martes, 31 de diciembre de 2013


The last day of the year today and when I think about 2013, the first thing what comes in mind is our aupair Lorena . 

She came with us in December 2012 after a rough period with one particular babysitter and the follow up on that. We gained a broken trust and it was ( unfairly) Lorena´s task to gain full trust again regarding our children.

This was probably not easy for her as i kept on repeating every little detail what had to be done..
´Lorena, don't forget to put the kids in bath´ , ´Lorena, what had the kids for lunch today?´ Lorena, don't forget to put cream on the kids after a nappy change´  and so on...
This are things what should have been normal , but i was just paranoid.
And she indulged everything and was very patient with us through this period.

After a couple of months we got Livia´s official diagnose that she has autism.. which was expected , but still not easy to emotionally deal with.. and again she was there for us, she was the one who helped me, talked to me and showed me that she very well could handle my precious child with or without autism, it didn't matter for her! of course you would say, Livia is a very easy , always smiling child!! Yes she is , but that doesn't mean on a daily basis , that her having autism can´t be challenging!

Throughout the year she followed our leads, needs and wishes without any issues or complaints and I salute her for that! 

A bit about Lorena....

Lorena is a lovely 26 year old girl/woman who is from the area of Malaga ( Campillos).
While being an aupair for us , she is also studying psychology from home. 
Lorena speaks only Spanish and is due to her study also learning English , but we only speak Spanish to her.
She is mad about her Spanish series ( don't ask me the names, cant even pronounce it) and loves to go out so now and then with her new friends she recently made here in Montcada. She is very nice to talk and laugh with and we are therefor also regularly in stitches about everything basically!!

The kids adore her and the other way around as well! Sofia ( or ´mi Chiquitita´ as Lorena calls her) loves to hug her, kiss her, tell funny stories to her, but also likes to be mad at her as a 3 year old can do best! And most of all talk to her aaaaall day long , which makes Lorena mad sometimes.. ( yes Sofia  looks a bit like her mother ) Sofia loves to watch Lorena when she is getting ready for a night out.. all those girlie things are soo fascinating!!

Livia and Lorena have a special bond, you see that in everything.. Livia is crazy about Lorena and Lorena about Livia and they play and hug a lot! Lorena is seeing every little detail in Livia regarding play and behavior and she knows exactly what Livia wants, needs or when Livia tries her out! This is not easy in Livia´s case as she is non-verbal as most of you know.

This blog is just to say how grateful we are with  Lorena and she deserves a special huuuuge thanks from Shayne and myself!! 

So hereby : 

Muchos Gracias mi amiga de todos y esperamos que te quedes con nosotros por un largo tiempo !!!

Te Queremos!!!

Ow and by the speaking better Spanish is also thanks to her!!

sábado, 14 de diciembre de 2013

Expat life..

When I left The Netherlands 5 years, 7 months and 14 days ago I had seriously no clue what was waiting for me  over the Dutch borders...

I never traveled a lot, never really got the feel of the world around me and I was a proper Dutch ´Cheese head´ as they lovingly (or not)  call us...
The only holidays I went on I spent on typical tourism areas like Marmaris in Turkey, Torremolinos in Spain,Mallorca,  Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt , Paris France and one school-trip in the Bordeaux area.. So safe to say no clue!!

On the day I left my little country I really thought I was world wise and would have no issues whatsoever with adapting.. gosh was I wrong...

Just a bit of history here as for why i left the Netherlands:

I was 25 years old ,  living in a small city called Dordrecht , had a fab apartment , a good job as Account manager at KPN and had a nice group of friends and family around me. 

And then out of nothing Love hit.... 
I met my now husband Shayne online ( via the good old MSN) which is another story on its own, and went on a holiday with my friend Karin to Malgrat de mar, Spain where he lived. 

Safe to say , we hit it off straight away and were very much in love.. So much even that i decided ( me impulsive? naaah..) that i would move to Malgrat de Mar as well.. 

Well all said and done.. i kept to my word and roughly a month later I was standing in the Airport in Eindhoven with some dumbstruck family around me , who basically thought ( and some probably still think) I was totally bonkers!!
But I knew this was the right decision for me... 

What i didn't know though then was in what kind of tornado you will end up in.. Everything what was so normal in my environment was all gone and I had to start settling again.. As much as a big adventure it is, its not always an exciting one.. there are so many things you have to get used to again.. Your world get turned upside down!

