> Tuesday, June-10-2008

Back on the blog

Hi all,

Am back on the blog, so to speak, having finally gotten through the first year of my younger daughter's life in one piece. After 11 gruelling months, she decided to sleep through and finally I was able to stop sleeping on the sofa and take charge of my bed again! Once she had her 1st birthday (which was, might I add, a resounding success!) things immediately got better...we stopped sterilising, gave up formula, and my two girls moved into the same room together :-)

With plans for a long-distance trip to Australia to show off the girls to their grandparents, I can enjoy my "freedom" at night for just a few days longer at for sure, the plane trip will NOT be very pleasant.

I've been told that things over there are booming right now, so it will be interesting to compare prices of everything from toilet paper to properties in Benalmadena with those in the land downunder.

In any case, will keep you posted.

> Tuesday, February-26-2008

It's party time!

Well, carnival is here again...hard to believe Easter is less than 40 short days away! With one 2-year old and a 9-month old, I'm trying to work out whether or not to brave the crowds that mill around on the days of the parade with the two of them, dressed up or otherwise. I may wimp out...after all, it has been a hard year so far and we're only 7 weeks into it!

Prior to having kids I never really got into the whole carnival thing, content to stay at home and do anything else but attend the festivities, but now, well, it's different. Although the hotels in Benalmadena - and the tourist region on the whole - aren't specifically busier, it does seem as though there are more people around, so maybe it's just that the people who are living here are getting out and about a bit more, I don't know.

Either way, although it's not Rio, carnival time is a great excuse for a party...regardless of whether or not it takes place with a procession down the main street or in front of the TV! :-)

Have a good one...I know I will! :-)

> Thursday, February-14-2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

I can't believe where this year has gone already! Didn't even see this one creep up on me at all, and since the love of my life is not really into all that flowers and chocolates on Valentine's, it's probably better anyway. I usually manage a card, but not this time. :-(

Meanwhile all my friends (those who are not being kept prisoner in their own homes by small babies) are out on the town since everyone from the expensive to cheap hotels in Benalmadena Costa are doing something special for Valentine's.

I had planned to have a glass of wine, but haven't even managed that so far as we are in the process of giving up the dummy with my older daughter. I don't think I would have normally taken this path except she's been biting holes in them up till now and I was scared she might bite a bit off and swallow it and choke. So, bye bye dummy.

In the end, I got a kiss on the cheek from hubbie, a big hug from my 2 year old and a screaming temper tantrum at dinner time from my 9 month old. And instead of saying Happy Valentine's Day, my daughter has begun singing Happy Birthday Agnes, which is great...her birthday was last month!

Ohhhhh, such romance surrounding me! I'm overwhelmed!

> Sunday, January-27-2008

The Birthday Party

Well, it's hard to believe it's already nearly a month since I last posted!  :o  Time has very little meaning with two little ones and after falling off the world, it's quite a scramble to get back on. When I look back over my post and my plans for the year so far, they don't quite co-ordinate just yet: the diet has gone awry (already!) so I still look like a fat blimp, my daughter still does not sleep through the night (and is hearing a range of vocabulary that someone so young should not really be privy to!), and my friend - yes the one from Benalmadena - has yet to find true love.

On a positive note, despite a stressful start, the party for my daughter's 2nd birthday went extremely well, albeit with a little (lot) of help from the mother-in-law. Yes, she actually came to the rescue there which caught me off-guard, but nicely so :-) I managed to cook every single item offered (quite a feat and took me until 5am the night before!) and there wasn't a scrap of food left afterwards, so I'm pretty sure that everyone got their fair fill. I had made a selection of different sandwiches, a zucchini pie (wonderful recipe), mini pizzas, chicken burgers, homemade jelly, chocolate marshmallow slice, a massive plate of vegetables (celery, carrot, and cucumber sticks) with avocado and yogurt dips, and of course, the cake, which was an owl - my daughter's favourite animal (she has a toy owl she takes to bed with her call Twoo Twoo) flavoured chocolate and orange on a nest of chocolate orange sticks. It wasn't a masterpiece, but tasted great! So I was very proud of myself actually. Most people these days just order everything or hold parties at centres. We didn't. We had it at home. My daughter got right into the opening of presents too :-) and as soon as someone arrived with a bag, she dived for it, opening it with passion and tossing the card aside as something completely unimportant!

I had expected her to get really grumpy by the end of the night, but no, she was fine, and apart from putting her to bed without her bath/shower as it was quite a bit later than her normal bedtime, everything else went off without a hitch. Our other daughter (8 1/2 months) was very good too.

So a big pat on the back for me! Next one due for the other little girl in May. By then it will be my 3rd party and I'll be a seasoned hand at it! ;-)

> Tuesday, January-01-2008

New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year!!!!

I love the new year, if only because it always allows you to feel like you've got a clean slate, a fresh start, and that you're back to square one - any mistakes or bad decisions cancelled out. So, with a clean house (or as clean as one gets with two little babies and 3 cats!), only half a basket of washing left to do (it's always full usually), and new year's resolutions instigated, the year begins.

Questions, questions, questions. What will this year bring? Will my little one finally sleep through? Will a couple of new venture ideas I have, take off? Will the effects of global warming make more of an impact on world catastrophes? Oh, and of course, will my friend - the one who is the property finder in Benalmadena - find true love?

