Archive | June, 2011

A Day in the Life: Thursday

30 Jun

This post is a shameless imitation of what Kelly has done this week but I do love the idea of carefully chronicling how I fill the hours in one day.

The three beans woke up later than usual today (since they were up past eleven last night).

Santi wandered into the kitchen at 10:30 and dug into a breakfast of warm milk and cereal.

Santi, smiling at the breakfast table.

After he had finished his breakfast I allowed Santi a few minutes of television since his sisters were still asleep.

And curling up to watch cartoons.

The little girls woke up shortly after Santi and ate quietly together while I helped Santi dress himself.

Inés, modeling her adorable pajamas.

And showing off her impressive milk mustache (and milk beard).

At noon, after wrestling the three children into matching swim suits, herding them into the bathroom to brush their teeth, and finally dragging a comb through tangled hair we headed out to the swimming pool!

Almu, posing in the shade.

And helping her younger sister strap on a pair of goggles.

And Inés, sporting her water wings.

Another photo of Inés, shining (with all the sunscreen we applied) and grinning, ready for the pool!

We splashed around in the pool (our current favorite pool time activity is jumping in while holding hands) for nearly two hours and then trooped back to the house for lunch (empanadillas)!

Almu, eating her lunch (bibs are imperative when the beans are wearing white).

While Santi and Inés napped after lunch Almu and I laid low, she entertained herself with her new search-and-find activity book while I rested my eyes on the sofa.

Inés, holding her new search-and-find.

The two youngest beans woke up around five when their mother (and my boss) arrived home from work.

I took advantage of my few hours off to pick up tickets to this motocross event at the Corte Inglés at the Calle Princesa (as a surprise for Santi mayor).

Back in Pozuelo I bathed Santi and Inés (Almu left for a three-day birthday celebration in the country this afternoon) before they rushed out the door to their grandmother’s birthday party.

Before the two tripped off to the fête I managed to capture how dapper they looked in their party duds.

Santi, being so photogenic and Inés, being a little less photogenic.

Part two of that same routine.

And Inés, tending to her sick baby doll.

I just hopped in and out of the shower and am now watching reruns of Sex and the City and expecting the two beans to be dropped off here at home at any moment…

What a full, full day!


Day in Review

29 Jun

Yesterday I spent the morning with Inés and Santi (Almu had a sleepover at her cousin Fatima’s house on Monday night and did not come home until later in the afternoon).

Inés and Santi, getting organized for a quick photo shoot on Tuesday morning.

And the two little beans, smiling for me.

In the afternoon I braved the suffocating heat and walked to the library to return the best book I have read in a long, long time, A Thousand Splendid Suns.  The novel was just too good although I cried my way through the last few chapters.

The novel, sitting on my shelf.

Then I stopped at our supermarket for bread, cheese, ham, and pears to make a simple dinner at Santi’s house (the designer grilled cheese sandwiches are actually an idea of Martha’s).  They were so tasty I couldn’t wait for mine to cool before beginning to devour it (and I burned the roof of my mouth)!

My fancy grilled cheese.

Today we spent the morning in the pool and now the three beans are napping (and I am considering following suit and closing my eyes for a short siesta).

Update: while perusing iTunes earlier tonight I stumbled across a rash of singles from The Voice.  And while I still am not completely sure what exactly The Voice is (possibly the new American Idol) I am completly sure that the few covers I listened to were pretty, pretty, and pretty!

I especially like the “Dog Days Are Over” and “Heartless.”  And Javier Colon’s version of “Fix You”  is almost as lovely as the original (and the Coldplay classic is one of my favorite songs ever).

Feeling the Heat

27 Jun

How many ways can I express that it is hot?  Because it is hot, hot, hot, and  hot around here!  At 7 in the evening it is 36° C (around 100° F).

There are only a handful of things a person can reasonably do when it is so darn warm…

One of them is swimming!

And this weekend we cooled off in the Hotel Puerta América’s chic, narrow pool.

Hotel Puerta América.

