Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

1. Asher fell in the little pond at the park today.  In front of the super cool teenagers that hang out there every afternoon.  I sprinted across the park, stripped him naked and wrapped him in my sweater and scarf to make it home. If I didn't give up cool in high school, I've relinquished it in totality in motherhood.  This guys just likes to keep me on my toes!

2. Tomorrow will register as Day # 12 out of the past 14 school days when one of the three boys has remained home.  Silas is on Round Two, having recovered completely somewhere around Day #4, only to come down with it again around Day #10. It appears to be nothing more than a viral fever, that gives way to a cough.  It's sweeping through the city like wildfire. The school is, undoubtedly, incubating the germs.   One of my friends told me that half of her child's class was down. Thankfully, a little Dalsy syrup (i.e. Spanish tylenol:) and some R & R on the couch seem to be sufficient.

3. Because we've been fairly home bound, we crafted. Asher and I made homemade play dough.  And the boys finished their birthday pinatas.  Yes, we're still months away from those birthdays...but I bought candy with a 2 year expiry date and just let them have fun.  This was the first time we've used cardboard to make pinatas and I admit it was much easier and cleaner.  They were able to work on them a lot more independently than back in the days of the gunky paper mache. The theme selection of birthday celebrations is somewhat grandiose in our little house.  This year, after much discussion and pondering, the themes are as follows: Paw Patrol (Asher), Barca Futbol (Silas) and Narnia (Jude).

4. We bought tickets for our return to America this summer.  We'll be back in the hometown for a few months beginning in July.  I am excited. It will be such a gift to have a little time close to family. I am also, admittedly, a tad overwhelmed that I have a mere 5 months to get all these nooks and crannies in order.  We'll be keeping our same apartment here, but there's always a chance that someone will need to stay in it while we're gone.  So all the drawers that are stuffed with old erasers and random objects are beginning to glare at me.  This is like a purging ritual that I go through before we make a big transition.  I wish I could skip it.  But I can't.  It's part of my process, haha.

So now, excuse me while I go throw away some erasers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Asher's First Fight

When I picked Asher up from school today, he wore the signs of a baby brawl.  Apparently, he was toy snatching.  And it didn't go over well with a little girl in his class.  I think it's safe to say that she is more experienced than him in protecting her pre-school territory. Baby boot camp. 

Let's hope little Ashy learned his lesson! 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Window

The "fever" is still coursing through the house this week.  One of the three have been out of school since a week ago Monday.  We're all feeling a little sleepy and emotional around here today. Last night, Asher woke up at 11am with a raging fever. We managed to squirt the meds down his throat with moderate success.  But by 3am he was in bed with me, and poor hubs had retired to the sofa. 

Around 4am, Silas woke up crying.  He spent his savings (a total of 5 euros) on a game last week.  He's been randomly weeping about it ever since, lamenting that he ever saw that commercial.  Apparently at 4am, he felt overcome with buyer's remorse, declaring for all to hear that "he wants his money back!" We're turning it into his kindergarten course in impulse buying and advertisement resistance. It's been a hard lesson. 

Yesterday was that one blissful morning when all three boys actually made it to school, hubs was off to work and I didn't have school. I walked back into the house....a clean, quiet house.  And for just a moment it felt like a window into another season. A season when it's possible for me to have a cup of tea and read my Bible, without interruption....more than once in a blue moon.  It is very likely that there are more years ahead of me with quiet mornings than there are mornings left filled with toddler chaos. 

The window didn't make me wish for the quiet mornings, it made me more content with the chaotic ones.  This is the season to give myself to a lot of little needs, weeping kindergarteners and feverish toddlers.   

And that cup of tea every once in a blue moon is all the sweeter because of them.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ashy goes to school

My smallest, wildest, loudest, funniest boy went to school today.  He is  an official "pre-schooler" now for three quiet hours every morning.  This was a rather sudden decision.  We'd planned to wait until next year, and then we plunged full speed ahead into our schedule this semester.  Within a week, we were gasping for air. A few emails, a little bit of schedule-wrangling later,  and he had a spot in the nursery that's inside the boys' school.

This means that within a month, he's potty trained, dropped his nap, thrown the pacy to the wind, and started school. My momma-heart is aching a bit. But growing hurts worse when you keep trying to shove a big kid into a baby life. People are growing up around here. And I have to stretch with them.

