Tuesday, November 25, 2014

IS IT CHRISTMAS YET?

thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet (yes, we are still celebrating it) & we've had our teeny, tiny, fake, baby christmas tree up for two whole weeks! we're just really into the christmas spirit. &&& our apartment was just so bare. we were going to get a few decorations for it, but then we (it was mostly just me cause austin doesn't really care) switched gears & decided just to decorate for christmas instead! & i don't regret that the tiniest bit. we opted to get a small tree because it was cheap & i didn't want to deal with storing a fake christmas tree & we didn't want it to take up our whole family room. it was really fun putting it up this year. i turned on the christmas music, we put it together & we all, cedar included, put ornaments on. it was adorable. cedar was SO into the tree & thought it was the best to put ornaments on...which after we had finished he tried taking the ornaments off but quickly stopped once the tree started toppling on him..good thing it's small, haha. ever since he just goes up to the tree & ever so lightly touches the ornaments, looks at me to check if i'm watching, then keeps touching them & touching the lights & saying hot every. single. time. it's pretty funny & it's really cute.
the tree is our only decorative item in our home-plus a christmas candle, cause if the tree isn't going to smell up our place like christmas something needed to- & then one day we got a package! & in it were two christmas decorations from my mom. she said she needed to test how long it took for packages to get to us, so we got a couple little gifts, two of which are christmas decorations to remind me of home: a california/beach bum santa & a santa mickey & pluto statue, which cedar LOVES! he tries to play with that dang statue all the time, but he's finally being a good guy & putting it back when i tell him to. he's seriously growing up so much, it's insane. by the way, packages when you don't live anywhere near home are the funnest thing to get. i have always been a lover of mail & packages, but coming home & having zero clue something is coming, or when something would even arrive & then it all of a sudden being there is so exciting. & austin & i have the sweetest parents who have sent us & cedar a couple little things, of which we couldn't be more thankful for.
& why not break out the christmas movies if the tree is already up, right?

Monday, November 24, 2014

SATURDAY IN THE PARK

our little setup here in madrid is pretty sweet. we aren't in the heart of downtown, but we're only a 15 minute walk away. our apartment is in salamanca which is a district of madrid known for being "quiet" & i like it .. & i wouldn't say it's that quiet. anything we could really ever want is literally on our same street. zara- yup, h&m- check, carrefour (grovery store)- sure is, a million restaurants & cafes- of course. seriously, it's all right by us. it's an ideal location. i've loved wandering around & getting to know our spot in this city more & more each day. 

another huge plus it's only a 10 minute walk to austin's school & there are about 3 parks within a 10 minute walk (or less), including retiro park, where i want to spend all of my days. retiro is a place you can easily lose yourself in. every time we go we find something new: a path, a pond, a different playground, gardens, sculptures, buildings.. it's so big we never go around the entire thing in one day because we have so much fun stopping along the way to check everything out. & we usually let cedar walk through the park which tends to slow us down, but it wears him out so it's a win-win. 

we've taken up going & exploring the park every saturday. not as a plan or anything but it seems to be where we find ourselves & i love it. the park has clusters of people all over the place, street performers, booths with food spread throughout the park, puppet shows.. it's got it all. & right now retiro is spot on with all of the fall colors. i can't get enough of it. the leaves are insane all throughout the city right now, but there's something about walking through the fall leaves in the park that is really great. the crunchy-ness of every step, the crisp feeling in the air that isn't too cold to be outside in but makes you crave warm delicious things like soup & apple cider, little kids bundled up so warm in their strollers that they can't help but fall asleep. i'm in love it. 

i wish SO badly that i had my camera this day in the park. everything was completely perfect & i wish i had better pictures of it to share. one of these days i'll break out the camera & offer up some good pictures, i promise!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

it's a good life

i have so much to say about our life right now, but i can't ever find the words to put it all down! it's been such a great experience being in madrid, but it's also been an emotional & a little rough too. i don't think i expected it to be hard which sort of makes it that much harder for me & it's also a little comical i didn't think it would be hard...but despite any bad days i have or how difficult it can be, i am really loving it & am happy that we are here.

