" I mean the people we hired to do it.

It was a relief to get that checked off the list, which now only has about 99 things on it.

I got 99 problems, but the car aint one. Maybe that should have been my song with a number.