16 November 2009

The Eiffel Tower

Here is the view from our kitchen window. In front of our house, the city of Torrejon is building an Europe Park. We get the Eiffel Tower. We saw a model of the park and we learned that there will be:

Tower Bridge,

Brandenburg Gate


Viking Ship

Roman theater

Fountain of Tivoli (a fountain in Italy)

Puerta de Alcala

And many many more. We will keep you posted!!

Fiestas de Torrejon October

On the first weekend of October, Torrejon celebrated it´s patron Saint. (Notice all the purple and gold...have I told you about my life revolving around purple??)


People come and bring flowers and there is a celebration all weekend long with free paella (for those who wish to stand in line for hours) and bouncy castles for kids (another line). So, we went down to the plaza and soaked in the culture. Instead of standing in line, gave the kids the option of bouncy castles or balloons. We were very happy that they picked balloons.

Oscar´s first day of school

Well, Miguel has these photos. I will post it when I get them...
Oscar started school on the 15 September. Thankfully, the cast was off and he had had time to get used to walking again. He was super excited because this year he goes to the big kids school. I wasn´t super excited because it means I have to drop off Oscar and then drive to the other school and drop off Dani. Oh well, I guess I will live. He was excited to see all his friends again. His backpack weighed a ton because he had to bring all his books the first day.

Books in Spain. Don´t you remember the days that we got our books at school, we checked them for problems, covered them with paper and then gave them back at the end of the year. Well, that doesn´t happen here. Here the parents buy the books. Here is how much we paid for books this year.

Dani 150 euros ($225)
Oscar 250 euros ($375)

Yikes. That is a plane ticket somewhere. I couldn´t believe it. Oh, on top of that, we have to cover all the books with plastic. What for?? It isn´t like the siblings are going to use them. They are books/workbooks. Plus, we have to buy supplies (crayons, pencil sharpeners, etc) that we know are going to disappear in the black hole of the classroom.

Oscar´s Foot

After dropping Dani off at school, I decided to take Oscar to the doctor. Oscar had fallen off a big toy (while sliding down the fireman pole) and had hurt his foot. He claimed that it didn´t hurt (ha ha) and Miguel took him to the doctor. They took an xray and couldn´t find anything wrong. Rub this gel on his foot and it should be better. Well, Miguel went flying and it wasn´t getting better so I decided to take him to the doctor again. This time we saw the bone specialist and WITH THE SAME XRAY saw the bone that Oscar had broken. So, he put a real plaster cast on him, we rented crutches and ala we were free to go home. Can you imagine an active 6 year old with crutches?? It was terrible. He was excited because he got to watch a lot of tv.


First Day of School for Dani!!

Here is Dani with his fellow colleagues Hector Ruiz and Daniela de Pablo. They are the siblings of two kids who are in Oscar´s class.

Here are the six of them. Raquel and Hector, Oscar and Dani, Daniela and Javi.

August in Torrejon

After spending July in Seattle, we had to head home (to the heat). We spent the month at the pool or at home, trying to keep cool. The kids went to Asturias to spend a week with Abuela Mari (while I went to New York with Miguel). We also went to the Fiestas in Alcala de Henares, Miguel´s father´s town. Here we are, at the fiestas. The kids had a great time. As you can see, Oscar is in the stroller because he broke his foot a couple days before jumping down the fireman´s pole, instead of sliding down it.

27 May 2009

Madrid Safari

Last Sunday, Oscar, Dani and I went to Madrid Safari. It is a "safari" on the outskirts of madrid to the West. We met with our Northern Stars English playgroup and had a wonderful day. We did some activities for the kids and then went and fed the goats. Dani just loved it! Oscar thought it was fun to feed the deer. Then we got in our cars and drove through the safari (first we had to stop and see the snakes and insects). The kids rolled down their windows and fed the animals (deer, camels and llamas) carrots. They had the best time! Dani just giggled. At one point we went through the monkey areas and had couple of monkeys riding on the top of our car! The kids loved that!
Then I gave the camera to Oscar and here are some of his photos...
Overall, we had a great time.

Oscar´s Birthday

Happy Birthday Oscar! We cannot believe he is 6 years old! where has the time gone?? For his birthday, Oscar and I made cupcakes and put BUGS on top of them. His big present, he got a big bicycle and a new helmet. We also celebrated his birthday with our neighbors and Miguel´s family. This Friday we will celebrate his birthday with his school friends at the park.

25 February 2009

Dani´s Music Class

Ok I thought I would post this video of Dani in his music class. I hope it works... The two girls that he is dancing with are his friends, Adrianna (in pink) and Noa (in black).

Picnic in Torrejon 21 February 2009

Picnic Time!!
The weather has been wonderful the last couple of weeks. The almond trees have flowers and the cherry trees have started opening. The next door neighbor has daffoids and I have my one lonely purple flower. It feels like spring. So, we decided to pack up our lunch and go on a picnic. We didn´t want to go very far because of Dani´s nap and the late start, so we decided on going to the new part of Torrejon, called El Soto de Henares or La mancha amarilla (the yellow stain).

