Archive | February, 2011

Something Good

28 Feb

If you are suffering from a case of the Mondays my piece of advice is to give this song a quick listen–if Jakob Dylan cannot make you smile than nothing else will today!

I spent the day in a pleasant mood, my spirits buoyed by a fabulous weekend spent in the city.

On Saturday night I bravely met up with some brand new friends who showed me a very good time out on the town in Madrid.  Crawling (or collapsing) into bed at 7 in the morning I responsibly (read, miraculously) remembered to set my alarm to meet Diane for a museum trip and lunch date we had planned earlier last week.

Are you impressed that I arrived at Moncloa (our designated meeting spot) showered, with mercifully lent oversized Ray Bands hiding my sleepy face, and a bottle of mineral water clutched in my hand at exactly 12 o’clock sharp?  Clearly a testament of how much I truly love my former boss.

We headed to the Museo del traje which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It was fascinating to observe how European fashions have evolved over the past centuries.

Museo del Traje

Our walk back to the metro station from the museum looked like this.

As I hugged Diane goodbye (she is flying back to America as I type) I promised to keep her abreast of my constantly changing plan, laughing at myself for the incessant modifications that it seems to suffer.  She just shook her head at me and said, “that is exactly how plans tend to unfold, just be confident that one day you will wake up and you will be living in your dream” (that is my best English translation of what she said, at least).  Well, is that not the most perfect, sweet assurance a young person could ask for?

Anyway, today was a very standard kind of Monday around here in Pozuelo.

While Almu did her homework Santi, Inés, and I assembled a paper pirate ship!

Santi carefully situates a pirate on board our ship.

Inés and Santi show off our finished boat.

Santi finds inspiration in the project and draws his very own Spanish pirate ship.

And Inés proudly unveils her own colorful masterpiece.

We had dinner, read a story (one of my favorites, La bella y la bestia), and now the three little children are sleeping and I am desperately, desperately searching for new music to motivate myself tomorrow on the treadmill.  Earlier today I was coerced (by a very good-intentioned trainer) into registering for a half marathon in April and now I am frantically scrambling to do some kind of respectable run tomorrow morning in order to soothe my very nervous self.


City Spring

26 Feb

Yesterday Almu and Santi (for reasons no one seemed entirely sure of) did not have school.

That meant that I spent the day with the two of them!  We took advantage of the unbelievable weather that we are enjoying in Madrid and went for a long walk to the library.

Almu and Santi, getting ready for our excursion.

And posing in their matching vests.

On our way home we had to make a quick stop at the Park with Rocks.

Almu, reading one of our new books.

And making what I call her "pirate face."

Santi, showing off the fresh gap in his grin.

Displaying his new smile.

And looking like a mighty handsome little man.

I absolutely love this series of photos that I snapped of Almu.





And finally smiling for me!

After lunch yesterday afternoon we brought out the crayons on markers!

Two artists, coloring and coloring.

And yesterday night, while Almu went to dinner at a friend’s house and Inés attended a birthday party, Santi and I snacked on tortitas at Vips.  My obsession with the restaurant is thriving!

These pancakes are becoming a dangerous habit of mine.

Fabiola's genius mother gave out flutes as party favors...Inés' flute went mysteriously missing sometime late last night.

This morning I went to the market and bought some new ribbons and then took a trip to the gym for a little swim (this means float) in the pool.

Now I am back home–watching Dexter, sipping a Coca-Cola Light and thinking about my plans for tonight.

Sunny Afternoons Make Us Smile

23 Feb

This morning as Almudenita pulled her sweatshirt over her head she announced, “I love you, Analisa!”  “I love you too, Almu,” I murmured, distracted and exhausted, as I stooped over to collect her pajamas that had been tossed on the floor, “Analisa,” she said, more forcefully, “but I love you more!”  I had to give her a very good hug right then and there!

I am sure that my day could not have began in any better way than with that sweet pronouncement from the little girl.

Almu, working on her homework assignment.

Santi, displaying the gap in his mouth from the tooth the he lost today (he must of swallowed it because he has no recollection of it falling out of his mouth).

And Santi and Inés, snacking in the Little Park yesterday afternoon.

The past few days have been filled with little achievements: my first lesson in an online language course, a plan for the purchase of a new cell phone, and an 8-kilometer jog with my gym’s running club.