Even though I had lots of support from Shayne ( he went through the same years earlier so he understood) it was still a hard journey..

I realized that it is very hard to make friendships in another country and especially with the residents.. However as all the expats are in the same ´boat´ , we understand each other which makes it easier to make friendships!

The negative side about this is that you can lose friends as easy as that again as well... with losing i don't mean necessarily that you will never speak to them again, but there are not many ( young) expats who are staying on the same place for the rest of their lives..  This for me is the hardest part of this life i am living.. the friendships i took for granted my whole life, are suddenly not so self evident anymore.. you have to say more goodbyes then welcomes and that is very hard.

Which as obvious result that I am way more careful now with who I am letting in my life.. 

I know i sound a bit sad in this blog , but this is because i just had to say another goodbye to a very good friend which hit me pretty bad this time..

But that doesn't mean I don't love my life as an expat , because I definitely do!! There are many many pro´s of living ´the good life´!!
One of them is learning other cultures and backgrounds from the people around me!! As I am working ( as many expats do ) in a multinational company , the people around me are from all over ( mostly ) Europe!! From UK, Ireland, Spain ( duuuh) , Italy, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, some from India, Brazil, Mexico and on and on..
Another pro of course is learning a new language and also improve my English which at this point is pretty good if I say so myself :).. 

Also a good point is the work opportunities. The reason why most of us work in multinational companies is because of the language we are speaking.. The reason I am in IT now is because of my native language.. If I had to have it from my experience in IT ( which was none ) , i would have never ended up in this work field and that,  my friends,  would have been a shame as I totally love to work in IT!!

Definitely worth mentioning is the food!! Although of course I miss some specific Dutch food , which i let ( read: ask nicely ) ship over from The Netherlands, Spanish food is awesome!! Even the Catalan Botifarra ( click here for the explanation), i find delicious!!

So after a lot of adding, deleting and changing in this blog as it is really difficult to describe the feeling of being an expat, I will leave the rest to your own imagination.. 

Hasta Pronto!!

martes, 26 de noviembre de 2013


What is love.. yes that's a good question..

We girls are very picky and critical about the concept of love..
The most of us are vouching for the perfect man , who helps in the household, is a perfect father for our children and of course also very Romantic..

But somehow after being almost six years with my husband, I have to acknowledge that this is an impossible task for mankind... I don´t blame them because just as well we cannot live up to the perfect woman standard they have in their dreamworld..

As far as I can see a man would like a hot babe with long flowing hair, a not nagging household master and a perfect mother , of course she should also be an eccentric exotic babe in the bedroom...

And lets be honest girls, we don´t have all those capacities" well sorry to say I at least don´t.
My house is a mess , I don´t have the curves on the right place and you can say I have a PhD in Nagging..
But husband dearest on the other side is A-Romantic ( I think he missed some classes on that one) and certainly not a help in the household, which makes our house a pig stall as i am neither!

But there are some things we have in common and I think that those things are the most important of all!
We have humor, share the unconditional love for our 2 daughters and most of all Love and trust each other!
We have our ups and downs, are crises and lucks, but most of all we have a steady life which sound very boring but in the end that is what everyone signs up for in a certain way..

I ask myself sometimes, all those movies and novels about stories with the perfect man or woman having the the general cliche exciting romantic love filled relationships gives us such a wrong picture of what really counts in love.. As you become older you ( hopefully) start to understand that , but I think there are lots of girls and boys out there who are still searching for that one perfect thing which doesn't exist and they never will find..

man will never understand that socks belong in the washing basket or  empty toilet rolls are not a nice decoration in the toilet, they will certainly not understand that a flower might be a nice gesture ( a real one, not a ´I grab already dead flowers from the gas station ) and we woman are also tired at times and we are still not dying..

We woman need to understand that a man is a human being with real feelings and not a remote control manageable ´being´.. They are generally not romantic on the night that you want them to be ( or not at all ) after you watched that o so soppy movie which makes you all ´in the mood´.. They won´t clean the house on cue and certainly don´t like to be nagged to about things which happen 20 years ago.. ´Honey why didn´t you tell me that that dress looked awfully on me when we had our second date? ´.. ´uhh well i don´t know Babe , what´s wrong with your own judgement..´

I am aware I do a lot of generalizing in this post , but hey if you don´t fit in this picture i just have drawn of man and womankind than forget all of this and go on with your perfect life..