Asher has, for the past few months, begged to stay at school when we drop the brothers.  Today, he walked straight into that classroom without looking back.  He greeted his teacher with a smile, and asked, unprompted, in the most adorable baby Spanish, "Como te llamas?" (What is your name?) She said he didn't cry a tear all morning.

Does anyone remember the Jude-saga? Three solid months of weeping every time I put him on the play school bus? Oh, friends.  I am glad, so so glad, not to repeat that saga.  Let's hope this cheerful attitude sticks! I have a feeling it will.  This kid is ready to meet the world.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Hubs had an annual check up yesterday.  She checked his "flexibility" as a part of the evaluation.   David is not a flexible guy.  He can hardly sit cross legged. The doctor proceeded to recommend Chair Yoga for David. Yes, you read that correctly. Hubs has officially been prescribed Chair Yoga.  If this is the recommendation pre-forties, what on earth will retirement hold? Maybe we should go ahead and sign him up for Water Aerobics and Sit and Be Fit?

As for the rest of us, we survived the holiday season without too much sickness in our house.  But this week we're making up for it with coughs and fevers and a general state of unwell running through the ranks. We're eating chicken noodle soup and watching more episodes of Nick Jr. than we should, but we're making it.  David and I are trying to hold steady, and haven't had to miss a class yet.  Silas, on the other hand, has been on the couch for 2 days now.

With plenty of sympathy from the brotherhood.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Books for Boys

Over the Christmas break, Jude read through a pile of books I'd ordered from a variety of lists.   It's beginning to stretch my genre to find books that appeal to a little lad.  I was an Anne of Green Gables kind of girl myself.   I spend plenty of time perusing good lists that on curriculum websites to keep his appetite fed.  He recommended two from the pile for me to enjoy myself.  And I won't deny that I read well past my bed-time while they were waiting on my night stand.

Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman is the tale of a sixteen-year-old  who climbs the mountain looming over their village.  It is the same mountain his father died climbing.  Based on the climbing of the Matterhorn, if you have any love to mountaineering at all, it's well worth your time - even at age thirty-seven! 

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan is a fictionalized story based on the story that Norwegians saved $9 million in gold bullion from the hands of the Nazis in WWII. The ship reached Baltimore in 1940.   The legend goes that the brave children pulled the gold on their sleds to the ship under the very noses of the Nazis.  

Both are fascinating stories, well worth the eyes of any boys you have in your reading world. I enjoyed them immensely myself.  I'd recommend both for ages 8 and beyond. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

How we've grown

Friends popped in to visit this weekend. They live in the bush of Africa, in a wild life so different from our city scape that we were enthralled by their tales. The favored story was of their cat whom they presume was eaten by a snake.  My boys were flabbergasted that there could be such a thing as a weekly "Bonfire Night." Open fires are quite strictly forbidden in Europe, even when camping. Jude asked why we don't just move on over to Africa next.  

We haven't seen each other in about seven years.  We pulled up the last picture we have together. It was taken the week that Jude was born.  We've grown a bit since then. Seasons change, and our families have spanned 3 continents since we last met. But this gospel fellowship is so sweet and strong in the midst of it. Might I just write how privileged I feel to be in such good company, with friends who are giving themselves away quietly in hard places for beautiful reasons?  

 I can hardly bring myself to imagine what we'll look like when another 7 years have passed!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Barca vs. Levante

 Thanks to a very generous Christmas gift from NanNan and PopPop, we had our first glimpse of the inside of the famed Camp Nou this weekend.   No one was disappointed!

We watched Barca defeat Levante, 3-0, and maintain their #1 position in LaLiga. It was a little surreal to look down and see the unbelievably talented Messi kicking right in front of us.  I won't deny that I find his personal story fascinating.  We're quite the fans in this house.

It was definitely an experience we won't soon forget!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tres Reyes Parade

It is, hands down, my favorite Barcelona tradition.  Part of me doesn't even want to post pictures, because there is simply no way to capture the magic of this parade. You just have to be there.

We waited on that side walk for 2.5 hours with a passel of children in order to have front row seats...and it did not disappoint.  It really is magical.

What's New

The Christmas break just flew past us. I haven't even had time to write my 2017 in review.  Maybe later in January I'll do a flash back.  I can tell you in one little word what's been keeping me so busy.  

His name is Asher. 

In a two week time span, he's dropped a nap, given up that beloved pacifier, and....ahem....wait for it....potty trained!!!! 

Go big or go home. 

Just to give you an idea what that looks like for us, in our very big city lifestyle.....

I bet you wish you'd been able to have a playdate with me this week. Trust me, we weren't bored.