And it helps that we have been enjoying gorgeous weather here (I am so sorry if you are buried in snow) but the Spanish sunshine has been sublime!

If you are still muddling through winter weather, this is a charming little advertisement for EF Language Schools that I discovered earlier this week.  Be warned however, watch this once and you will inevitably long to turn off your ordenador, pack your maleta, and head off to sunny Barcelona!

Blue, Blue Monday

21 Feb

Mondays around here are never easy–but this morning was especially difficult.  Inés left the house in a hysterical fit screaming and squirming like mad.  And then, 10 minutes after her departure, I received a call saying she had arrived at school with only one shoe and no coat; clearly the temper tantrum had not abated during the short ride to school with her grandfather.

Despite the violent start to my day I did manage to accomplish a few tasks.  I went for a long run, consulted an academic counselor about studying at the Universidad Complutense, and took a walk to the Big Park with Almu, Santi, and Inés.

"Wait to take the picture! Wait!" (And how darling is Inés' hat?)

There's my little girl!

And another with a fierce smile!

Three beans, playing in the Big Park.

Not much other news to report–I hope you are having a lovely President’s Day!

“I Will Wake You Up”

20 Feb

“You do not look like you all are awake yet,” my spin instructor barked at my class on Friday morning, “but I will wake you up!”  She kept her word, kicked my butt, and earned the title of my most favorite trainer at the gym.

Friday afternoon I took advantage of the bright sunshine and took a little walk to submit a registration form for an online Spanish class offered by the Ayuntamiento de Pozuelo de Alarcón.

My walk looked like this, can you see the skyline of Madrid in the distance?

Later that day Santi headed to a birthday party.

Santi, looking sharp.

Posing with his mother and his yellow boat.

And getting a good squeeze from me! (I just noticed the ham leg in the background there, it is delicious, as we like to say).

Meanwhile the girls (Almu madre, Almu niña, a friend of Almudenita’s, Inés, and I) headed to Vips.

Vips is the best! I am now officially obsessed with their pancakes covered in syrups and whipped cream.

Members of the "Hello Kitty ring club," showing off the signature lip-gloss rings.

And Almu and Alicia, presenting their lovely drawings (which of course feature Hello Kitty) that they had made for me.

On Saturday morning I help Santi prepare for his rugby practice and Almu get ready for her painting class.

Santi in his rugby outfit.

Almu with her colorful painting.

Both the children, and another of Almu's cheerful paintings.

It rained and rained on Saturday which suited me perfectly since I spent most of my time napping (I was up most of the previous night with a sick little girl), having my nails done by Patricia (for only 9 € and they look flawless), and then meeting a friend in the city for a late dinner and drinks.

Today I had a very relaxing Sunday–sleeping in until 11, enjoying a short workout, and then watching Cisne negro (with a Coke Zero and a bag full of chuches).

I went to see Black Swan this afternoon.

So, how was your weekend?

Tell Me What You Know About Dreamin’

17 Feb

On Tuesday night I slept poorly (really, really poorly).  I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing, my sheets and blankets strew around my room, terrified by a vivid nightmare.  I spent the early hours of the morning curled up on the living room sofa with a mug of milk watching a special about the Duchess of Alba and her lover, Alfonso (excellent programming).

I am now an expert on this lovely couple.

And on Wednesday morning, as part of my recovery from the previous night’s trauma my boss and I went on a shopping excursion.

We made a stop at one of my favorite shops in Madrid, Pretty Ballerinas.

And I walked out with these precious ballet flats!

The patent-leather toe, the delicate bow, and the low heel make these shoes perfect!


The Rain in Spain

15 Feb

Yes, I know, the title…but I just could not help myself–it rained all day long here!  “This is winter in Madrid,” was the general consensus of los españoles today.  All I can think is that it is extremely lucky I crammed my Hunters into my suitcase at the last minute…

Earlier today I had lunch with a friend of a friend (who will now be referred to as a friend) in Salamanca.

This afternoon Almu went to gymnastics class and Santi, Inés, and I entertained ourselves indoors.

Almu, heading out to gymnastics.

Inés coloring a tee (she was thrilled with the project, look at that grin).

Santi, working on some sort of green egg.

Posing with the Sleeping Beauty puzzle that we (by we I mean I) put together.

And including Inés in the puzzle assemblage glory!

I am hopping into bed!