All and all this nagging, sloppy , too curvy woman wants to say to her also sloppy, o so not romantic husband that she loves him more then anything in the world!!

domingo, 24 de noviembre de 2013

Winter madness...

It´s that time of the year..that the whole family is having colds and mummy and daddy are keep on running after the kids to clean dirty noses.. 

At this moment all 4 of us are under the weather and even last Friday evening Sofia and I had an unexpected trip to the hospital in Barcelona. Sofia suddenly got a real bad case of rash all over her body and as we got a letter from the school that there was a case of Salmonella detected, of course I was worried.
First we went to the doctor here , but they sent us straight away to the hospital.
Good that it was a special children hospital , so they where very attentive!
Sofia was other than the rash feeling fine, and she got the nurses wrapped around her little finger in no time!
Tired after playing with the nurses..

Thank god it was nothing serious and the rash was considerably less when we went home around 3 in the morning. The next day we all had a lie-in and woke up around 11 .. Livia was still not asleep when we go home, like the little night owl she is , so she also woke up around that time.

The rest of the weekend was very slow as we all are out of energy so we did some crafting and relaxing on the sofa with some TV.

Here in Spain the weather has been very mild till about a week ago when the winter storm hit us.. It was loaded with rain, wind and terrible thunder claps.. even that bad that, that at one point I was reading and threw my book around the room of a fright i got from one of those awfull claps! 
After the storm it was straight away time for winter jackets and scarfs..
So as you see we cannot complain as the summer took till mid November.

Now I have to honestly say that I am not a hero regarding thunder storms and never have been.. In my youth , when it was storming at night , I always decided that I had to ´comfort´my little sisters by crawling in their bed with them.. of course it was selfishly more for my own comfort as they were most of the time still fast asleep! Always when the thunder storm was heavy , my mother would all get us out of bed and to the living room till it was over, and that is a nice memory for me , because there was nothing more nice in that time to sit all huddled together on the sofa as brothers and sisters till the storm was over..

Livia´s Xmas sock..
This time of the year also means Christmas is coming!!
I started really early with the Christmas presents as I wanted to make some things myself and that takes time.. I have quit a bit finished but still some to go...
And apart from making presents and decoration , we also have to buy some pressies, and I found out that Ikea has lots of nice wooden a trip to my beloved shop is  really unavoidable!!

Livia painting in concentration

As the weather is not really nice right now and we can´t spent our weekends outside , I am getting creative again with the children but also for myself..

We paint and cut and enjoying ourselves and even Livia painted for the first time today! 
I made some ´bird houses´from some empty plastic bottles...

one of my Gesso creations
I found out the likes of Gesso, which is a sort of primer on acrylic base.. You can do up all kinds of things with it but mainly is used for canvas paintings.. I use it to paint nice bottles and jars and also some canvasses..
Its very addictive and not even one veggie jar or wine bottle goes in the bin anymore, of course to annoyance of dear hubby as the whole house is now filled with craft stuff.. 
As I am doing so much crafting and crocheting , I decided that my ever growing stash needed a permanent place in the house.. and what is a better spot then the bookshelf of my husband!! He was not happy with my decision , but hey a girl has to do what a girl has to do.. I feel a trip to Ikea coming up soon to buy another bookshelf..or 2.. ( apart from the earlier mentioned pressies) ..
He has so many books that every cupboard is filled with them. I advised him to buy a kindle like I have, but he is very conservative in that as he says ´ there is nothing nicer than a real book..´ Ok hun you are right sure, but the house is bulging at this moment and more and more is to come!!

Our baby Livia found out how nice it is to draw and I tell you...she really really found it out!!
She likes to draw the whole day and enjoys it a lot if we join her.. That means that we are singing a song and she draw rounds till the song is over..  She does not take no for an answer as she just takes us by the hand and pushes us down to do what she wants us to do! The girl might be non verbal , but she knows what she wants and she wants it now! Its so nice to see some spirit in her after such a while her being quit passive and playing alone.

We are also still very happy with Lorena ( our aupair) who next month is with us for a year! The girls are mad about her and so are we. She has some friends around here now and enjoys a night out so now and then..  One of her friends is Alessandro , who also happens to be my colleague at work.

