It has been the longest Christmas that we ever had!… Last week we had family visits in Porto so our Christmas mood started there and all those decorations on the street, it looked like Christmas was coming, almost coming, almost, but still not here 😉
Anyway we would love to share some ginger cookies and christmas
tree lights with you all!
And also our typical Christmas postcard/video that you can see here!
One year in London is already gone and you can check our goals in our post from May! But still we have one more “to study” and to grow more as a family in speedy London.
We had pleasant last moth of summer with lots of work for Rodrigo and holidays for Terese from her private classes. But the holidays brought some new job as well because Terese led an art club at Nansen Village. She had a big group of excited children.
The proposal was to enjoy summer and paints and give a try for a new techniques like pointillism, collage and others.
In the end of the month we presented exhibition with quite big success!
Thank you for being part of these nice sessions!
Summer went by really quickly but autumn brings even more speed and rush.
We started the week with a project “colorful clouds” that I found in one little project. It contains only stuff that you normally have at home (unless your dad has a stylish beard as ours and doesn’t use shaving foam). Results are unexpected and beautiful!!!
We tried “Penny Spinners”. It s super fast and fun small project and you can learn how to make it here.
Lately Markus is insisting to have my glasses so I thought to make ones for him from a eggs box???. And even though he enjoyed the process of making them ,,,but not to wear….
The project of the week was a garage for small cars! It super simple: Collect and glue toilet paper rolls! As much you need or as much you do have cars 😉 and create your own garage shape and form! Markus spend at least 25min in silence playing with it: taking out and putting back in his cars.
One day I will find the place where I will want to have my own home (including R+M) and I will have garden full of vegetables and herbs.
So I need to practice for that ;)…
I learned some tricks from my father because he loves flowers and everything else that has leaves. But my skills in gardening are totally low!
Last summer I tried to grow some strawberries… you know those pots “easy to plant” and etc. That you just need to add water and wait because rest it s already done…but not for me. I was waiting and waiting… calling to my father for consultation but no success!
Ok. After some months I got one or two poor blossoms… but no strawberries. Maybe they was missing bees to pollinate and fertilize them?? 😉
But this year I was ready to try again! Specially because I wanted Markus to learn how to behave in front of a fragile plant (on those days he basically was just stepping all blossoms that he could find and I wanted to show him that he needs to take care of smaller beings than him and not hurt them).
I hope everyone started the new year with new challenges as we did 😉
First. Rodrigo started his second term at Guildhall had super duper busy week: two days working with one of his tutors and with the electronic music and jazz departments, and the rest of days working intensively with Sam Mumford on the reflection around the Artistic Practice.
Second. We had a super nice visit from Vilnius. My sister and brother came to visit us in London and spend londonish weekend with us.
Third. Markus is now 2 years old 😉 and basically this post should be about it because he is growing and we have new challenges to deal with. And lately he is challenging us and testing our patience ;). So I would like to share some things that help me when I have hard moments with him:
1. Screaming doesn’t helps – if I will scream, the kid will scream also. He will imitate you because he learns from you.
2. Speak clearly and try to explain the situation by playing – for example Markus doesn’t want to stay with his childminder. Before we go I play with him this game with his animals: the giraffe is childminder, the horse is Markus, the rooster is me. We play with those animals how horse comes with rooster to the giraffe’s house. Rooster goes to work and horse stays with giraffe. And it works!!! After 30 min of playing, Markus packs his things to go to childminder.
3. Give time for your kid to understand the situation. I prefer to explain 10000 times the same sentence then scream on him once. Also I learnt to go out earlier from house so I will get on time in case something interesting appears on the road 😉
4. Use “no” as little as possible and if it’s impossible to avoid it then explain why, again as many times as needed.
I think it’s enough topics. .. it s only 4 but sometimes it can be really hard to use them during the day… at least for me 😉
And my new challenge is coming….
HOW TO HELP YOUR KID TO WORK OUT WITH HIS OWN FEELINGS (bad and good ones) ??
In the last days the weather has been very nice and warm. When Markus and I have “Father’s out” days we try to be more occupied so time passes faster and father comes faster home
In the beginning of the week Markus had his experience with his new childminder. It was the second time that he stayed without me or Rodrigo. The first time Markus was without the parents when my friend Gabija stayed with him for 3 hours some weeks ago… and, for our big surprise, he was more than perfect! We went out saying that we were going to work (we just don’t agree with hiding or disappearing from the place without explaining to him what is happening but also we do not need to make long good byes) and went to dress to get out, Markus even came to the corridor to say good-bye and kiss us.
But with childminder it was different… maybe because there were more kids around or because it was a new place. In the beginning everything looked quite not bad and I went out but when I came back to take him, the childminder told me that each time some parents would come to pick other kids Markus was crying and he also cried when I came :), of course I know he needs time to adapt, but some thing tells me that maybe I can find better place for him, not exactly better but more fitting his personality and our family’s view of education.