austin officially started school on monday & has been having orientation allllllll week long & he loves it. he always comes home so excited about what they've been doing, what he's learned about his program & saying that he's made new friends for us to hangout with. he's a funny one & a cute one. i love how excited he gets about school & telling me about everything. with it being his first week, it was also my first week of being on my own + cedar, obviously, but basically on my own. so i like to think it's been a big week for all of us!

i really tried to keep cedar & i occupied but it's sort of hard when a// you aren't sure where anything is b// you don't know anyone to waste your time with c// you have zero obligations or things to do. buuut i like to think i did a good job! can't be too hard on myself, right?! we ran a couple errands throughout the week that truly had no need for even happening besides giving me something to do, we went to an expat playgroup on wednesday & the i.e. partners playgroup on friday, frequented the nearby park & went for a lot of walks, hung out at home on tuesday waiting for the internet guy to show up (i was unbelievably excited for this), & made dinner 4/5 nights which is a big deal for me!

the days here have been both good & hard. i've had a few hiccups (like when the guy at the little market below us waved me out of the store & wouldn't let me buy my groceries, so i left having no idea why it happened, to later find out that i didn't meet the price minimum to use my credit card...) making me feel completely isolated & a little bit numb to everything around me. i've felt like i would never understand the language & never be able to figure it out, i've felt like giving up & like not doing a single thing. but then there are the days that are perfect & i can't believe that i'm actually here. i'm living abroad, i'm living in europe, i'm living my real life dream. & that's pretty amazing. i have everything to be grateful for right now. & despite the rough days i wouldn't change my circumstance for anything.

the other night we were on a walk talking about life & our conversations tend to end on the same subject: how unreal it is that we're in madrid. given the option again of moving to madrid & knowing everything i know from being here (for almost a month!), i would definitely choose to come here again. it feels right, it's foreign but it's comfortable, & it's starting to feel like home. it's a big city with a slow paced lifestyle & if you know me, then you know that's right up my alley. i like the leisurely walks that i take everyday to get anywhere we need to go. i like that when we're up & outside by 11 a.m. on a saturday that the shops aren't open, the streets are nearly empty but the cafes are full for a saturday morning breakfast & the parks are full of families (grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins.. the whole family) watching the kids run around & play while the adults sit around with their bread, cheeses, meat & drinks talking. despite my off days, it's a really good life here in madrid.

Monday, November 17, 2014

ALL ABOUT BABYWEARING

Before we even had cedar I wanted to babywear. I didn’t have any specific reasoning; I didn’t know all of the facts & statistics on babywearing, it just seemed so easy & the thought of holding him close all the time sounded adorable. So why wouldn’t I want to babywear?! Since he’s been born we’ve used several different carriers: baby bjorn, ergo, ring slings,  & carrying backpacks for hikes. All of them have been wonderful, but my favorite form of babywearing by far is using my wildbird ring sling. i’ve found my ring sling to be the easiest way to wear a baby, the most comfortable & the most convenient.
1// CONVENIENCE- wearing cedar can be so much more convenient than pushing him in a stroller through the city. i don’t have to worry about going through little shops with a bulky stroller, i can easily take the metro & not be concerned with getting the stroller up & down stairs, & the best part: my hands are completely free. i am able to shop easily & not have my stroller get in the way, i can use both of my hands without needing to use one to steer. i can do just about anything while i’m wearing him.

2// BONDING TIME- i have loved my time spent while carrying cedar in my sling. it can make a long walk so much more fun to have him right up next to me jabbering away in my ear & playing with me. it has made me feel much closer to him having this extra time spent cuddly close, especially because he hasn’t been the most cuddly of babies! 

3// LESS TIME CRYING- a research study by Hunziker & Barr in 1986 have found that babies worn regularly cry less than babies that are not worn. This alone is an amazing reason for babywearing, everyone loves a happy baby.

4// SAFETY- having cedar so close to me definitely makes me feel safe when we’re out & about. I don’t need to worry about him being as exposed as he is when in the stroller, I can protect him from anything & anyone that may cause a threat, which is a huge comfort while in big cities if you aren’t familiar with them yet.