Alex and Sofia
Alex ( as we call him) started working in our team a couple of months ago and we got along great straight away..
He spent a couple of times here in the house and Sofia decided then that Alex is her boyfriend... till mummy´s shock of course... She asks a lot..´Mummy where is my Alex?´ 
As he is 9 years younger then me , I always call him my little brother from another mother... We are blessed to have this ´little brother´in our lives as he is so good with the girls and Shayne , Lorena and I can get along with him so well.. 

So.. now its time for a bit chillaxing ( as my mother in law always says ) and watch a movie or so .. I am trying to stay up as long as possible to ease myself back in night shift mode, which I start tomorrow night..

Hasta Pronto!!

sábado, 19 de octubre de 2013

My special daughter Livia...

My daughter Livia and her ASD.

History : 

My daughter Livia is born on 26/03/2011 at 11 o clock at night. 
At 39 weeks I broke my water and went to the hospital. They decided to keep me there and if the contractions didn´t come naturally, then they would induce me the next day.
That evening around 6 o clock  I started to get contractions naturally. My friend called me to see if it was still ok to come on a visit. I said ´yeah ofcourse!! i just am in a little pain every now and then, but dont worry , it still can take hours!! ´.
As soon as my friend stepped foot in the room I started to have heavy contractions.. Ow God I will never forget her face!! And Machteld, I am forever thankful you were there to support me!! Shayne was just home to get a shower and all when my contractions started. The nurse told me not to call him yet , because with the drugs they gave me , she says, I wouldn´t want him around me anyway. But as stubborn as I am, I decided to call him anyway as who was she to decide if I wanted him there or not! Afterwards, Thank God i was so stubborn, because at the very moment he came in , they wheeled me out to the delivery room for a very needed epidural as everything went so fast, to deliver my little babygirl only a short while later! 
The moment of birth itself was quite stressfull as the midwife told me I had to deliver her straight away because of problems with her heart rate. 

My little Budha ( 3900 gram) in the Incubator.
When Livia was put on to my chest we noticed that she wanted to cry , but she couldn´t . She made the faces but not the sounds.. They took her away from me and after a very short while, they wheeled her out to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to do tests on her. The nurses and midwifes didn´t tell us anything and they kept us waiting for more then 2 hours before I was actually wheeled down to see her myself.

It turned out that she was on the verge of Pneumonia but they caught it right on time. She also had high levels of some sort of whatever in the blood ( sorry I cant remember all those doctor terms) so she needed to stay.

Eventually she stayed in the hospital for 6 days when we were allowed to take her home where she belonged!

Livia always to find in a good mood!!
Overtime she was a very happy normal baby.
That all changed after about 18 months when I noticed she didn´t really meet her milestones and also was very detached ( no eye contact etc) and in her own little world.
I kept this to myself as I didn´t want to stir things up. Maybe this was just a phase in her little life.
But it wasn´t a phase and slowly but surely I got Shayne convinced it was more than that. In this time we also moved to Spain and the girls went to daycare for the first time in their lives. 
At daycare they confirmed my thoughts with saying that Livia needs to be checked out by a psychologist at the special children center here in Catalunya.

So we had a couple of therapy sessions with Livia and there was the diagnosis: Livia had Autism. Diagnosed at 2 years of age.

Autism explained in a nutshell: 

Autism (also commonly known as Autism Spectrum Disorder or simply ASD) is a neurological disorder that affects communication, motor skills, social interaction, behavior, and more. Neurological disorders are in relation to the nerves or the nervous system. But autism is also in relation to the brain. Autism can include intellectual challenge or mental retardation but studies have proven that many people with autism are not less intelligent, but rather they are unable to express themselves. Its defined as a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.

The word "autism," which has been in use for about 100 years, comes from the Greek word "autos," meaning "self." The term describes conditions in which a person is removed from social interaction -- hence, an isolated self.
 ( Of course there is a lot more to it, as every child with Autism is so differently affected.There is no way you just can explain it in a ´nutshell´, but you can understand that I didnt want to make this blog any longer than it already is. )

Livia the happy girl : 

