29 junio 2006


Words - Palabras

Alexandra can say the words: daddy, dadda, mummy, mama, uppy or uppa (from "up-and-down"), ta, aza (from "gracias"), oh-oh (when dropping something), meemee (from "give me"), da (for "yes").
She consistently points to the correct part of her body when she's told: head, toes, big belly (it is!), cabeza, pies, nose, nariz, mouth, boca.
She can bring the following toys when requested (even if from another room or hidden away): ball, balloon, Piglet, Tiger, Pooh, Po (a Teletubby), Polly Parrot, Dolly, Ranita, Mr. Polar Bear, Dog, Cat, Lion, Cow, Ellie (a blue elephant).
She understands and follows the commands: siéntate, sit down, hug, kiss, bring a book, put it away, in the box .
Probably more!

28 junio 2006


World Cup countries' friends

I just realised that I know people from 20 out of the 32 countries playing in this World Cup. Some of them very close friends, so I've been texting congratulations and commiserations after certain matches!

Amigos de países en el mundial
Me acabo de dar cuenta de que conozco gente de 20 países de los 32 que están en este mundial. Algunos de ellos son amigos queridos, así que he estado mandando mensajes de felicitaciones y de pesar después de ciertos partidos.



En rojo, países europeos que he visitado.
In red, European countries where I've been.

(Don't say I'm cheating by counting in a couple of countries where I had a connecting flight to the UK. I've been there. Admittedly, very briefly, but I've been there.)

27 junio 2006



I had forgotten to log this: I have been accepted to do the second year of the PGCE starting in September, so back to writing assignments it is!
I had an interview with one of the tutors of the course (I already know the other one, she was my referee - and I guess she wrote a good reference!) and everything is in order. Well, almost everything. I still have to do my level 2 numeracy test! Yes, after teaching applied mathematics at university level, I still have to demonstrate that I can read a thermometer, scales, add up and all sorts of silly things. I guess I'll pass - how humilliating would it be not to! The test is soon, so bear with me.

26 junio 2006


The weekend - El fin de semana

I had to work on Saturday morning in a language moderation meeting (and work till late on Friday night to get my folder ready for it), but with that out of the way, we had a memorable and relaxed weekend. Here some pics!

23 junio 2006


Plan B

I had said I was going to check out a third nursery. The three of us went yesterday as Andy had taken his morning off for my interview. It was yet another option and we were a bit sceptical to begin with. We had two references about the place, one of them indirect as it is the nursery where the children of one of the GPs at my practice go (not my GP though), and the other one directly from one of the mums I've known the longest whose child has been there for nearly a year. Both of them were delighted about them. The reason for us being sceptical is that we'd heard that their latest Ofsted report hadn't been favourable, so we were looking out for signs of it not being as idyllic as described.
Having said that, all we could see were confident, independent children, happy and engaged in play, with very good social skills; and staff that looked happy too, relaxed and genuinely enjoying their time with them. There was freedom to move from one space to the next, and it seem to work well. I asked how did the key worker manage if a child wanted to stay and the other one to go to another room, and they explained that is why they have more staff on duty than the minimum recommended by Ofsted, and apart from having less children allocated to each key worker, there is always one or two who have no children allocated so they are an extra pair of hand for situations like that. They also mentioned that Ofsted recommend staff being qualified up to level 2, whereas they are all qualified to level 3.
I also liked that Alexandra was encouraged to stay in one room to play with other kids while we were having the tour, and everyone was so friendly and receptive to her, and that includes children. And there weren't that many children, so they all seem to know each other very well.
Things I didn't like? well, they don't have a designated sleeping area either, but at least is better than in the second nursery I went to see: in this third nursery there are travel cots which they put up when and where children need to sleep, they are never left alone but the children who are awake are ushered to another room so it's quieter and calmer for the sleeping ones. I didn't like the fact they don't do afternoons only, so I would have to pay for the whole day even if I only want her for few hours a day (and a whole day there is considerably more expensive than in the other two nurseries because they have proportionally more staff).
Conclusion? My plan A still is in place - nothing would beat that nursery, I don't think! (hence the long waiting list). I guess this is my new plan B, but to sign up for that I would have to come to terms with leaving her there for the whole day which I'm not sure I can do just yet. Are you suggesting for me not to leave her there the whole day? Hey! if I'm paying for ten hours at a premium rate, I better use those hours, don't you think?. Head and heart in conflict again.

21 junio 2006


Feliz cumple a la tía

Y aquí hay un recuerdito de la primera vez que sostuvo a la sobri.