Each floor of the hotel is distinct, designed by a particular artist (including the architect Jean Nouvel)!

My favorite hall in the innovative hotel.

And me, taking a big jump.

Another acceptable warm weather activity is enjoying a mojito before dinner!  Check it off, because we did that!

A just-sweet-enough mojito, sweating on the table before dinner on Saturday night.

And finally, heading to the movie theater is a classic warm weather escape.  Last night we watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (and I firmly suggest you do not see the film next weekend, or ever for that matter).


25 Jun

The enormous Spanish flag at Plaza Colón.

Exactly one year ago–perched on the sofa in our living room in Pozuelo–I began writing All-American Girlie.

The 365 days rushed by in a heart beat, I swear.

But in that time what have have I managed to record?

The World Cup final and the unforgettable celebration after the Spanish victory in July.

Inés--enjoying a popsicle while waiting for the champion soccer players to pass by our post at Atocha.

A handful of trips, al norte (to Fuenterrabía), and al sur  (to Costa Ballena and to Nerja).

The view of the sea from the Parador of Fuenterrabía.

A calm, white Christmas at home in Minneapolis.

Lake Nokomis, after a serious snowfall this winter.

And flight back to Madrid in February.

The colorful message on my door that welcomed me back to Spain nearly 5 months ago.

And I captured small, everyday things.

A sleepy kitten, sweet desserts, and the toy cars, baby dolls, and color crayons that fill my days with the three beans.

A sleepy kitten.

Pretzels dipped in almond bark.

A toy car with smaller toy cars positioned on top (Santi felt it was very important that I took this picture).

A baby doll and her "dinner."

And Inés, examining a color crayon.

Day Off, Day Out

24 Jun

Yesterday was a holiday here and I took the train into the city to have lunch with Pitu and then met Paola at Principe Pío for a little shopping (rebajas have started in a few stores already)!

I evidently took a wrong turn while exiting the metro station and walked around the entire block to arrive at the shopping center.  This is what I discovered on my accidental stroll…

Evidently before Principe Pío was Principe Pío it was La Estación del Norte.

Today I spent the morning with the girls and the afternoon watching Alaska and Mario’s wedding while consuming one too many potato chips.

Almu, coloring a masterpiece with fresh new Crayola watercolors while Inés napped after lunch.

And it is finally dawning on me that today is in fact not Monday but Friday…


22 Jun

Last Tuesday night  my computer took a bad turn for the mouse-not-clicking and had to be taken to be the Mac Store to be repaired.

Although between last Tuesday and today there has not been much news to report for my post here in Pozuelo except that we have each been taking turns coming down with a very nasty virus during the past ten days (Almu, Inés, and I have all taken trips to the doctor).

Well, I may actually have a little bit of news to report…

On Thursday afternoon I made gazpacho using one of Martha’s recipes (and I made mozzarella and jamón serrano sandwiches to accompany the cold soup–again, I was inspired by Martha).

Ripe tomatoes.

And the vinegars.

On Saturday morning Almu, Santi (niño), and I headed outside to play in the urba.


And Santi

On Saturday afternoon Almu celebrated her birthday party (although her birthday is actually in August).

Almu and her guests at Saturday's pool party.

And finally, we did our fair share of coloring, coloring, coloring.

Inés, coloring on Tuesday morning.

And the girls coloring on Wednesday afternoon.

Around Here

13 Jun

Suddenly it is summertime!

The sun sets at 10, the swimming pool is open, and all I can do is think about vacations, vacations, vacations (which are still about two months away).

Fresh lavender, sitting on a new magazine.

On the way home this morning, after running a few errands I collected (very sneakily) a few sprigs of lavender from the bushes that line the Avenida de Europa.

I am thinking that this afternoon the little beans and I will be going for a dip to cool off…

Update:  We paddled around in the pool after school today!  The water was frigid but refreshing–it was a hot, hot day.

Inés, preparing to go for a swim.

And brushing the hair from her face (I love her little belly so, so much).

And because I also love Madrid (almost as much as I love that tummy) I am completely smitten with this print.