Livia is by far the most happy and content girl I ever saw! I know maybe its mothers pride , but hey with a girl like that , Yes I am Damn proud!!!
I always call her my little cherub as you can see in the pictures , she has those cute rosy cheeks ,as she is always smiling and just overall very happy and easygoing.  Livia is non-verbal till now, and it doesnt look like she will talk anytime soon. She does brabbles a bit but nothing understandable
(tatata..dadada). She is mostly in her own little world walking rounds in the house and ´plays´. I put that into brackets as playing for her is not the playing we are used to from kids. They call that Non-functional playing which means that Livia will not use her imagination to play and for example will turn the wheel of a play car round and round instead of driving it on the ground. She can sit ages in front of the washing machine, just watching the cycle and also loves to open and close cupboard doors till the end of time.
She is very sensitive in her touches and food. She loves to feel everything and if she likes the feel of something, she can sit on the floor and rubs it between her fingers for a long time. This is the same with food. She didnt want to eat anything substancial till she was approximetaly 18 months old. She then started with some bread and now she eats only Bread, Pasta and Rice.. and if possible with lots of tomato sauce! I even was very happy when she took a liking to some sweets I gave her the other day, because that was the first time ever!!

Livia is very independent and does basically just what she wants with a big smile on her face. If she wants something from us ( which is in 99.9% of the cases her bottle of milk)  , she just drags us to the kitchen which by that point we know what we have to do.. 

Parents of a child with Autism : 

Ofcourse I only can talk about myself and a bit about my husband regards this topic and how we experience the world of autism and especially the view of the outside world towards ourselves. However I  will not talk about the feelings of my husband in this blog, as I  want to respect his feelings and if he wants to out them to the world like I do, he will do that himself on his terms.

Of course as a parent you are not prepared for a diagnose as ASD. For me I was fairly certain early on that there was something not right with Livia, but I ofcourse didnt know what it was. When we got the Diagnose it was a very double feeling of relief and sadness for me as I ofcourse didn´t want that there is something wrong with my little girl , but on the other side it proved that mother´s instinct is a real thing and now we actually can work with something.

Sometimes just after a Diagnose i feel as a parent you are just a tiny bit relieved that it now has a name and you actually can go forward from there.. However With the Diagnose of Autism I felt in the beginning that way, but now it gets very daunting, especially regarding the reactions of the outside world. 

Because Autism is more diagnosed in this day and age , many people actually think its a made up something, especially because it is not something you can see on the outside. Comments like ´Its just a label you would like to put on your children when they are not behaving the way you want them to do..´ and ´when I was younger these diagnoses didnt exist , the children where just naughty.´  Or even ´maybe she will grow out of it ´.

I heard this kind of reactions and other unthoughtful things and it makes me so sad and angry!  I know I shouldn´t let it get to me, but hey you might not talking directly about my daughter, but actually you just judged my parenting and my daughter!! I really need to learn to build up a shield for such comments, but as I am a very emotional person myself, that is going to be hard work. I want to scream and shout sometimes, but it doesnt make a difference. 

From now on forward:

Of course I dont know what the future has in store for Livia, but we work very hard to make it a positive one. We don´t dwell on the fact that she has Autism and go on with our normal daily lives. 
Playing with the ball with Papa, a huge progress!!
For now she is in Therapy 2 times a week and has a lovely time 5 mornings a week in daycare. She has a lovely teacher/ carer who understands her Autism and does very well in meeting her needs. Even the kids in her class notice that Livia is a bit different than they are and are very gentle with her.
This gives us a very safe and good feeling that she is in good hands.
Also we have a lovely Aupair Lorena who takes a special liking to Livia and also Livia to her. 

I am getting more and more knowledged of how to communicate with her and what there is on the market to help her in her development , so soon I will get more in details and probably will go bit by bit into basic sign language. 
Also buying of sensory toys are on the top of my list.

Next February we will review if she will stay an extra year in daycare or will go to primary school with extra help.

I know this has been a very long blog, but I found it necesarry to write everything down , for my friends and family specially to get a bit of an inside of our daughter and her ASD.

Till Soon Again!!



lunes, 14 de octubre de 2013

71 days... 5 hours...21 minutes and 18 seconds till......

 For now its still Autumn..

Well as far as you can speak from Autumn.. Here in Barcelona the weather is still very nice in October and this week even expected to have temperatures of 27 degrees!!

Its a bit annoying at times as I got all the winter clothes out already for the kids, and now they are walking in half winter/half summer clothes.. Also in this time of year the sniffles and snotters are unavoidable, especially with the school year already in for a month and a bit, the kids get sick aaall the time!! At this moment i also am sniffing like crazy myself..

On a good note, with this lovely weather, we can enjoy some nice walks and playground time without burming ourselves like a month or so ago, when the weather was simply to hot during the daytime.

As you might noticed my Dutch heritance is coming forward here as we Dutchies always like to complain about the weather.. sun or rain, its never good enough!