Hace ya tiempo que no estamos en contacto, pero que esta fecha sirva de excusa para renovarlo!

20 junio 2006



Berlin awaits for us! We'll be there soon!

16 junio 2006


A day with Mili - Un día con Mili

Alexandra pasó todo el día en casa de su amiguita Mili, quien tiene 17 meses así que es una bebé muy madura. Fue muy placentero verlas jugar juntas, y aunque Alexandra no pegó un ojo en todo el dia (so much excitement), no estuvo irritable, todo lo contrario, estuvo muy contenta. Por supuesto, apenas emprendimos el retorno a casa quedó rendida. Y cómo no iba a caer, con todo lo que hicieron juntas!

15 junio 2006


Dining out - Cena

Estos son unos estudiantes de segundo año a los que les dí clase por dos semanas haciéndole suplencia a mi colega Carole quien no pudo terminar el curso por razones de salud. Es un grupo lindo y logré mantener un buen ambiente en esas últimas clases (lo cual puede ser difícil para una suplente cuando el grupo está bien establecido) y aunque el estilo de Carole es distinto al mío, esto no fue una desventaja, al contrario.
El caso es que me invitaron a su cena de fin de curso, y como Andy tenía un juego de fútbol, llevé a Alexandra, quien se portó como un ángel. Bueno, ya sabemos que a ella le encanta comer en restaurantes. Aquí se ve pidiéndole vino a la mesera...

Y esta semana recibí la buena noticia de que en Septiembre dictaré segundo y tercer año, así que no sólo los volveré a ver a ellos sino también a mis estudiantes de primer año. Esta será la primera vez que me toca dictar un curso a este nivel, lo máximo que he dictado es segundo año, pero el conocer a mis futuros estudiantes en cierta forma me alivia. Y además, hay tiempo para prepararme.

14 junio 2006


Escaping from the world cup - Huyendo del mundial

Mientras papá veía el primer juego de Inglaterra en casa de David (full screen and with lots of snacks), nosotras nos fuimos a la piscina del parque (a la paddling pool realmente) con nuestras amigas Mia y Dragica. Y aparentemente, no éramos las únicas huyendo del mundial... ¡eso estaba lleno de gente!

Y aquí Alexandra entra a la piscinita, sale, y llama a su papá.


En la bici con papá - On the bike with dad

I had promised a picture on daddy's bike. Here it is!


Guarderías - Nurseries

We went today to check out a second nursery because it seems there is a long waiting list in the nursery which would be our first choice. And even though it is going to be part-time (very part-time to begin with anyway), it can be heart-breaking going through the process of seeing where would your child spend their time away from you.
As I was telling one close friend of mine today, who's also been to see this place, I have to say that overall, I didn't like it very much. I didn't like seeing children sleeping on the floor (on mats, but on the floor) in the same room in which the rest of the children were playing and making noises. Alexandra is used to sleep in a dark room (not necessarily dead quiet, as I vacuum clean, have the washing on, etc) and I doubt she would even settle herself to "bed" in such environment. Having said so, she often falls asleep in the pushchair while on a noisy road, so who knows?. She might do OK. And maybe it is not that important since she would sleep at home afterwards, I guess.
I didn't like the outdoors area for her age group either. It was plain boring and not so big. Poor thing, she walked over to near the fence to watch the older kiddies playing in their garden.
I didn't like either that they spend their whole time in the same room (when indoors). She gets kranky if we stay at home all day (we're always going swimming, to the library, meeting friends, shopping or even for a walk in the park). Mmm.
On the other hand, I liked the possibility of being able to put her in only two or three afternoons a week (in most nurseries they set a minimum of five sessions, a session being a morning or an afternoon), and also the discount that we would get through Andy's work. Most definitely, I like the fact that there is availability for the days of the week I need. The staff seemed OK if a little bored, or maybe it's just my impression.
It ticks all the boxes but not my heart. I guess it's good for a plan B (which I need) but I feel rather dissapointed, I wish it was much better. It left me praying for a place in the other nursery. I'll keep you posted.

02 junio 2006


Feliz cumple Maxim

Cómo nos hubiera gustado haber ido a tu fiestita. Pero nos encanta que la pasaste muy bien!


Kisses & hugs - besos y abrazos

Alexandra abraza desde hace ya tiempo, a bebés y a adultos, espontáneamente y a petición. Pero lo que acaba de aprender (hace dos días) es a dar besitos. Such a cute little kisser!