5// HEALTH- being a new mama & trying to get used to motherhood & figuring out a schedule for cedar, I found it hard to find time to work out. I wasn’t focusing on myself but on him & exercise wasn’t at the top of my list. Babywearing is a good way have a bit of exercise. You’re essentially carrying an extra 10+ lbs. with you wherever you go & over time as your child gains weight you gain extra strength!

6// MULTIPLE USES- . i’ve been able to use my sling as a blanket, changing pad or even a rain cover. it’s also really convenient for breastfeeding mothers to use if they need some extra coverage.
7// COMPACT-  one of my favorite conveniences of a sling is that it folds up small enough to fit inside of my purse! So when we’re out i don’t have to worry about carrying it if we decide to let cedar down to run around, but i can simply slide it inside of my purse.

 8// GREAT FOR SLEEPING- the sling helps to calm & soothe cedar as well as helps him sleep. Ever since he was a tiny baby he has been a great sleeper, & it is no different when he is in the sling in the comfort of who is carrying him. multiple of my friends have also noticed that their babies sleep better & often longer while in the sling being lulled by their parents movements.

9// COMFORT for both baby & parent- for me, & cedar, ring slings are the most comfortable way to wear a baby & the most natural. there are multiple ways you can carry a baby in the sling, which leaves a lot of options for finding the best way for you & your babe. the baby can be relaxed in the sling without any uncomfortable fabrics, clips or other random objects.

10/ BABYWEARING IS FUN- babywearing is really fun. i love all the extra time i spend with cedar while in the sling getting to play games with him, sing songs & what not all while we are doing different chores & running errands.
since moving i have used our baby sling almost everyday, it has been one of the most vital objects that we brought with us, especially in the airport the day of our move. we had multiple bags to lug throughout the airport & wearing cedar made it so much easier. babywearing has been one of the easiest & most convenient ways to get around the city doing or day-to-day activities.
if you're interested in a great quality sling, make sure to checkout wildbird 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

LIFE RIGHT NOW

our life right now has been rather calm. i'm so used to having so many things that preoccupy my time. going to lunch with friends, play dates, doing flowers, rock climbing, adventuring.. i kept my days busy, really not doing anything, but they were busy. it's completely different here in spain. i'm thinking a lot of it has to do with the fact that i know maybe 5 people & with time that will change & i'll become busier. but as of right now, i'm enjoying it.

we still haven't gotten internet in our apartment (sigh) & it's really made me realize just how heavily i rely on internet & how much time i am capable of wasting on the internet! it's was kinda of shocking & disappointing when i had this realization. i never thought of myself as addicted to it, but maybe i am? everyone i've talked to though tells me how not having the internet is so hard, so i'm thinking i'm not the only one that relies on it for pretty much everything. 

without the internet i have spent so much more of my time reading, which i have loved. i've spent more time doodling & writing in my physical journal, which is one of my favorite pass times that i generally forget about when i'm caught up in the internet & blogging. we've also been spending the majority of our time outside & that is the best. it's not that we didn't spend a lot of time outside already, because we were always in the mountains when we were in utah, but it's different here. without having a car we walk absolutely everywhere. the first week my legs & feet were SO sore, but they've gotten used to it & i really enjoy it. i feel like i'm getting a better understanding of the city by walking everywhere & i know that cedar loves it. he's pumped on every single dog he sees, all of the pigeons in the streets that he thinks are his new bff & all of the people that adore him. which is pretty much everyone because he looks so different from most of the spanish kids. 

it's been nice. life has been slow & i'm soaking it all in because once austin's classes start, on monday, i know life is going to get really busy. he'll be gone a lot at school & it's going to be just cedar & i in a somewhat familiar foreign city. 

i think it's going to be a big test for me. so far i've been able to rely on austin while we're in the city talking to anyone & finding directions & what not, but once monday comes it'll just be me to get us around & figure everything out. it'll be exciting & frustrating, i'm sure of it. & by then we will have internet (wishful thinking, i know) so life will be easier & i'll probably rely on it even more than i already do, haha. & then i will be able to resume my blogging ways! 

p.s. sorry for lack of photos still. it took about 20 minutes to upload these two & i gave up after that because i am impatient.