It is already also over a month ago when i wrote my last blog, I was very busy with basically life and therefor have lots to tell again!!

The kids are now well integrated in their new schools and they love it! 

Sofia is making lots of new friends in primary school and the nice thing of it is that her classmates are all living in the area so when we go to the playground , she meets her new friends there as well!  I on the other hand can still not understand how my little girl grew so hard, not only in age but also in wisdom..

After school she also have twice a week dance class as part of the school activities, and she enjoys it very much. 
This was expected as at home she does nothing else, and she even ( to our dismay) found the gangnam style song on youtube... we hoped we could protect her from that, but unfortunately that failed... What happened with Dora, Peppa Pig and Pocoyo??!! Well they are dancing gangnam style happily with her... grmbl...

After the quite bad experience of the last daycare, finally Livia has a terrific time at her new Daycare ´Can Casamada´ . She is in a little class with a lovely teacher/carer who fully understands her Autism and strange or not even the little ones handle Livia with a sensitivity you wouldnt expect on that age. Because everybody is so gentle with her in class she even now dares to sometimes come close to other kids and sort of play with them in her own special way. Also her Therapist  is to be found in the daycare once every 2 weeks for a full day to check on her developments. She is making good progress and overall is doing great!!


Shayne and myself are as always, busy with the kids and work and ofcourse the hobbies.
Shayne is joining the gym again since a week or two and he is totally loving it, I think especially because the gym includes a sauna and jacuzzi.. he asked me frequently if I see a change in him, but i told him that the jacuzzi won´t make him any thinner...
 (ouch i am such a witch..) But yes he is going to the gym every day during the week and I have to say i see a change in him , maybe not so much on the outside as it is a bit too early for that, but surely he seems a lot fitter and happier in mind..

I am also busy with anything and everything.. still trying to juggle family life with work , study and ofcourse my beloved hobby Crochet. Sometimes I really have to take a step back and reset my priorities. At this moment I decided that my study have to become a bit of a lower priority so I can give more attention to my family. I am honest to say that sometimes I take my family for granted and prioritise my personal goals, and I dont think i should be ashamed , but surely need to reprioritise at this moment.

Nice this last weeks is also that my good friend Tjitske was over from Ireland!
She is Dutch but lives in Cork where I met her about 2 years ago.
As many of you may know, I am not going on a party spree a lot , well say almost never.. but it was time again!! I met Tjitske in an Irish pub in Barcelona for the all Ireland Hurling final and ended up seeing nothing at all of the match ( they lost anyway) and were having fun with some English ´stagnight´lads on the terrace.. eventually I also met my colleague/friend Laura.. To say I started at 4 in the afternoon and ended up at my friends house at 4 in the morning.. They were going further to the club but this oldie (in mind) had enough.. other than that, I am not a drinker, so people where very surprised that I lasted the whole night with 2 Ciders and 1 Coctail..

The next morning I came home, and the first thing Sofia asks me is if i have a headache... I look a bit strange and ofcourse tired and i ask her ´no, why?´  She then responds ´Because of the party mama!!´  I couldnt keep a straight face, but had to have a stern talk with hubby dearest as I am sure she will keep using this against me till she is old enough we can turn the roles around!!
Apart from that I dont want her telling her little toddler friends that mummy has a headache from the party.. i can imagine that that wont make a good impression on us as parents!!

And then in 2,5 months its Christmas again!! I know a bit very  early to write about it, especially in my case as Christmas is not doing much for me personally.
But this year is going to be special as My inlaws will be with us the week before Christmas. We therefor decided that we move our Christmas one week earlier so we can have a full family Christmas party!

When we lived in Ireland we always went to my inlaws for Christmas and this is going to be the first year that they will be with us.. Eventhough it is still early, I am already deciding on presents , food ( no traditional Irish Xmas dinner this time).. and decoration.
I am really really looking forward to it!!


sábado, 31 de agosto de 2013

In the summer time, when the weather is hot....

Life goes on as usual , but ofcourse there is always news!!

The summer is almost over and the girls will go back to school..
Which is I have to say a relief.... I know that sounds a bit harsch, but thats not only selfish me talking but also the kids..

more than 2 months of holidays is a bit too much for my little ones and especially Sofia is really really ready to go back to school.. She regularly grabs her backpack and says ´bye mama , I am going to school!´. When at that point I have to dissapoint her again by saying that school is closed and she have to stay at home being bored and all... 
The girls and me on our picnic spot

Livia is not complaining as usual, she is her happy self, but i just know that its for her also time to go back to school ( 3 mornings a week) and back to therapy.

