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!!