But still that “working mom” experience was perfect!!! Now I know how hard it is or maybe I’m so used to my own mom’s position that I forgot how I can improve my “momish” skills :), and on that day I did!!! I woke up at 7am, Markus and I did all normal morning duties as shopping, cleaning, breakfast, morning walk and nappies washing. Markus had his lunch sleep, or as I call it his “beauty sleep”, while I was working on computer and then after lunch I brought him to childminder, left him, caught the bus and went to my student’s house, gave the lesson, came back and had rest of afternoon duties that normally takes 5 hours of afternoon but I did in 1.30hour!!!! And I felt great! No stress at all, just tired but I can get used to it!
So, after that childminder experience I thought to give something nice to my son and go for museum, Childhood or Natural History, I couldn´t decide. And I didn´t have to because on FridayMarkus got a cold and after it was me :)…
Museum Vs Bed… BED!!! With blankets, warm cup of tea and best family in the world THE WALKABOUT FAMILY!!!
We are in London already for 2 months and 12 days… We already have a flat, a bank account, the national insurance number and the rest of small things that was in our “must have in London” list. Rodrigo started his studies and is already sweating at his tasks, he also got a job as a steward at the school so sometimes he has the opportunity to play a very important role in events!
But this post is not about that… It’s about how expensive it is to have kid in London and HOW TO FIND CHILDCARE FOR HIM….
So, there are mainly two ways. One is hard and takes time, the other is easier but also takes time 😉 because I am sure you want to choose best place that fits all yours and your kid’s needs.
Speak with your friends, neighbours, all the people who have or had kids, look in newspapers and job’s advertisements, etc… Maybe one day you will find someone…
Or use second way:
Got to childcare.uk.com and just sign in… here you can find nannies, childminders, babysitters, family support and etc… in shortly, everything you need!!! Using this platform I understood what are the differences between nannies, nurseries and childminders… and I choose the latter.
Childminders vs Nurseries. Childminders can have only 6 kids at once, it’s a smaller group of kids and much closer to the concept “home to home” and easy to adapt for kids that spend all their time with moms (Markus case). Childminders are also more flexible with times… you can find a childminder that receives kids at any time even on the night and nurseries normally have strict schedule and finishing quite early in the day (one close to our house finishes at 3pm).
Childminders vs Nannies. As previously said, childminder can have 6 or less kids. Ok, maybe some childminders doesn’t have more kids at a certain moment, so your kid will be the only one but in normal conditions kids are playing in small groups and can have some fun all the time. With a nanny the kid is alone unless she goes to playing groups or playing grounds but still for me is not the same.
So, each family can find something that fulfils their needs. We choose childminder.
The second step is to visit all childminders around our house! As much as I can!! Because I want to see what are the opportunities and choose place that fits our needs best!!!
We are leaving Famalicão and moving more to the north of Portugal (and that will be next weekend!) so probably our trips to Porto won´t be often… so I thought to go for a visit… my Porto.. city that 5 (???????? … time flies) years ago I fell in love.. and it was only because of that love I came back to Portugal for Evs and stayed for longer… got married and all rest that you know 😉
First of all…
This post should be called “5 things I love in Porto”… but… My life doesn’t belong to me anymore… I have 2 handsoms guys that I can’t stop thinking about… so when I went to Porto to do my 5 best things.. I understood that they not making me happy any more ;)… what is more important for me now is if Markus is comfortable and where I can have coffee with Rodrigo… nothing more 😉 if those two guys are happy I am also happy!
So pigeons, dogs, traffic lights and etc…
I am trying to teach Markus to cross streets only on crosswalks, so on the small Porto streets we were the only ones who were waiting for green light 😉
Animals: dogs, pigeons, cats… all of them were counted and observed!
Thank you Markus for making me see Porto from another angle 😉
Besides “Porto of Markus” I still had piece of “Terese´s Porto” because from train station (São Bento) we went to Ponte D. Luís… ok.. in the beginning I was still excited about how to show everything to Markus but since I understood that for him is more interesting pigeons then azulejos Eduardo Leite on capela Santa Catarina, everything became much easier;)
So after watching buses passing by and traffic lights we went to Ponte D. Luís. .. and came back… it was sooo many tourist s that we couldn’t step on bridge… Porto changed a lot in the last years… city became more fancy with a lot of tourists and started to lose his charm…
We stopped by Santa Catarina… it was the first thing I saw when I came to Porto. And still makes me shake and remainds me that small girl coming up from metro with huge backpack and extra two bags… coming without knowing why and where… and that’s why I gave coin to blind guy even if I´m never doing that.
We stop to see buses in Bolhão bus stop… from where I was coming home after my classes in ESMAE. I learned a lot from that place ;)… that buses stop only when you make sign with the hand, that you enter from front and go out from back, that you wait and stay on line (and I learned a lot while I was waiting)… that exist shops only for baptism…
Juice juice!!! And juices!!!
Itaipu…. a place that Rodrigo brought me once .. even I don’t know why he did that but I don’t care! Friendship, dating time, pregnancy, even Markus is growing in Itaipu 😉 ….Not much more to say, we just love that place
So… I still love Porto even if my heart belongs to two small portuguese and that the face of the city changed a lot since I saw it for the first time 😉