Ofcourse we did some nice things over the summer, like going to the swimming pool, went for walks, playground and ofcourse the new found picnic area in the mountains which the kids love.
However the last couple weeks, not so much as it was so warm , that the only thing you could do was lying in the water or  before the ventilator..

We also had some family visits in June and July.
First in June my bio-mum and her husband came for a visit for a week.
We had a great time as I was a week off as well.
On the sightseeing bus in Barcelona
As they didnt see barcelona yet ,we went for an old fashioned sightseeing tour with the sightseeing bus.. As they are both very much into photographing , they made over 1000 foto´s in one day!! In that week we also celebrated my birthday with a picnic in the mountains and mostly did some serious relaxing!! it was fab , and hope to see them next year again with us. 

Nana and Sofia in the train to Salou
In July, My mother-in-law Catherine was with her daughter ( 17) and daughters friends in Salou for 10 days. Ofcourse the girls went on a clubbing spree for 10 days, so my MIL was most of the time with us in Montcada. It was nice to have her around, but I think she will think twice the next time she has to go with my little sister in law on hols.. Not so much the girls.. but Salou??!! God its the worst place ever if you are not a teenager or a crazy party animal! I went there one afternoon while she was there, and saw more then enough of it already...
Livia in the playground

When Hubby and me finally had a weeks holiday together... well i only can say.. bad things comes at 3... first I started having a virus, which i wasnt allowed to go in the sun with.. no pool , no nothing.. Then Sofia got an infection, needed antibiotica, so also no sun allowed..
Then there was this thing with our new phones.. or rather our old provider ...

We decided that we needed ( read wanted) a new phone.. and ofcourse the newest Samsung S4. We could get this phone for cheap at a Spanish provider with keeping our old number from Orange.. As the Spanish Provider regulations are almost non-existent, we had a hell of a ride!
We were promised by our new provider that we will get the phone the day after the purchase, as Orange needed to free our phone numbers first.. well.. that didn´t happen ofcourse.. 
They made all kind of excuses to not free the numbers, and when I  contacted them, the just said ´talk to your new provider , there is nothing we can do...´ yeah sure..

When finally the numbers where given free by Orange ( after two weeks of hassle and bad excuses) they called me 7 (!!) times to persuade me to not cancel my contract with them.
Well I tell you, they are some agressive sales persons!! I have been shout at , called ´ Hombre ´for several times.. ,which is not heard of in my opinion if you are a professional company.

Anyhow, now i finally have my new phone, and cannot stop playing with it.. i didnt touch my laptop for 3 days!!

So.. Our Holiday together is over , i am back at work again .. phone in hand, virus  as good as gone, Sofia´s infection is gone and well you see good things come at 3 then again as well !

What I didnt mention and i am ashamed already as it is a big milestone in our life..
Our first Wedding anniversary!!  The 5th of July a year ago we got married and had one of the best days of our lives!! We celebrated it with an nice intimate dinner in our village. The food was great and we had a good laugh.. ( who said after a while you have nothing to talk about anymore, well we do!!) 

And the biggest news happened in August!!! The birth of my twin niece and nephew!!

The twin named Jaël and Jalize , are very healthy and beautiful!! My Sister Nikita has her hands full now with her 2 kids Haley and Jayden and then her 2 babies!  

Jaël and Jalize

Well thats was the summer events in a nut shell.. Hasta Pronto!!

jueves, 30 de mayo de 2013


While already living in Catalunya for 10 months now, I never had the time to even have a glimpse at Barcelona.. even though now I only live a mere 15 minutes away from the center..

Of course its not that i never been there in my life, but just say its a couple of years ago.. kidd-less.. and most of the time job-less...

Today though I had to go to the local tax office in Barcelona, and to start of with, had to face the so much hated metro infrastructure of the centre of Barcelona..  

The reason I hate it so much is because it just doesn't make sense that one has to walk from one stop about 30 minutes underground via other metro stops from other coloured lines ( yes they all have their own color and number ) , past a bunch of tourist who are ooh-ing and aah-ing at every stone and one didn't mention yet the false singing underground ' street' artists , beggars on the floor who you see later walk past with beer and smoke in hand , and the horrible stuffy stinky smell of... well a mix of everything together what doesn't include flowers and spring..