JABY Carnival Workshop 18 January 2009

Instead of dressing up in costumes for Carnival, the teachers at Oscar´s school decided to do a workshop with the parents to create the costumes for the kids. The theme was prehistoric times and the kids dressed up as cavemen and women (The Flinstones, according to the kids). We cut out shapes and glued them on plastic bags. Then we cut holes in the bag for the arms and head and finished it off with a bone on their heads. It was fun, and it is always entertaining to see the parents sitting in the small chairs, at the small tables, working with the kids.
Oscar is in the back row, the last kid on the right.

AVE trip 28 January 2009

Oscar loves trains. We used to pack up a picnic and go eat our lunch watching the AVEs (fastspeed trains) arrive and depart (our fast train sandwiches are famous) We can see the new AVE railway tracks from our house and Oscar is constantly looking for the AVE. He was always asking when we were going to go in the AVE to Sevilla to see Mr. Javier, a friend of Miguel´s.
So, as an incentive to sleep all night without a nighttime diaper, we told him if he could keep his bed dry for two weeks, we would go on a trip to Sevilla on the AVE. He had a couple setbacks, but he earned his trip pretty fast!!
We caught the train early in the morning in Torrejon. Oscar was so excited. He had packed his suitcase the night before. We had decided to go only for the day. That way we wouldn´t have to pack clothes and junk for all of us. All we had was the stroller, a backpack and Oscar and Dani´s suitcases with their toys. The kids had a great time on the train. We had breakfast on the train and whenever the attendents asked if he wanted something, he said yes to everything. Juice, yes, milk, yes, muffin, yes, candy, of course!
The ride was only 2 hours and 30 minutes. Mr. Javier was there at the station waiting for us. After a drink with him, we caught the bus to the city. We ended up in El Parque Maria Luisa. We rented a bike and rode around the park for a while.
We caught the 5 pm train back and Oscar was exausted. He slept most of the train ride back and we had to put him in the stroller because he was so tired (Dani walked). It was a long day, but we all enjoyed the train ride.

Oscar eating dinner in the train station in Sevilla. He was eating and sleeping at the same time....

London (without kids)

In Jaunary, Miguel was programmed to fly to Washington DC and I was suppost to go with him. Mari and Virtu had come down to Madrid from Asturias to take care of the kids so the homefront had been covered. But, due to the delay of his flight before this one, Miguel was taken off the flight due to lack of minimum rest. So, there we were, the six of us home. So, we decided to go to London for a couple of days to take advantage of the fact that we had babysitters.

We had a wonderful time. We split up the first morning so I could do some shopping and he went to a model store that he knew. That afternoon we hit about 6 different bookstores and just browsed (something you can´t do with kids....)

Oxford Street in London . An advert in the tube.

We saw the show, Jeresy Boys which was about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (very good, loved the music) and we ate lots of Indian Food. It was nice to get away just the two of us.

My Friends

I thought I would include a photo of my three good friends.

Maite, in the white, Yolanda, with baby Hernan and Eva, our social director. These women are my lifeline to JABY, Oscar´s school. Whenever I have a doubt, or don´t understand anything, I can always turn to one of them and say "Que?".

Snow 9 January 2009

On the 9 January Dani, Oscar and I woke up to snow. (I had never experenced snow in Madrid. The other two times it had snowed in the last 10 years, I had been in Seattle).
We only had an half an inch, so I took the kids to school. After a couple of hours of hard snowfall, I decided to go and get Oscar. I went walking, with the intension of catching the bus back home. We waited for the bus 20 minutes and then after being told the bus service had been cancelled, we walked home. Oscar was a trooper. We passed by Dani´s school and picked him up. Dani didn´t like the snow. He called it dirty. Oscar on the other hand, loved it.
Miguel was due home that day, so his flight was deviated to Sevilla (the airport had shut down for 4 hours). Thank goodness it was Friday and the next day we slept in and enjoyed the snow.

03 January 2009

El Museo de los Bomberos en Madrid

The Firefighter Musuem in Madrid

I have wanted to go to this museum with the kids for a long time now. The only problem is that it is only open, Tuesday through Friday, 10.00 to 13.30. So, today (Friday) I packed up the kids, jackets, snacks, water, diaperbag, iphone (with my Google map and instructions) and purse and away we went! Of course we got lost and of course, I had to pull over and look at a normal map to find my way (and listen to the kids, are we there yet? Why have we stopped? Where are we going? BUS!!) but we made it without a hitch.

The kids had a great time, looking at all the old fire engines. The fire men who were there gave them cards that told them what to do in case of a fire, and a cool poster of what to do if you are in an apartment building during a fire (Oscar really liked that one).

I was also very proud of Oscar. The fireman asked him if he knew what to do if there was a fire . Oscar told him that he should touch the door to see if it was hot. Then Oscar also told him that he was to get out of the house (somehow) and to go to a certain spot, a tree across the street, and wait for us there. (A Paranoid mother -me-taught him that....)

After the museum, we headed for a park to burn off all that nervous energy before we got back in the car to go home.
I thought I would also throw in this photo of the boys playing "Connect 4" or in their case, "Fill up the rows with any color" Believe it not, they were entertained for quite a while....
I will try to post our Christmas photos sometime this weekend. Wish me luck!!