Important as these questions may be, my mind is now focussed on my older daughter who will be 2 in a couple of weeks and organising her party.

Well, whatever you may embark upon - good luck! May 2008 bring you everything you wish for!!!

> Monday, December-31-2007

Aaah over

Well, the excitement of Christmas has finally died down a little. In our humble little Benalmadena property, the lights are still sparkling on our 4 foot Christmas tree, the tinsel is still up, and the presents unwrapped. Though the paper is gone, our so spoiled little girls have so many presents that some are still in their original boxes! What possessed us (well, me actually) into thinking they needed quite that many, especially when the parents in law were clearly going to lavish them with gifts aswell? Luckily, I saw it just in time, and snuck a few away in the cupboard for the upcoming 2nd birthday in January.

Of course, we spent around 6 weeks getting our daughter used to the idea of Santa, and it worked quite well, until we tried today to tell her a friend was coming over. "Who's coming tonight?" we asked her, "Santa" was her reply! Guess we still have a bit of work ahead on that one.

Nevertheless, it was a nice Christmas overall. I got a new phone. Not your super-swishy la-di-da phones, but a practical bottom line phone that rings, sends texts, and receives calls. It also has a calculator and an alarm clock, so works for me!

Can't believe another year's gone by and tomorrow is New Year's Eve! Where has the time gone???

> Friday, December-21-2007

Getting excited!

Well, it's not long till Christmas now, and whereas it was never something greatly celebrated by myself and my husband until now, with 2 small babies, it has changed greatly. Our elder daughter, nearly 2 now, is just coming to grips with the idea of Santa. No doubt she'll understand more on Christmas Day when the presents are stacked under the tree! Our younger one is oblivious to it all and won't even realise what's going on, but there will still be a few goodies under the tree for her too!

I can't wait to see the look on their faces, though. I'm quite excited about it. Not that I think I'm alone. Parents everywhere - in villas, houses, apartments, and hotels in Benalmadena  -must all be feeling the same way, I'm sure!

Now the only question is how to capture everything on video...

> Sunday, December-09-2007

Name's Day

It was my daughter's name's day today and we had a lovely little celebration with immediate family. She got presents, though she's only 7 months old so didn't really clue in that all the fuss was about her. My other daughter also got presents. It's the advantage of being only 15 months apart - so she was really happy. She loved her gifts - some clothes, a little car, some mini-books and of course, at not even 2, she also loved the wrapping, running around the house waving the packaging and shouting "crackle" - her word for anything that makes a crackling sound - at the top of her lungs.

It was not a perfect day outside, but she went out anyway, had a look at (and smell of) the flowers before eating a Sunday English breakfast - our little tradition. She looked up at the end of the meal, blinked twice, and said "tired", "bedtime". So cute.

If we were in the UK, it woudn't have happened the same way at all - particularly as it rains so much and children have to stay indoors a lot, which is a pity. Definitely if you have kids, it's worth buying property in Benalmadena as it is a great place for them to grow up - if only for the weather!

> Wednesday, December-05-2007

Death of a friend

A friend of mine died yesterday. Actually, she wasn't so much a friend, as someone I knew who was very nice to me whenever we were together. In fact, she was nice to everyone. She was a lovely person. She was only 55, and her husband - suffering a mid-life crisis - walked out on her and her teenage daughter about 5 or 6 years ago, which naturally took its toll on her. Since then she has been plagued with lung and respiratory problems which were eventually her cause of death. Such a pity. Very sad.

Funnily enough, her ex-husband was there with her when she died. I guess his mid-life crisis over, he felt he ought to be there. I wonder if he realised that her death could be traced back to his actions? Maybe he was by her side asking forgiveness for his actions? After all, he didn't leave because of another woman (or man!), he left because "he got sick of having a family" and didn't want to be "tied down".

I also wonder if that sort of thing happens when people move away from their "home" town. I mean, when someone who was born in the UK and has spent most of their life there decides to move to fuengirola spain, for example, with their family,  then has a mid-life crisis and walks out...what happens to the family that's left? Do they go back? Do they stay and try to make ends meet?

It's a tough call and one I'm glad I don't have to make right now!

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> Saturday, December-01-2007

Christmas is coming!

Well, it's the first of the month and Christmas is just around the corner. Before I had kids, I just used to look at Christmas as a good opportunity to make a bit extra money - working through Christmas and New Years, however now, I'm actually quite excited at the thought of getting things all kitted up for Christmas. I bought some new decorations today - nothing older daughter - all of 22 months, decided the gold tinsel with the gold circles on it was the best. She held it the whole time we were in the supermarket, stroking the circles and saying "moon" :-) So we've gone for a gold and red theme this year as a result.

We put some flashing lights up outside on our balcony which is fairly large and has a huge tree on it which reaches up to the second floor! The lights look great - my daughter thought so too. She spent ages at the glass door to the balcony going "oooh". It was very cute.

I can't wait to play Santa. It will be the first time she realises what's going on. My younger one, nearly 7 months now, won't be clued in yet, but the older one will be so excited. I'm looking forward to seeing the look on her face.

I think wherever you are, whether it's Benalmadena Costa, somewhere else in Spain, or somewhere else in the world, Christmas is always so much more special when there are kids involved.

If I think back to when I was little, it was the highpoint of the year, even rivalling birthdays. Now, 35 (yes!) years on, it's going to be just as exciting all over again...nice that the spirit of Christmas lives on, isn't it?