The sea has such a calming effect on my husband, myself and Ale. From when he was a tiny baby he was drawn to the ocean. When we went to Cape Cod for the first time he was only about nine months. He sat in my arms transfixed by the rolling waves. He did not want to leave.
This photo was taken by my husband on our trip to Spain in Fuengirola.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon
This Thursday is Ale’s 2nd birthday! Yes I have a Halloween baby. I now have a lifetime of Halloween parties to attend and plan.
Last year for Ale’s 1st birthday we did not really do anything special. This year he is more aware and loves cupcakes so I decided to go all out. We are going to to have a spooky birthday bash for my little guy.
The event will be in two phases. Halloween – the day of his birthday he will bring cupcakes to his daycare to eat with everyone during snack time. Then in the evening we will head out and enjoy the Halloween parade in our neighborhood. After the parade we will go home and eat more cupcakes with Ale so he can blow out his candles. The next phase of Ale’s super Halloween birthday will be over the weekend. Twenty of Ale’s and our friends will come to his birthday party to celebrate with him and eat yet even more cupcakes.
Needless to say I have a lot of baking to do! So this Tuesday with Ale we went to the park then hit the grocery store for supplies. When we came home Ale happily watched Dora the Explorer while I started my baking marathon. I made thirty cupcakes. The next round will be on Saturday.
Last night Ale tried one. He could not resist the chocolate and rainbow sprinkle frosting temptation. He took a bite and said, “Yum! Cupcake!”. The boy who lives off of air, kisses and spaghetti ate it all. He even asked for another. It looks like he approves of the cupcakes.
When you’re away from home, what person, thing, or place do you miss the most?
I’m currently away from home. I am in Spain visiting my husband’s family. As long as I have my husband and my son close to me I don’t really miss my home. My home is wherever they are. I am also assured by the fact that my home in New York will be there waiting for our return.
My subconscious will tell you otherwise. When I dream of home I dream of the home I grew up in with my mom. Those walls will never leave me. Even if I have my son and husband in the dream the location of “home” is where I grew up. I will always want to return to her home and curl up with her on the sofa to relish in the familiarity that has entered every cell of my body.
Daily Post: Home Sweet Home
The siesta time is taken very seriously at my mother-in-law’s home in Sevilla. In the morning you get all that you have to done. By 2:30pm you must be at home. This is when lunch is ready and on the table. Lunch is usually a delicious feast- gazpacho, lomo, jamón Serrano, salad, boquerones en vinagre, meatballs, shrimp, cheese, bread, wine, beer and water. For dessert there is fruit and some times ice cream for special occasions. After we are sufficiently stuffed my mother-in-law ushers us out of the dining room and tells us to “echar una siesta” – take a nap. She takes hers in an easy chair in the living room where she will dose off for about thirty minutes. For the rest of us we go to our bedrooms and we can happily sleep for up to almost two hours.
Ale, my husband and I are on vacation so this is a great welcome. Our first day here the three of us climbed into bed and passed out for an hour and a half. We all slept deeply for that time. We were exhausted. Exhausted from the trip to Spain from New York, but also exhausted from our lives in New York. We don’t stop. We just keep going, and going. Even Ale who naps all the time sleeps better here. He is not picking up the stress of our daily routines.
When the siesta is over it’s like a new day begins. We might have a cup of coffee and a piece of pound cake to get us going again. Then we are off to the park, or strolling around the city. We finish off the night with conversation and a dinner that was meant to be light. My mother-in-law wants to make sure we are all well fed and jolly. Then it’s bedtime again around midnight. Ale goes to bed around 10pm instead of his usual 8pm. He wants to join in the fun as well and play with his cousins and laugh at his uncle’s jokes, (Mama, he’s funny!).
It’s impossible to replicate the Spanish way of life in bustling New York but I can learn from this. We need to just stop, rest and take time for ourselves to recharge our batteries. To take a moment or two to just stop moving, running, planning, thinking, or whatever. Just stop and breathe and have a siesta moment. It’s ok. The planet will keep spinning. I have to record my mother-in -law her to remind myself- “Venga! Hala! Iros a dormir!” (Go, go on! Go to sleep!).
Photo from Hotels Monte
A few days ago we arrived in Madrid, Spain. We are here visiting my husband’s family. This has become a yearly pilgrimage now that Ale has come into our lives. I want him to know his family better beyond faces that appear on the computer screen via Skype. I am also hoping that he will pick up a few more words in Spanish.
International travel with a toddler is cruel and unusual punishment. Ale is a fantastic little traveler but the first days were very hard. The jet lag made him very sleepy and super confused He would wake up and not know where he was and would ask for Grandma- my mother- and his friends from daycare. Then he would walk around the apartment looking a bit lost. Last night he took his backpack and said he was going home.
My fear of Ale getting sick almost became a reality. Our first day here poor Al ate half a shrimp and came down with a low grade fever and hives covered his body. The solution was ibuprofen and Benadryl. My husband and sister in law had to go out at 11pm to the 24hr pharmacy to get these meds. Since then he has been ok but I’m still nervous!
Yesterday, Ale had the best time of his life. We went with his Aunt to the Museo del Ferrrocarril (train museum). Ale was in heaven running, jumping and dancing for joy! So many trains!! We even had a snack of potato chips and pineapple juice in an antique dining car. The best snack ever!
Today we are on the train going to Sevilla to see la Abuela- my husband’s mother. More adventures await!
The last few weeks I have been stressed with work, looking into preschools and now I’m also planning Ale’s second birthday party. This past weekend was like an oasis for me. I had both Saturday and Sunday off from work and I made the best of it.
On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We got tickets to take a beer tasting cruise on the Clipper City sailboat that goes around lower Manhattan. Grandma came to look after Ale while we were away.
It was a perfect fall day. It was sunny but not hot. The beers that we tried were fantastic sand the views were spectacular. We had a lot of fun on the two hour sail.
We generally don’t go on date nights together. We don’t even really have a babysitter so it was fantastic to get away and remember ourselves without Ale.
The following day, Sunday, we went to the Queens County Farm along with grandma. This is one of the largest surviving farms in New York City. What a delightful place! Ale loved the animals especially the chickens and the sheep. We went on a hayride and picked out a small pumpkin. To round out the fun the fall weekend I made an apple cake when we got home.
These are the kinds of days that keep me going!
Now I can go back to the grind- with a smile on my face.