When finally arrived at the right metro line/stop... one can be lucky to squeeze in and even more lucky to come out with possessions still with the right owner..

OK.. now I have to rewind.....

Before the whole metro thing/rant.. I actually just came out of the train at Passeig de Gracia, where I never been in my life before.. The first thing my eye caught is this beautiful house with the Gaudi architecture.. I sigh and think.. That's why I love this city so much... Atmosphere, Culture,History, People and don't forget the weather!!  After snapping a couple off turisty pic's , i head down to the dreaded metro.. 

On my way back I of course ended up in Passeig de Gracia again and thought ' i might as well enjoy it , and take a little stroll down the passeig and see if I can find a shoeshop for the girls..'  They are in desperate need of some pair..
Probably the people who know Barcelona better then me, start laughing about right now!! The further I walk , the more hesitant I come to find a shoe shop ...... of my price range that means... the only shops i see is Hermes, Bulgari, Boss, Benneton, Louis Vuitton.. and so on...  I decide to turn my head and watch people instead of shops.. as that's way more fun at this stage.. 
With my salary i probably can just about afford a shoelace in this street!!

So I am off home, finally put my bum in a chair.. and can stand straight up again as my phone rings ... its daycare, daughter dearest is sick...again...
So I raise my bum and walk of to daycare..

For so far my half-a-day Barcelona  adventure.. i am off playing Mama/Nurse for my oldest...
Hasta pronto!!

sábado, 11 de mayo de 2013

Busy Saturday

Middle of May, Sun is shining again, Winter sleep is officially over!

Opening one eye, realizing the sun is shining, is the best beginning of the day for me. My daughter came in the room and told me I have to get out! No problem girl, mummy is coming!!

Straight away all ideas for the day formed in my head, but first coffee time!!

After my morning coffee and cuddles with my girls, I decided to do some DIY.
It was a while ago, I decided already the girls dresser needed some upcycling, and today seemed the best day for it!

I got this idea from Pinterest:

Because of the  move a month ago, I still had lots of buckets half full of paint left. Since my DYI-ing, I am turning in a bit of a hoarder, so obviously I didnt threw it out :).

The dresser the girls had was boring old white and My Mum-In-Law decided a couple of months ago together with Sofia that it would be nice to put some ' Hello Kitty ' stickers on it.. I thought what the heck, if my daughters like that, let them put the stickers on.. 
Ofcourse as Sofia sometimes get bored and therefor has destructive rages, Kitty turned out headless and armless and ugly..Poor Kitty..

                             So it was time to say ' Bye Kitty' !

While I started sanding the dresser, just to be sure that the paint would latch,and put the first layer on.. 

The neighbor boys Pera and Marti dropped in. They wanted to play with Sofia and Livia.
Eva, their mother ran screaming behind them , as she didn't realize that they were gone.
Then she decided that we should go with them to their summer house in the mountains of Montcada. 
I thought why not.. dropped the paint brush, and off Sofia and me were..

Sofia loved the mountains ,and especially all the flowers on the mountain pad up.. Sofia and flowers is like asking for an extra hour walk, as she wont leave till all the flowers are in her hand..and mama's..and basically everybody who has hands..
We found some lovely poppy's and Eva showed the kids that the knobs ' pop' on your hand when you 'tick' them on your hand. Well call me a Nature monster.. I didn't even know that!

After an hour or two having a lovely time with the kids in the summerhouse, we went back home.. 
The kids were tired, so off to bed for a siesta and for me it was painting time again!!

After a couple of hours drawing and painting I was chuffed with the result!
As the paint dried really fast , I could put the drawers back and only realized i made a hugh mistake!! These things only happen to me of course...

I made a lovely butterfly on a green background, only to find out when I put the drawer back in the dresser, that the butterfly was upside down AAAARRGGHHHH!!!

So with a wet cloth and some extra paint I was entering this butterfly war!

Thank god I could get it sort of fixed, although the body of my butterfly looks now like a big middle finger with a face draw on it.. well the girls wont notice... i hope...


After the dresser was done and everything ( including myself) was clean, Hubby already started cooking.. yummy panga fish with oven potatoes and grilled pepper and onion.. It was a nice meal after a nice productive day!

But wait.. I'm not in bed yet.. My crafty fingers are still tickling , so now i am off making some nice coasters for on the table.. 

Hasta Pronto!!